Dads’ corner||Meet Emmanuel Agyapong, the continuous improvement dad
“There is no rule book to being a good father.”Emmanuel Mensah Agyapong
Enjoy the read!
OMT: Briefly introduce yourself and tell us how many kids you have. In summary who is Emmanuel?
EA: My name is Emmanuel Mensah Agyapong. I have two beauuuutifuuul girls. Nsoroma is just a few months short of 2 and Kanea is, well she will be 6 months next week.
OMT: What was your expectation of fatherhood prior to having kids versus actually having kids? In social media slang, we love to know the “before” and “how it’s going” with fatherhood.
EA: I was expecting it to be more difficult than it is now. It isn’t easy but I was expecting my life to basically grind to a halt and take a toll on me and make me look older, make me have headaches but no! its hasn’t been like that.
In the beginning I was a little bit scared. Oh my goodness!, When we were leaving the hospital with our first child I was scared especially when the doctor said, “You guys are good to go. You can leave today,”. I was scared! I was like yieee!!!! These people have left a human being with us, yenfa no nkofie (Twi, means you should take him/her home). She looked so fragile. A baby crying who can’t speak, and my wife and I have to keep her alive. It was such a scary thought.
I remember walking from the ward to the car and we tried to put her in her car seat but we realised she was so small. So my wife sat in the back with her and I drove for like 20 to 30km/h. I must have annoyed everybody and anybody who drove stupidly would get my wrath so that was me. I was scared!
It was difficult but in the beginning what I thought was world ending I later realised it wasn’t really that bad. It’s pretty easy…..I won’t say very easy but not too difficult. It is tasking but I love it. People tell me if you love the work you do, you won’t have to work a day in your life or something like that. I love being a father and I love my daughters which makes it easy doing everything I am doing for them.
OMT: What would you want the rest of the world to know about fatherhood? Some misconceptions and all if any, etc
EA: Someone told me that being a father is easy. The difficult thing is being a good father. Because it requires being present, sacrificing time and energy to be a good father but just being a regular father requires you have a child and go about living your life. Someone else can raise them for you. To be a good one you need to be present, sacrifice time, energy, relationships for that so that’s what I want the world to know. Its not enough to be a father, you have to strive to attain a level of good father and best dad.
OMT: What drives you to be the best dad to your kids?
EA: My father was not the best dad. He was OK, just that there were certain things he didn’t compromise on. He didn’t compromise on our safety and education. My father was the typical African father who wouldn’t show his emotions.
He didn’t show his emotions till recently when he hit 55-60, he started being all emotional. “I love you, call me”…..We all thought our father was this unfeeling robot for the longest time. My father drives me to be the best dad because he was not perfect and I used my learnings from being his child to bring that into my relationship with my daughters. So the places I felt he failed as a father I learn from that and use that to become a better father to my girls. The little things he did that I thought he did not succeed at I will do double for my girls.
So my father drives me to be the best dad. My father knew about sacrifice and he would sacrifice a lot of money to ensure that we had the best education and get us to be good at what we do. The other side is that there were days I barely saw him growing up. He would leave early in the morning and come late at night. He remedied that by letting us attend his school so he could keep an eye on us. He could see us everyday and we could see him everyday.
OMT: What are the challenges of being a dad in today’s world? Managing the world of work and also keeping your sanity to raise kids.
EA: The challenge is the race to make money to make life comfortable for the kids and for yourself. You have to figure out how to tow the line between being there for your kids and being able to make enough money to take care of them to make them happy and to make you happy as well. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your own happiness just so they can be happy. In today’s world that is the biggest challenge. The chase for money robs you of time and very few of us have been able to crack that code. Few of us have been able to walk that perfect line of time with the children, being able to cater for all their needs. But Covid came and got us all stuck in the house. I guess that was good for something.
OMT: What advice would you give to incoming fathers.
EA: Just try to be a good father. Try, try, try really hard, try so no one will accuse you of not trying.
There is no rule book to being a good father. You can try your best and be great at what you do and end up with a problematic child but its all up to you. You need to try.
Thank you for opening up with me and others your experience as a dad.
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