Saka: What fascinates me about fatherhood

Nollywood actor Hafiz Oyetoro popularly called Saka has shared his story on how he became a husband and a father at almost 41 years of age.

The script interpreter who became popular in the 80s also talked about how fatherhood has his life.

Speaking with Punch newspaper in an interview with *, Saka said getting marrief at 40 was late but he felt very fulfilled.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

What did you do when you heard the news?

I called my wife to congratulate her. I told her to place the phone by the ear of the baby. Whether he could hear me or not, I insisted I wanted to talk to him. I said to my child on the phone, “Hello my son, welcome to Nigeria. I am your father. I am not around now but as soon as I come back, I am going to see you. You are welcome to my family.”
I think he heard me well because when I got home, he didn’t cry. He smiled when he saw me. God made everything easy for us. All our three children were born without complications. Within five minutes in the labour room, my wife gave birth. My wife didn’t go through much labour pains. In fact, my last child was born at the reception of the hospital. I thank God for His mercies. I have two boys and a girl.

What accounted for your lateness in being a father?

I can’t specifically say why. For a very long time, I was more committed to my career. I was carried away by the demands of my profession. Another factor that could have led to that was poverty. I never wanted to rely on people to take care of my children. I decided to get married at a point that I was able to take care of myself and my family.

But many people assumed that you are a rich man.

You don’t just grow up one day; it is a process. I am not a millionaire, so to say. But I am very grateful to God that I can afford bread and butter on my table. When I said poverty delayed me, I meant that I hustled for a long time. A few years back, the entertainment industry was not recognised. It was our passion that kept us going. It was about five or 10 years back that entertainment started getting lucrative. I was only popular back then but poor. The idea of self-dignity, not wanting to rely on people for support, accounted for my delay.

How did struggling prepare you for fatherhood?

It made me to be properly ready. I learnt about fatherhood from friends who were already married. I had elder brothers who had gone through various family challenges. So, when I got married, all those challenges were not new to me because I had prepared well for them. I was mature to resolve all those challenges. I wish I married early.

What fascinates you about fatherhood?

The major challenge with marrying late is that my children are still in secondary and primary schools. It means I have a lot to do for my children. Children of my friends have finished their education. I used to attend the weddings and convocation organised for such children. But at my age, I am still paying school fees. While my colleagues can afford to buy cars and mansions worth millions of naira, because they are no longer paying school fees, I am doing more of investment in my children. I cannot afford to copy their lifestyle or afford such luxuries. I believe that I still have a long way to go. My children are my investments.

When some people say, ‘Upon all the money wey Saka get, e no do this, e no get plenty cars’, I laugh. I am investing my money in my children because I don’t want them to pass through what I went through in life. I put more into their training so that they can be successful. I am giving them the best of education. When it comes to investing in other things and enjoyment, it is affecting me. While other fathers are getting gifts from their children, I am still paying school fees at my old age. I am not too old anyway (laughs). I am just 54.

Female fans come but I have been able to overcome temptations.

You know that I am not that particularly handsome. But to my wife, I am a very handsome man. That is the reason she married me. But you cannot compare the character of Saka with that of Ramsey Noah and other handsome actors. The traffic of temptation and pressure from women to me is low.

Because I am a teacher, I live the life of a teacher. I don’t go to clubs. I am very simple, reserved and shy person. I am a complete “paki” (local man) man. This makes everything easy for me. I am thanking God for making me a simple person. Artistes are human beings with weaknesses.

What is one of the most important gifts your wife or children have given you in appreciation of your fatherly role?

The greatest blessing a man can get from God is to marry a woman who shares his vision. The greatest gift my wife has given me is her ability to share and support my vision. She understands me from A-Z. She is a graduate of mathematics. I don’t even know how the chemistry works. She is caring but quiet. When I am not around, they pray for me. They even fast for me.

What fascinates you about fatherhood ?

The major challenge with marrying late is that my children are still in secondary and primary schools . It means I have a lot to do for my children . Children of my friends have finished their education . I used to attend the weddings and convocation organised for such children . But at my age , I am still paying school fees . While my colleagues can afford to buy cars and mansions worth millions of naira , because they are no longer paying school fees , I am doing more of investment in my children . I cannot afford to copy their lifestyle or afford such luxuries . I believe that I still have a long way to go . My children are my investments . When some people say , ‘ Upon all the money wey Saka get , e no do this , e no get plenty cars’ , I laugh . I am investing my money in my children because I don’ t want them to pass through what I went through in life . I put more into their training so that they can be successful . I am giving them the best of education . When it comes to investing in other things and enjoyment , it is affecting me . While other fathers are getting gifts from their children , I am still paying school fees at my old age . I am not too old anyway ( laughs ). I am just 54.

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