I Do Most of The Domestic Work - Zack Orji

In an interview with Gbenga Adeniji, Zack Orji, talks about his experiences as a father 
How would you describe fatherhood?
I would describe fatherhood as being a father in all expectations of the word; being a father to one’s children not only by words but also by deeds.

I have discovered over the years that action speaks louder than words. Most of the things I have done over the years were things I learnt as a child. Things that I watched my father do; not as much as the things he said but the things I saw him do. I discovered too that parents must be careful in training their children not only by what they tell them to do but the actions they take in the presence of their children. This made me to realise that fatherhood is not an easy thing because one cannot be on one’s guard always. One cannot change who one is in one’s home. If one is a general in the army, one cannot be a general to one’s children at home. One must be a father to them.
What year did you become a father?
I became a father two years after marriage in 1991.
What can you say have been your challenges as a father?
One of my biggest challenges as a father is spending enough and quality time with my children. Owing to the nature of my work, I travel a lot within and outside the country. I go out to work and also socialise with other people. Some of these times, I wished I were with my family.  I have discovered that I cannot be with them most of time I wished to be with them because of the exigencies of my work.
Were you in the hospital with your wife when she was delivered of her first child?
By the grace of God, I was with her at the time until the doctor told me to go home to get some of the things the baby would need. It was about 30 minutes after I left the hospital that she put to bed. I was in the hospital with her during the birth of my two other children who are girls. But I did not witness the birth of our first child who is a boy as I had to go home to prepare things for the baby as instructed.
Do you wish to correct anything as a father?
There is nothing I would wish to correct as a father. Many fathers do not have enough time for their children due to what I call an irony of life. They spend their lives working hard to make money to cater for their children. Their jobs thus take them away from their children and families. So, whatever time one has, one should spend it well with them.
Did you nurse any fears prior to your becoming a father?
No, I did not. I was brought up to always take things in my stride. Whatever comes, I believe that I have enough grace from God to take care of it. Fear is part of the human nature but one learns to overcome it by trusting God. He gives one the grace to overcome it.
Apart from providing for your children, what other way have you been able to discharge your fatherly role to them?
I believe I am a good example to them. They are free with me. We discuss and talk as friends. I always tell them to tell me anything and not be afraid. This has made them feel relaxed to tell me anything. Anytime I am not around and they need anything, they do not hesitate to call me.
Are you saying the Zack Orji who cuts the picture of a disciplinarian in movies is different from Zack Orji the father?
Yes, I am a disciplinarian. I am free with my children at home, but they know that it does not give them the freedom to do whatever they like. We are good friends. But they are also careful not to cross the line. I have never raised a hand to any of them.
How do you discipline them whenever they act up?
I speak to them. I have never found the need to use the rod on any of my children. I count myself very blessed because I have children who respect and love me. They listen to me whenever I talk to them. Even my son, Lionel, when he was studying abroad would call to tell me if he got an invitation to any event. I would only tell him to attend it but to be careful.
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