Fatherhood: Ade Oyewo

Fatherhood is an amazing feeling and a great sense of responsibility that all men want to discharge as duties to their families. My Journey to fatherhood was quite exciting as I got to this point quite early after my marriage in 2006. Following our marriage ceremony in 2006, we had to make tough decisions whether to start our family immediately or to give ourselves some time to find our bearing as a young couple. In 2009, our marriage was blessed with a bouncing baby boy and we named him Ryan; at that point, I felt so blessed and had to wrap up everything within me to father this young soul. I had promised myself that I would want to be the best father to my kids, the reason being that I could not recall having a good life or upbringing with my father, in fact, I grew up without my father and this subjected me to many difficulties and as such, promised myself that I would live to be the best dad ever to my own children one day. Hence, having Ryan was the point at which I could prove that.  

A father has to be a provider, a teacher, a role model. I promised my inner-self that God-willing, I will be a provider, a teacher, a role model to my children or any young soul that ever cross my path.

In 2010, we were blessed with Leah, and having these beautiful kids has transformed my life and that of my family. We have all lived together as a beautiful family and have enjoyed God’s gift of life together, and a blessing to all that has crossed our path. Later in 2011, my family immigrated to South Africa and was opportune to join the School of Hope as a teacher. Upon joining the school, I could immediately connect to the learners as most of them reminded me of my own very life and upbringing. A life of abuse, neglect and domestic violence; their lives reminded me of my childhood journey and my youth age, and again I saw the opportunity to serve and to make right the unjust of the past.

I reminded myself once again of what role I wanted to play as a father to every child whether biological or not; that I wanted to be there for my learners as a father figure, a role model and a provider. In addition, I believe that charity begins at home, and as an educator, I always aim at giving any child the best possible learning opportunity. Hence, with my biological children, I ensured that they were granted the best possible learning opportunity. Because of my passion to transform lives through education, my spouse who had trained earlier as an accountant changed her career to teaching, as an honour of joining hands in the pursuit of transforming lives through education. I have been a beacon of hope and motivation to my family who has also joined my race to change humanity through education. 

All these lived experiences through the journey of life, propelled us to even study further and be life-long learners. This is a legacy that I want to leave with my children and possibly my learners at the School of Hope. My inspiration for life-long education has become infectious, and has propelled my wife to enrol for her Master degree in Education; most friends and family members have also followed suit. At school, I reflect and share my journey with learners periodically, and in so doing, I get them inspired to wanting to achieve more education-wise. Some of our learners evolve from similar homes and backgrounds like mine but are stuck in this mindset without knowing how to let loose. I have always encouraged them that if I can break free, they can as well and that there is always a small window to break free, but has to be spotted first. I encourage them to dream big and grab all opportunities with both arms and that the dream life they plan to live someday can only be actualised through education.

Why a PhD- I came from a very learned family, however, our poor background has hindered our academic progress; upon completing my Masters, I had to decide whether to progress or halt for a few years. Thereafter, I decided to further my studies because I wanted to honour my mother’s legacy; she was a teacher in her days and had wanted me to be an academician, in fact, a Professor to be precise. Coincidentally, I was nick-named “professor” at school as I have always demonstrated a creative and problem-solving mind. I have great hope that someday, this will be a lived experience and that I will be able to use my story and experience of life to encourage my learners and colleagues.

For me, I want to continue to reflect on my busy life as a father so that I can be an even better father someday.

Ade Oyewo- Current Principal and Project Manager of School of Hope.

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