Obinna Ike Igwe is popular for his mimic of the Nigerian accent. The comedian, emcee and upcoming musician, shares his experience raising his four children
How many children do you have?
I have four little angels. One boy, Luironne Thompson six, and three girls, Brianna Magana, five years, Laleiti Adason three years and Damilola Celine two months.
They have different mothers. How do you parent them?
I live with the children. But they also visit their mothers. They have the right to stay with them if they want. We do co-parenting, but allow me not to go into the details. At the end of the day, it is about ensuring they are comfortable.
How do you spend time with them?
The moment I enter the house, they never let me rest. They jump on me, remove my shoes, show me their homework and so on. We also watch movies together.
And they like taking my food, even if it is the same as theirs, it’s like they feel mine tastes better. And when I have time on the weekends, I take them out for a fun day.
As a parent who is in the limelight and has a busy schedule, how do you strike balance between work and family?
My celebrity status ends the minute I enter the door, I become ‘dad’. My focus changes to them until I leave or after they go to bed. My children don’t even know I’m famous and I don’t think they really care. However, they love my songs. My son sings them word for word.
What’s the challenging part when raising children?
My hardest part is homework. Sometimes they won’t do homework until I get home.
And when I assist, it’s confusion galore, saying that is not how their teacher taught them.
Also, my children are a generous lot and they like sharing their things.
So, they feel bad when other children do not share and it is hard to explain to children why the other children are the way they are.
Do you discipline them?
Discipline is paramount. My dad was like a lion, when he entered the house, we would all get out of his way as much as we could. But I don’t want to be that kind of dad to my children. I don’t want them to fear me.
I try to be modest and fun, but still I use a cane from time to time as the Bible says. How I discipline and relate with them depends on what my parents did that I liked or loathed.
What are some of your proudest moments as a father?
When I went for a parents meeting at my son’s school and he surprised me by getting on stage and recited a poem infusing all the features and facial expressions.
I felt like this little guy has taken so much from me. I beamed with pride. Also there was also a time Ada really wanted to go to school but she was still young. So, this day I went to pick Luironne with Ada and she entered the classroom and sat on the desk like a big girl. It was funny.
Your advice to parents who are in the limelight and are raising children?
Be a good parent. That is simply what makes your children love, respect and adore you.