How Not To Be A Father: The Femi Fani-Kayode Example

imageRecently, Temitope Fani-Kayode, a financial communications consultant, who works as a strategic consultant and specialises in corporate, media and political communications got married to Jaiye JK Randle, an investment banker. Temitope, 25, attended School of Oriental and African Studies for her first degree and proceeded to do a master’s degree in Marketing Communications at Westminster Business School. Jaiye, 33, studied French and Economics at Nottingham University. Their journey to holy matrimony began with an introduction held on January 22, 2015 at Temitope’s stepfather’s residence in Ikoyi- the man who has lovingly played a fatherly role in their lives. Then the lavish society traditional wedding followed and the church wedding in London later held in London. But sadly, the bride’s father, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, was not seen near the wedding just as he was absent from the Lagos edition of it.

The proud mother of the day
Yemisi Wada is the bride’s mother. The mother of five recently clocked 50. She’s a well-grounded and shrewd business woman, the founder of a non-governmental organisation, Haven for the Nigerian Child Foundation. She also produces Lasgidi Cops Serious Crimes series. She’s happily married to Dahiru Wada, the son of Inua Wada, a former minister in the First Republic. Dahiru is a director at Movido Oil. Yemisi’s other daughters with Femi Fani Kayode (FFK) are Tumininu, 21 and Tobiloba, 23 both of whom just graduated from Kings College London and SOAS London on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Yemisi Wada
Yemisi Wada

Roll Call of VIPs in attendance
Truth be told, I was flabbergasted at the caliber of people who attended the event. These dignitaries are movers and shakers of the country I’d not seen in a long while- it’s been rhino and donkey ages since they’ve been seen at society events. I sighted Otunba Adekunle Ojora and wife Ojuolape; Chief Sunny Asemota; Pa Coker, Folly Cokers father; Chief Olopade; Otunba Subomi Balogun and wife Olori Adetutu; Dame Abimbola Fashola; Chief Nike Akande; Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti; Maiden Ibru; Opral Benson; Ajoke Mohammed; Folorunsho Alakija; the Awogboros; Esther Benson; Richard Akerele; Segun Aganga; Gbemi Shasore; Eku Abudu; the list goes on and on.

Whispers at the wedding
As a society reporter, your news antenna is on all the time. It’s an open secret though, but I heard two pretty women, in aso ebi, but whose names or identities I honestly don’t know, whispering and, of course, the topic was how irresponsible Femi Fani-Kayode is. I am only repeating every word from what l heard. They even mentioned how Yemisi’s mother came to relocate her daughter after FFK punched her almost to coma during her third pregnancy. I listened to these women discuss nonstop over glasses of choice drinks.
All of Fani-Kayode’s grown children are girls, but who will take care of him when he is old and fragile? Will all these chocomilo, disgustingly bleached women be there to take care of him? He had better reconcile with his daughters. And, that was when I knew that his first daughter from his first marriage, Folake attended and also participated in the aso ebi train. Why does he always transfer aggression meant for his wives to the innocent kids? You can hate their mothers forever; it’s a choice, but what kind of man hates his children?
If he was a habitual absentee father who never assisted their mothers to take care of these children, he needs to make peace and apologize to his children.
Yemisi’s friends are saying that Femi should be ashamed of himself as a father because he has not been taking care of his children ever since he parted ways with their mother. They think if he’s having issues with his ex-wife, he should not use it to punish his daughter and deny her the joy of a wedding day. They said that Femi should apologise to his daughter, Temitope for deliberately failing in his fatherly responsibilities of paying her school fees and feeding her over the years. They said he should go on his knees and thank Yemisi for being a mother and father to his children for so many years.

How not to be a father like Femi Fani-Kayode
No doubt Femi Fani-Kayode is handsome and a power dresser. He can also pass for a prince charming, but he is a huge combo of drama and confusion. I really would not have bothered to mention or talk about it if he had kept his mouth shut for once. It’s not all the time journalists ask you questions about your private life that you respond, especially on sensitive issues about your children whom you don’t know how they eat or live. If he was ever asked, the simple answer should have been “Thanks my friend but no comments, this is a family affair or it is private.”
Instead the loquacious Femi Fani Kayode must air his views even when it is not necessary. When asked about his daughter’s wedding, his response was so uncalled for; “I won’t attend the wedding, I’m not aware of it and I did not give my approval.” This was after he was declared free of the nagging EFCC charges against him.
I don’t know how I will feel if my father or mother is alive, hale and hearty and wouldn’t attend my wedding. But what if it is in a situation where I have no relationship with any of them? What if he or she never cared for me as a parent and someone else played their roles in my life? Femi Fani-Kayode’s drama with his daughters has some biblical connotations; it reminds of me of the story of Esau and Jacob in the book of Genesis chapter 25, verse 29 to 34. It’s like FFK blatantly sold his birthright to another man Dahiru Wada, who played a fatherly role to his daughters.
His daughter, Temitope’s wedding day should have been a great day of honour to him, to give her hand out in marriage. That is the prayer of every parent and I wonder how he deliberately missed such an honour
How did he sleep that night on his daughter’s wedding day? How did he miss what is so important to every father? Or, is he acting up as a man of steel? So, is he saying if his grand children arrive he will still not attend their christening, let alone see them? I don’t think it is late for him to make amend, I think there’s still time to descend from his high horse, and it is not late at all for reconciliation either.
Even all the men he has assaulted verbally like Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who is probably not with the mother of his daughter anymore, walked his daughter to the aisle. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo despite his tumultuous relationship with some of his children, when they got married, he played his fatherly role by walking them down the aisle. He approved and blessed the union; even when Chief Lai Mohammed’s kids got married, no one else on earth could play a fatherly role at the wedding. The list goes on and on; even the most irresponsible fathers on earth always extend their support and approval.
This is actually none of my business but as a society reporter, when issues like these come to the fore, one gets a bit nosy by listening to the jives or witnessing the occasion. I mean the feud between FFk and his ex- wife, Yemisi, may be resolved or remain eternally. People who knew them as young couples still have memories of how the marriage finally crashed. It was alleged that he was a good woman-beater. His marriages have been a flick of horror acts and scenes. And once the marriage is dissolved, he becomes uninterested in the children’s welfare and, from that point on, the women become the father and mother to the children.
It’s also alleged he does not know how these children fare, which school they attend or what course they study in the university. It is also said that even when the girls try to reach out to him, they always met a brick wall in the gate of FFK’s boulevard. Yes, I was not there to witness this, but when a story is repeatedly told by ninety five per cent of people, there must be a considerable iota of truth dangling somewhere.
Or could it be that Yemisi is still bitter with him for the maltreatment and negligence he showed her and the three pretty girls? Temitope looks so much like her father; all the girls look like him, but only have their mother’s slim stature. And in order to get back at him for being an absentee father, she vowed he will never give them out on their wedding days. Who needs his jankara market blessings or approval anyway? But the Yemisi Wada I know or the one people have talked about is the humble and amiable, civilized daughter of Justice Adeniyi; apparently, she and FFK had a good pedigree so what could have gone wrong?
The Former Minister of Aviation and The PDP Presidential Campaign former Spokesman, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode is only noted in the country for his comments on every issue whether it is necessary for him to speak or not. He is alleged to be a specialist at propaganda.
If he is not making controversial contributions to economic and security discourse in the polity, he is fighting a former friend or an ex-lover, like he did with Bianca Onoh, with whom he practiced the ‘Kiss and Tell’ game. The list goes on about the public fights with some of his women. He declared his love for Igbo women, after exposing the ones he had affairs with. A lot of times his exchange and ranting with his ex-lovers appear lame and childish.
I just wish he would change his ways or is it too late? He has three more grown daughters that he can happily walk up to the aisle, it is never too late to reconcile with your children even if you hate their mothers with a passion. These daughters of yours I saw are extremely respectful and can forgive you even if you’re conspicuously absent in their lives.
So, is FFK saying if Temi gives him his first grandchild, he still wouldn’t attend the christening? I really hope not. I wish and pray he makes up with his children fast; there is no pride or arrogance in it.

A wise crack
This shouldn’t be my business though, but I want to chip in this and I stand to be corrected in any case. I think when FFK gets old, all these chocomilo and peperempe girls will not be there to care for him anymore. But in rain and shine, Folake his first daughter from the first marriage, the newly married Temitope, Tumininu and Tobiloba and maybe more children on the way, since he is still planning to marry again, will give him shoulders to lean on. Uncle Femi, just think about this, please reconcile with all your children. I have interacted with your daughters; they are great children, well behaved with sweet souls, jovial and very loving. Let me resound it, these girls are going to hear your voice when you are senile and fragile when there will be no strength to rock like you did in your hay days.
At the wedding scene now, since he openly told the world he did not approve of the wedding, I became extremely curious to see if the wedding was going to be a flop. I was ready for the owanbe and wanted to roll on the dance floor if possible. My favorite parties are wedding parties, that’s where I do my own club dancing.
At this wedding I decided not to sit in the crowd like a typical guest, I sat close to the entrance and monitored everybody as they went in and out. This was where my antenna needed to be on duty. I wanted to see who the guests would be, how graceful and colourful the event would be and, to see if some of FFK’s friends would attend.

A wish for the future
If my daughter brought home a man with all the scandalous and repulsive stories that have trailed a man like Femi Fani-Kayode or is it now Oluwakayode, I know he changed his name after his EFCC victory case, the truth is that I will collapse. My daughter must not suffer what the previous women and children have suffered. Sen. Dino Melaye is another man whose stories with women cringes the spin. These men are intelligent, these men are popular, these men love to live in the corridors of power forever, if possible die there, which is not a bad ambition for the over ambitious man.
His life, the way he treats his women and kids are no longer news. I heard he’s sweet, romantic and showers his women with love and exotic gifts. Any woman will easily fall for such men, including me because every woman loves to be pampered.

By Azuka Ogujiuba
First published in Thisday on Saturday, August 1, 2015

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