What We Learned From These Father Figures -- What’s Precious to Them and How They Show It

For our Father’s Day Campaign, Dinobi asked 17 fathers and father figures what differs them from the stereotypes of most men. We asked them to share something special about themselves, something they are proud of. These answers are inspiring and encouraging, and they help us find hope in a time where anger and despair seem to be too overpowering. 

On Being the Best Authentic Self:

My humbleness are precious to me because it is the opposite of anger. I don’t want to be angry all the time. If you are angry all the time you can’t understand things.   --Thadius

What makes me different from other people is that I try to be consistent. Now we have a lot of people trying to be one self for this group of people and another self to others, but I want to be real, authentic, and consistent. -- Boyede Sobitan

One thing that makes me different is probably that I’m super big in my faith. There was a point in time where men in the church weren’t that popular so I tried to hide it. But now I’m super open and vocal about it. I post it on social media and I am not ashamed about the God I worship. I want people to know that I might look tough on the outside but I am also really sensitive, I also laugh and cry.  -- Robert Carter

Robert & Family

Something that makes me different is that I know when it’s okay to embrace a certain feeling about something and be vulnerable. Once I went to a buffet with my dad and our conversation turned more personal as we were sharing life experiences. At that moment we paused and looked at each other and smiled. We just stopped to embrace that moment and how special it was. It was so nice to express our respect and deep love for each other. I love how that moment created a safe space for both of us as father and son, friends, and just as human beings.  -- Josh Taylor

It’s hard for men to be in touch with emotions in this time of the day, but I am a man who is not afraid to cry or to ask for help, to have emotions when things trouble me or go out of my control. I’m not afraid to pray, call on my Lord to save me. That sets me apart from men today who are stuck on being rough. I also teach my children how to properly show, check and safeguard their emotions. -- Joel Swan

Joel & Family

 

On Social Awareness:

It’s important to realize that there needs to be social awareness to build up community - it’s not just about your family. You should add value to your home and the world. What's precious to me is a self that is genuine, caring, compassionate for others; a self that is able to identify with other people, recognize where they are coming from and find what we have in common - in the end we are all human. My son plays football and he is always in the predominant lead. I always try to get him out there and make sure he knows all the people around him. I tell him that the kids he meets don’t all come from the same background but he has to recognize who they are as a person before judging what they have. I play a bit of football so their coach asked me to provide some guidance to the team, and I provided direction not just to my son but to other people as well. It is very important for me to take care of everyone, and not just my own child. Even when my son was sick, I still went to practice and the kids gained a different level of respect for me, because they know that I’m not just there for my son, but for all of them as well. I love adding value to these young people’s lives and telling them that “hey, I got your back”. Amidst current events, I also try to educate my son about how feelings of pain and rage are valid, but we should still be doing something and adding value to the community - whether it’s planting some trees or bushes in the front, or taking out the garbage for both buildings.  -- Christopher Coutee

Christopher & Family

On Defeating Stereotypes

There is a stereotype that men don’t do a lot of domestic duties in the house. But I cook for my family, I give my daughter a bath and put her to sleep. I am a very active father. There is a portrayal of men bringing back the bacon for women to cook, but this is the 21st century and I’m glad to see this starting to go away.  -- Ryan McCree

What differs me from the stereotype of men is perhaps the fact that I always try to be present, and that is easier for me since I work from home. This means if my girls are on the stage, I will definitely be there for them. I want to provide them with what I didn’t receive from my dad, and sometimes it is difficult to do so because I don’t have an example. But I try not to repeat the things that affected me.  -- Dominic Jean-Baptiste

Dominic & Family

I’m 43 and I grew up in the 80s. I think there is a machismo factor that men feel the need to portray. Having daughters isn’t about expressing that type of persona.  It’s about educating them on what it means to be kind. I also want to demonstrate that it’s okay to be vulnerable, especially in times like today.  -- Trey Berre

I’m really domestic, not in the sense of a stay-at-home dad, but just super involved in the household. “You really make things beautiful”, my wife always says. Part of my role in our relationship in the household is to beautify things.  -- Augustine Emuwa 

Something special about me is that I am really interested in food and I devote myself to making the best children’s meal. I love embarking on culinary adventures and my favorite channel is all culinary stuff. I make chicken fingers for my children and I’ve made a really good bread pudding. The kids also really like my spaghetti.  -- Yaw

Yaw & Family

Just as Yaw said - "As for what distinguishes me from the stereotypes of other guys, I don't think I am necessarily different, but at the same time everyone is a bit different from each other. Stereotypes are things that we are told to believe but everybody’s different. People are different. Dads are different." - It's important to realize that everyone is different, but also see what we have in common.

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