WHOLENESS ISSUE 06

LEADERSHIP in the face of FATHERHOOD

Families are spending more time together as social distancing is ensuring many people stay indoors and the wellbeing of the family unit in a crisis situation faces men across the world. Leadership in the home has been called to action, in ensuring the total wellbeing of everyone under that roof.

Deji Irawo

As I pondered on the concept of leadership from a male perspective, our world began experiencing one of the worst crises ever faced by humanity in history. Covid 19 is presently ravaging the world and turning our communities into ghost towns, leaving thousands of deaths in its trail. Anybody in leadership right now is grappling with uncertainty and crisis management at a whole new level.

Governments, organizations, families and every kind of human expression are looking for answers at this trying time with many not making much headway in the wake of this global pandemic. Leadership at every level has to step up to the plate and provide safety, courage, assurance, direction and hope to their constituency at this time.

Africa as a continent is also having its fair share of the covid 19 pandemic, entire countries, communities, organizations etc. are on lock down running into weeks now, as our ability to create a robust response across Africa is being observed by the world.

Aside from casting a vision and leading followers to its fulfillment, leaders at any level basically protect and serve people. These form the core responsibilities of leadership anywhere in the world. Observers are examining previous structures and systems in view of capacity and response ability, the flexibility of creating new policy frameworks to deal with new realities and in some cases a complete overhaul of existing systems and infrastructure. The lives of millions of people around the world are in the hands of the next decisions of leaders, that’s a very huge responsibility every leader globally is faced with now.

In view of the global lock down and the restrictions on movement that have occasioned millions working from home, the spotlight has been placed on families globally. The evacuation of citizens back to their countries of origin is ensuring families globally are connecting, reuniting and communicating at a whole new level. Technology is helping people revive the community spirit in Africa aside from various initiatives to ensure food and basic supplies get to every nook and cranny at this time.

Families are spending more time together as social distancing is ensuring many people stay indoors and the wellbeing of the family unit in a crisis situation faces men across the world. Leadership in the home has been called to action, in ensuring the total wellbeing of everyone under that roof. The realities range from educating the children about Covid 19 and ensuring proper hygiene, education options for the children at this time, ensuring food and basic supplies for the family, safety and security, entertainment for the family, discipline and the entire realities of family life.

The reality is men can’t presently hide behind the pressure of work and many are bored, taking to social media to vent or find entertainment. There is a lot of life auditing going on and areas of neglect or challenge as slipping out into the open. We are having to confront issues swept under the carpet for years. SWOT like analysis is happening in every area of family life and we are dealing with the good, the bad and ugly. I had a recent conversation with officials of the Lagos state domestic violence team and they confirmed a spike in domestic and sexual violence perpetrated by men.

Many marriages have further cracked this season as this lock down is revealing challenges that were hidden behind “activity”.  Aside from creating fun times with the children, many men are struggling to bond with their families as deficiencies in relational skills have been glaringly exposed.

Our socialization of men to have poor relational skills is staring us in the face. The world seems to be realizing the need for human connections in the wake of this pandemic, and all many men can say is that they are “bored” instead of using the opportunity to audit relationships, make adjustments, connect at a new level, confront real issues and build new foundations. This is the result we as a society get when we raise men to be “human doings and not human beings”.  Our leadership capacity at home is being tested at unprecedented levels and while some are doing well, the overwhelming data reveals there is so much room for improvement. It’s an exciting experience as a men-resource person to watch men try to adjust to these new realities and make needed changes.

Again we are faced with the not so good job we did bringing up boys not as leaders who protect and serve but masters who bully and must be served, raping and molesting those we are to protect and making decisions without due consideration for those we lead in our homes. I hope we can get men across Africa to honestly ask the right questions this season and see areas of correction and adjustments.

I honestly join the world to pray this is over soon so we can resume life as we know it but armed with the understanding as men that family is the bedrock of society and how we lead at home matters. I hope every man takes time to have real conversations with his wife, daughter and son with the hope of knowing them better, bonding and feedback that is valuable to raising a new generation.

Covid-19 has taught us family is the safest place in the world and it’s a huge responsibility to lead one. So as a man, take out time to rediscover you, audit your life and make peace with yourself and the world around you. Begin a process that takes you towards the kind of man you want to be in the near future, get valuable feedback from your family that helps you make necessary adjustments in areas of your life and let’s give our world the kind of men it deserves.

About the author

Omooba Deji Irawo

Omooba Deji Irawo

Deji is a Multi-channel media executive with almost 3 decades
experience in the TV broadcast industry, he is also a male resource person with focus on emotional male dysfunction. He is involved in male advocacy in collaboration with various men networks in Nigeria. Deji writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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1 Comment

  • I’ve seen a great male speaker coming after Papa Idahosa’s exit. He is Deji. He speaks with passion to issues and doesn’t paint nothing to make meaning of every truth. I enjoy listening to him.