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Niyi Ademoroti: See, Parenting is More Than Just Paying School Fees



Man, it’s hard to believe a lot of the toxic ideas on parenting our own parents grew up with have been passed onto us.

Yeah, this was inspired by the Wizkid story and the social media comments that have followed.

For those not in the know, the summary is: the mother of Wizkid’s first child, Oluwanishola Ogudu, shared screenshots where she wrote about just how much input Wizkid has in raising their child (very little).

He pays their son’s school fees, paid for a few vacations, clothes, shoes, and (maybe once) their rent (all of this after A LOT of reminders and begging and having family members intercede).

He spends time with the boy once in a while, whenever he’s around, hits Shola up, “I wanna see him tomorrow.” He’s so far missed all seven of the boy’s birthdays.

It’s clear he wants no personal relationship with Shola, which is fine – nothing ties them together except their shared son. Still, a little politeness wouldn’t hurt. But that’s beside the point.

The comments on social media have so far been heartbreaking. While some don’t think he’s doing enough, a majority insist he’s doing just fine. After all, he pays his son’s school fees.

It’s crazy that it’s necessary to point out that paying your son’s fees isn’t what makes you a decent father. This is not a legacy we want to pass on to the next generation: fathers as ATMs.

Too many folks have stories of absentee or emotionally distant fathers – fathers you couldn’t sit with in the living room because their presence was like a stone pressed heavy against your chest. These are fathers who when you heard they were traveling all you’d feel was relief.

See, kids also need emotional support, and it is unfair to place all of the responsibility on the mother. Clothes and shoes are good, but children outgrow them in months.

Don’t abandon the things that matter, that leave an impression. Teach your children your family history. Gist them about you growing up. Take them to the hair salon. Help them with their homework. Feed them. Parenting is way more than fulfilling financial obligations. Kids need love, they need stability, instruction, care, a whole lot of attention.

Not showing up for birthdays is inexcusable. Fathers should make time for their kids – they are one of the major reasons parents go out to work, anyway. Anyone can pay school fees. There are several people out there paying the fees of distant family members, children of friends, of people they’ve never met.

It’s important that going forward, we become better parents to our children. Let’s treat them like humans with needs. If we can make out time to hang out with friends, see our favorite shows, go to the Saturday owambes, then maybe it shouldn’t be too hard to spend time with our kids.

Please, if you want to be a part of your children’s lives when they are adults, it’ll also be nice to be there when they’re just kids.

(Also, to paraphrase a wise woman: Isn’t it a little sad that Wizkid has spent more time with Naomi Campbell than with his son this year?)

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Niyi Ademoroti is the Features Editor at BellaNaija and an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Hobart and The Republic.


  1. Sisi Dammy

    September 20, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Well said. Parenting is way more than paying fees. In the little conversations you are having with your kids, you would be surprised how this shapes their mentality. God helps us all

  2. BD

    September 20, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Gbam! I wish I could share this piece everywhere

  3. This must be said

    September 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Women, please be responsible. In this age of birth control, don’t just conceive for a man. I know that nothing is guaranteed but don’t conceive if it is not looking like the man is serious. Your child is the one that will lose.

    • didi

      September 20, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      Its this type of advice that keep destroying the lives of the children who are victims of sexual looseness if theres a word like that. So if upyour younger sister or brother is reading your advice you are saying ” you guys can keep having sex ohh so long you use condom” thats why even teenagers get pregnant because of older ones like you that misguide them. Keep your legs closed, men hold your urge because you can, the dangers of not doing that is worse than the pleasure.

    • tunmi

      September 21, 2018 at 12:36 am

      A woman can still be responsible and end up with a deadbeat for the father of her children.

      Ease up on the blamr for the woman. The man owns this one

    • didi

      September 21, 2018 at 11:45 am

      No dear i dont think so because it always ends with the woman afterall. My point is set good examples for your children by making the right decisions, our children are tired of hearing how mummy made a mistake by spreading her legs for a nobody and true a responsible woman can fall victim of a man who is actually a boy but not a woman who prayerfully chooses her man and follows Gods directions.

    • Anonymous

      September 21, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      This is judgmental and self-righteous. People make mistakes, even the one who are trying to “follow” God’s plans. That’s what makes us human, our flaws and imperfection. The thing is realizing your mistakes, learning from them and moving on. Let me tell you this again, a woman who is following God’s plan can still make mistakes and have bad judgement. Following God does not mean you will not make mistakes.

    • didi

      September 21, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Sorry dear,Thats a lie from the devil, its failure to follow Gods directives that lands you in a hot pot of soup. The fact that you see some christians make mistakes doesn’t mean following God is a PROBABILITY that it could end well or not, my dear its certain and i believe God did not lie when he said YOU SHALL BE THE HEAD and not THE TAIL, you shall be ABOVE and not beneath, but the question is will you follow through or you do half and half. The people you have ad examples are either bench warmers or they disobeyed God at a point but notwithstanding GOD still takes them back when they return. Dear GOD never fails.

    • Cocoa

      September 22, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      DIDI is right,
      the very fact that it is calssified a “MISTAKE” is evidence that it deviated from God’s plan.
      “All things work together for the good of those who love God” ROMANS 8:28
      “If you love Me obey my commandments” JOHN 14:15


      1) Become a Godly woman (obedient to God)
      2) Marry a Godly man (obedient to God)
      3) Raise Godly children. (obedient to God)


  4. demash

    September 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    great piece but men who do such are rarely appreciated in a patriarchal society as ours. While taking my son’s for immunisation, staying with them in hospital or sometimes at school events, have heard comments like “where the mama dey?”, “hmnn, superdaddy”. I ignored these until missus herself told me, “that’s all you are good for”. So I decided to tone it down, I am grateful though that I have built-up an awesome relationship with my young sons.

    • Mrs chidukane

      September 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      Don’t tone down anything. You are doing it for your kids. Nothing wrong with that. My husband does that too; hospital visits,school runs, shopping, bathing, very involved and hands on and I appreciate it. Many women don’t and part of that is jealousy because their husbands don’t do it. Part of it is because they feel you’re usurping your wife’s role,i don’t even know how its their business. Society sees hands on dads as jobless men because you can’t possibly be busy and still have time for your kids and this is pure foolishness
      Your wife may be a bit jealous because your kids may have grown more attached to you than to her or maybe she has other problems with you. Don’t let society dictate how you parent your kids.

    • Cocoa

      September 20, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      “Thats all you are good for” sounds to me like a woman who has lost respect for you…sounds like a nollywood movie line.
      I could never imagine saying that to ANYONE…period.

      Now the question is why has she lost respect for you?
      ….are you also upholding your financial responsibilities?

      See it can’t be one or the other. You cant be be there emotionally but not financially.

      Ladies can I just say breaking down a man won’t give you the results you want. Emasculating a man is just a NO NO. You can’t win like this.

      Speak Life, encourage. Say the things you appreciate about him then use wisdom to discuss what you guys can accomplish TOGETHER.

      I just wish people would get on God’s plan…it’s so rewarding.

  5. Wow

    September 20, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    So so true! It’s important to also note that this generation of children is different from our parents. These kids take these things to heart. They want both their dad and mom in their lives. Fathers have to learn to love their kids more than they hate/dislike their children’s mothers. Once that love supercedes the hate/dislike, then you’re more present in your child’s life. Birthdays, sports games, graduations and everything else in between.

    • didi

      September 20, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      God bless your generation and the womb that birth you. Our children need BOTH mama and papa, people keep saying they have seen children from single parents doing very well, ARE YOU THERE AT NIGHT WHEN THEY CRY? Have you reached their soul to know if the vacuum created by that absence is filled? Please let someone raised by a single parent tell me he/she never felt the pain of the absent parent at all.

    • Cocoa

      September 21, 2018 at 12:05 am

      I dont actually believe this generation of kids are diferent from previous. Kids are kids across the board. All aware of abandonment and hostile living conditions.

      The only difference our parents generation had to bottle everything up bevause to speak was to get into more trouble…..but they haven’t arrived at adulthood with any less trauma.

      And the cycle continues because of that.. some go on to become parents just as distant as theirs were (no hugs, no kisses, no conversation or enjoying each others company) others go on to overcompensate ( going in debt to get the kid everything they never had..clothes, trips, lack of discipline)

    • tunmi

      September 21, 2018 at 12:38 am

      I don’t think it’s a generational thing. It’s just a human thing. Shall we recall many of the stories people have written to BN or people have posted in the comments about absentee parents?

      Or even the ones in your family?

  6. Na

    September 20, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I believe we can’t have it all except in rare cases. Busy executives don’t get to spend enough time with their children who stay under the same roof with them. All in the name of trying to provide this good life everybody craves for. How Wizkid own go come be? Make no mistakes I am no fan. But I wonder if he were broke and without this fame, would his attention still be required??

  7. Bowl

    September 20, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    I actually think raising children is the most tasking human endeavor. Before I continue, every man who visits this blog , COMMON ON, GIVE IT UP FOR YOUR MOTHERS. !
    These women fought not only with your fathers ‘ present absenteeism'( under the comfortable padding of patriarchy ) but also your fiery dragon personas to bring you here !
    Commanding a platoon of a million soldiers is easier than raising. five babies. You know why the men of a platoon are set by default to comply and leadership here is tilted towards dehumanization but not so your children.
    Your children will try every fiber of your constitution and you are still required to spring back into form for sakes !
    Women , every time a man proposes to you , pls ask whether he will be available to raise your kids with you before you accept.

    • didi

      September 20, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      This is why am soooooo angry why a woman who knows how challenging it was for her mom to sacrifice ALL to raise her would see nothing wrong in sleeping around and birthing babies that have no responsible fathers, like you didnt see the red light that he is immature and senseless. Even if he is sensible ehh a responsible man with good father qualities will wait until he is ready to start a life with you by meeting your parents.

  8. Bowl

    September 20, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I meant fir their sake

  9. Lilo

    September 20, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Abeg. Let’s start with school fees first . Especially these baby daddy entities. Shizzy, you dey hear me?

  10. Ozone

    September 21, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Hi Guys,
    Take a chill on this issue with this woman.
    How does a girl at 20 plan to a baby Mama?
    These things happen to the best of us.
    Do you know what it means for a man to call a Woman a ‘money hungry hoe’? It is the height of disrespect that should not be tolerated among the living.

    This women bashing women in our society is annoying. Many of you have been having unprotected sex and are fortunate to not get pregnant or decided to abort. Do you know the level of poor sex education out there.

    Please do not criticize her choice. It is important to address the issue at hand. The father of her child is not caring for his child and he is also treating her badly. What happened to human dignity and respect? If he doesn’t want the child he should denounce them and let the mother trains him with what she has. It is unfair to have standards coupled with the woman trying to keep-up with your profile that you now ridicule her. It is a thing of honour to spend on your family and he will realise it later in life once he is old and grey. Everything they are asking he can afford. If he can’t the SOLA I read about will also soak garri with him.

    It is another level of maturity to know the reason for God’s blessings. He will understand with time. As a busy dad, I sometimes drop money for the home 6 months upfront. Why must the mother of your child contact you for every Bill? Abegi!

    My father was rich but abandoned us. My mum raised us with the little she had since she wasn’t make us live according to his profile. We are all doing well and he wants a reunion and has been begging us for years in tears.

    • Cocoa

      September 22, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      i agree with everything you have said OZONE. However i dont think the commenters above are bashing Shola….they are RINGING THE ALARM for those who arent in this situation yet….who are still going against GODS PLAN and fornicating…..they are telling them that a word is enough for the wise.

      All this we are only human talk wont get anyone anywhere fast.
      We must change the narrative. You can learn from other people’s mistakes…you dont have to experience it to know its a mistake.

      STOP SLEEPING WITH THESE BOYS. They cant give you what they themselves dont have.
      STOP expecting LOVE from a boy who has a heart of stone (because he does not know God and has not been renewed nor transformed by the Holy Spirit). Having a child nor getting married WONT CHANGE HIM.

  11. nekene

    September 21, 2018 at 11:57 am

    I believe that as a father, your role is not just to pay school fees. you need to have a bond with your children. you are not forbidden to know their favorite subjects, favorite foods, their friends and every thing about your children generally. my husband is a complete dead beat. his children call him uncle because he has zero presence in their lives. he breathes and lives in the church, spends his money pleasing the public while I feed, clothe, pay school fees, health care…etc. it’s just tiring.

    • curous

      September 21, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Im honestly perplexed, why is he still your husband? like you can’t take pride in having someone so irresponsible to call a husband and father.

    • Ovine

      September 26, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      This is a very common mistake among clergy and some christian fathers. After your relationship with God, your wife and children come next, not church attendance/activity.

  12. ninja

    September 21, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    “Too many folks have stories of absentee or emotionally distant fathers – fathers you couldn’t sit with in the living room because their presence was like a stone pressed heavy against your chest. These are fathers who when you heard they were traveling all you’d feel was relief”

    my childhood…. phewww thank God its all in the past now.. I hope I do a better job with my future husband and kids

  13. TheRealist

    September 22, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Yes, he should do more, but for folks can sniffing at paying school fees and rent…
    Wait until you have a parent who cannot (or choose not to) pay school fees or rent.

    PS: Btw, it’s irrelevant how much time he spends with Naomi (which is business) as opposed to the time he spends with Tife (which is very personal). It’s about QUALITY and not quantity. After all, there are parents (male and female) physically there but absent in the real sense, not to mention those abusing and torturing their kids. But Wizzy, at least show up for birthdays dude!

    • Cocoa

      September 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      My dear REALIST, You expect so little .

  14. TheRealist

    September 23, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Madam Cocoa-God, actually I expect nothing but still get EVERYTHING!

    Unlike some of you neither my happiness nor contentment is dependent upon others. Nonetheless, as you have been previously enlightened (when you were babbling on about the necessity of two parent), 1 good parent is many times better than 2 bad ones. Many on BN berated Davido during that Dele Momodu/Sophia, today he is being held up by some as something of a role-model BabyDaddy. I realize that your inherently JUDGMENTAL nature would not allow to fully grasp reality, but the rest of us fully recognize the immutable human capacity for growth and change (something that you should have experienced in the course of finding your God – albeit it appears that humility is not an ethos of your God worship).

    Again, like I previously said Wizkid should be doing much more but folks should not sniff at paying school fees and rent, and such other material contributions. The good is always better than the bad, and perfection should never ever be an enemy of the good. One would think that someone who blathers on about God at every turn and puts on such a public show of her supposed religiosity would at least grasp that basic concept of life. SMH

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