4 Nigerian Men Tell Us What It Is Like Being A Single Dad

April 26, 2021

I am personally very curious about what the lives of men whose realities are underrepresented look like. Over the weekend, I had a conversation with a friend about his brother who was a single dad and it made me wonder about what it is like being a single dad as a Nigerian man living in Nigeria. So I spoke to him and to a few people he knew who are single dads about what being a single dad in Nigeria is like, and I found their stories fascinating.

Here are some of the most interesting stories:

Dare, 36.

My wife died giving birth to our second baby. She lost a lot of blood and before the doctors could even do anything, she was gone. For the first few months, after she was gone, my kids had to stay with my sister because I was in mourning. My sister was the one who took care of my newborn baby with the doctor and everything, I was just out of it. But I told myself that I couldn’t shirk my duties as a dad. My kids were in mourning too and needed me. So after we buried my wife I took my kids back. It’s been three years now and I have been their father and mother. I have had to make some decisions I wouldn’t have made otherwise: limiting how much I travelled, how much I stayed out, sometimes even some job opportunities. I have no regrets because my kids will grow up in a house with an involved parent and as long as I am alive, I’ll be both father and mother.

Tobi, 40.

My wife and I divorced and went our separate ways a few years ago and I was insistent on keeping my son – we have just one kid. She wanted to but I made it clear that I wasn’t budging on that. I wanted to be involved in my child’s life and she could do whatever with hers, she eventually gave in. She visits monthly but I don’t care about whether she does or not. I have a horrible relationship with my father and I can’t let history repeat itself. Being a single dad harms dating opportunities because when women see that you have a kid they feel like the other woman can always just come back but I am willing to risk never dating anyone else.

Gerald, 39.

My wife and I split when my kids were five and eight and after splitting, we – me and my kids – relocated to Lagos from Abuja. My life mostly reverted to what it was before I married but with kids. I have help from my family but I try to be as involved as possible in my kids’ lives. I date regularly and still try to be a good dad.

Ogranya, 33.

I had a kid when I was in my first year of university with a girl I had been dating then. My mum took care of the baby till I finished university. I did have a level of misplaced resentment for my daughter when she was born but that is gone, her existence is the best thing in the world to me. I hired help to look after her when I am not around and to deal with the messier things but I am otherwise very involved with my daughter’s life. Whenever I show people my eleven-year-old daughter they almost choke and that is amusing to me. I’ll likely get married in the future but I don’t see myself having any other kids. My life is perfect with just my daughter who is almost my height now.

  • Names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

November 6, 2020

It’s true that Nigerian mums have the best retorts and nothing can take this superpower away from them. But dads are not entirely bad in this area. I have compiled some of the things you likely heard your dad say in different situations in this post. 1. You and your mother should deal with it […]

depression relationships
June 26, 2021

For men suffering from depression, there’s no end to the things it steals from them. Joy, time and fulfilment are only a few. In addition to this, it also takes away your ability to build and enjoy meaningful relationships. I spoke to six men about how depression affects their relationships. Caleb With my friends, there’s […]

June 22, 2021

We’ve told you what your footwear says about you. Now listen, here’s what the pants you wear say about you.  Did we lie?. 1. These… We need to address the most pertinent issues first. If you wear these pants, we have a simple message for you: Stop doing fraud. Have you ever met a yahoo […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

More from Man Dem

June 16, 2022

Don’t even think of sending that weak “I love you dad” text for Father’s Day this year. We’ve made a list of gifts you can get your dad even if you’re broke. Some of them even cost nothing.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X