Shaffie Weru may be famously known as the king of party animals but he is just as fierce when it comes to his relationship with his tots.
The KISS 100 Breakfast host is the father to two girls, Milan with singer and former radio host Debbie Asila and Mia, his daughter with a former long-time partner. He spoke to Parents Magazine about Fatherhood
P: How would you describe fatherhood?
Shaffie: Challenging. It’s responsibilities upon responsibilities and spending money! The fun stops when you realise you have someone wholly dependant on you. The focus shifts from your girlfriend or better half. You now have a third wheel.
P: (Laughing), Did you just describe your kids as third wheels?
Shaffie; (Smiling), Well in the best way possible! But fatherhood is not just glitz and glam, walking around carrying babies and so on. It’s complicated.
P: You have Instagram pages for your girls. What’s that about?
Shaffie: They are actually on my page. They don’t have individual pages. It would be a lie for me, if I didn’t show the dad side of me and my babies. It’s also to encourage dads out there who are not in normal/formal/marriage type of relationships, but are co-parenting with their partner.
P:Do you remember how it felt like the first time you learnt you were a dad?
Shaffie: I was 23, scared, confused and overwhelmed. I wanted to retreat. All that changed however when I held Milan. The partying had to stop, especially the first year. Not that I was sleeping to begin with. Now I was just not sleeping, but because of different circumstances. Debbie also suffered from post-partum depression for about a month. She was depressed, didn’t want to eat or go out. I didn’t know what was going on and didn’t understand what she was going through. It helped that our moms were there. When Mia came along, I was ready, in every sense of the word.
P:Is co-parenting easy?
Shaffie: It’s challenging because the law tends to recognise the bond between a mother and a child more. But I do my part. I pick Mia from school and get her on the weekends. Whenever I miss her I can pass by and see her. But sometimes there are things you miss, you know, like noise around the house, hearing your child run around. Just knowing that your kids are around. Not having that is challenging. However, I can’t complain.
P: How do you maximize time with your kids while keeping boundaries between you and their mums?
Shaffie: It’s simply a matter of having conversations between each mum and I. At the end of the day we all have our own lives. However, it should not interfere with how we raise our children.
P: What does ‘interference’ mean?
Shaffie: As long as I have breath in me, I will not let another man raise my children. That’s my job. I look after them. It’s my responsibility. So she (they) can date and so on but keep it private from the kids. On the flipside, I haven’t moved in with any woman. The only woman allowed for sleep-overs are my daughters, a nanny and the cook.
P: Would you like to have other kids?
Shaffie: I have good relationships with all my kids, including a bonus son I got when Mia’s mum and I got into a relationship eight years ao. I’ve been his father figure all through and even took him for his cut in 2017. However, I’ve had two long term relationships. After Mia’s mum and I split, I decided I’m not getting a baby with any other woman and I’m not getting into a relationship just yet.
How do you combine your exuberant personality with the subtleties of parenting?
Shaffie: I teach my children to be free thinkers just as I am, but not to step on other people’s toes. I’m not condescending or a hater. I just don’t pay attention to negative vibes and enjoy my life. I’m just honest about my opinions. Sometimes people may not like them but I speak my truth.
P: What are the biggest lessons you’d like to impart on your kids?
Shaffie: To have high self-esteem, love themselves and be respectful. The world is evil and I don’t hide that fact from them. I teach them to understand the value of money. Milan has an allowance and she plans for it. Anything on top of that, is like a tender. She needs to apply for it and justify. I know I’ll not be there for them always so even the education I’ve invested in for them, is really heavy on life skills, not just books. They’re allowed to ask questions and I apologise to them when I’m wrong or they call me out.