Delta State-based cleric, Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin, shares his fatherhood experience with OLUSHOLA RICKETTS
How would you describe fatherhood?
As a father of four girls, the experience is exciting and I try to play my fatherly role to my children. I am also expecting another baby at the moment. When you have a family, you have to take care of them and show them love. But my father married many wives and had other women. He gave birth to about 62 children; I don’t know my position.
Were you as comfortable as you are now when you started a family?
Everyone knows that I had my first child with another woman and not my present wife. The first woman left me, but I was yet a man of God then.
How did you meet your wife?
I met her in my village, Ojobo, in Delta State. I saw that she was special. She gave me a tough time while trying to convince her, but today, she is happy she gave me a chance. She always tells me that she would have regretted it if she didn’t marry me.
How did you feel the first time you held your child?
For me, getting married and having my first child were the happiest moments of my life. I was very excited on the day I paid my wife’s bride price.
Do you still desire to have a child?
Yes, I still desire. But it is God who gives babies and the will of God supersedes the will of men. While having my children, I was never concerned about their gender. I didn’t get worried, as God gave us His wish.
Do you use the cane on your children?
Whenever my children offend me, I hand them over to my wife. As a father, I don’t beat my girls but my wife does. I love them so much. I cannot imagine myself beating them. There are times my wife disciplines them and I find it hard to ignore it. Whenever I cannot take it anymore, I try to caution her.
Did your father use the cane on you?
Yes, my father beat me a lot. Growing up, I knew I couldn’t do certain things without being beaten and I tried to avoid it. I am different from my father; he was not a man of God but I am.
How do you reward your children whenever they impress you?
I do nothing much but to make them happy as a father. I take them out for shopping or give them money to get whatever they want when they perform well in school.
How have you been able to combine your role as a cleric and obligations as a father?
I try to stay with my family, but I don’t always have the time because the work I’m doing is large. But my children are well behaved. They try as much as possible to follow my instructions and they understand the nature of my job.
What do your children call you at home?
My children call me daddy, but once in a while, they call me prophet.
What did you learn from your father that helped in training your children?
My father died at the age of 84, but my mother is still alive; she is 94 now. Though he was not able to send me to a university, my father loved me a lot and I have shown that to my children. I do not blame him for not sending me to school; I told you earlier that he had many children.
What are the challenges you face as a father?
I only have one challenge and it is because of my need to do my duties to God. I always wish I could spend more time with my children, but I have a large ministry I need to carter for. I have helped many people and that is my hallmark because I will fall ill if I don’t help people. God has built it in me that I must help people regularly. I have an office where I take care of widows and the needy.
Have you ever been in the labour room with your wife?
It is a normal thing and I am used to it. Women go through lots of pains in having babies and I respect them for that.
Would you feel bad if your children do not follow in your footsteps?
I will not feel bad if they don’t choose my path. Of course, there are other things they can do with their lives and I will be proud of them. If God doesn’t call them, they cannot work for God. Like I said earlier, the will of God supersedes the will of man, but human beings don’t know this. We should always allow the will of God to take over our life.
My first daughter wants to become a lawyer, while the other three have yet to enter the university. My children love God and I train them in the ways of Christ. From the little I have seen in them, I will not be surprised if they become prophets like me in future.
Do you plan to join politics in future?
I am not a politician; I am a prophet. I said this many times: I live my life for the poor. However, this doesn’t stop me from praying for politicians in order to take care of poor people. I believe that this is my assignment on earth.
What are your concerns for Nigeria?
I wish everyone is educated, which is why I am fighting a war against illiteracy. I didn’t go school but God has given me the opportunity to ensure that many people get educated. I have it in mind to build and renovate schools that the government has overlooked for years. I don’t want people to go through what I went through.
Why didn’t you get a university degree when you became financially stable?
At the time, I became busy with the work of God and it was not possible for me to attend a university again. I didn’t have the time. Now, the only thing I can do is to ensure that I impact on the lives of the younger ones and I am doing that.
Do you regret not going to a university?
The fact that I couldn’t further my education affected me. Even when I was in secondary school, my name was always on the list of people who were yet to pay their school fees. When I think about my former state of hopelessness, I thank God. Whatever situation a man is passing through, he shouldn’t give up as God is capable of turning things around for him.
Was becoming a pastor your dream as a child?
I was called by God; I didn’t think I would become a pastor. There was a time I wanted to kill myself because of N7,500 debt that I owed at a time as a young man. I was disturbed and I felt killing myself was the best option. If God could bring me out of my former situation and put me where I am today, I advise everyone to hold onto God whenever they are hopeless. God doesn’t forget His children.
How did you start your church?
I was once a member of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. I started the journey about eight years ago.
Who do you think will be the next president of Nigeria?
I don’t want to put myself in labour. If I mention a name now, I have to start praying and fasting for the person so the grace on me will not be put to shame.
Do you have plans to open branches across Nigeria?
I don’t plan to have many branches. We are building a city for God in Warri and we are yet to finish it. But when the time comes to expand to other states, I will receive from God.
What other things do you do?
Right now, I am just a prophet. If God tells me to venture into other things tomorrow, I will gladly answer Him.
How do you relax?
I am not the type who relaxes much. But when I was younger, I was a wrestler. I didn’t do it professionally because I felt there was no money in it. I sleep for about four hours daily.