William Ofori Atta is a popular fitness trainer on social media, particularly Instagram, with over 36,500 followers.
On his Instagram page, he shares pictures and videos of fitness training sessions and some fitness tips.
In addition to sharing fitness-related content, Flashkickk, as he is popularly referred to, also shares videos and pictures of his adventures with his five-year-old daughter, Camille.
There are shots from horse riding sessions, adventures at different waterfronts, lunch and dinner dates, parties, cooking sessions and several other exciting activities.
On his Instagram page, he shares pictures of different adventures with his daughter
He has a busy schedule that involves training clients in different gym facilities and virtually at different times, however, he makes time for his child, constantly engaging her in activities.
Speaking to The Mirror last Tuesday, Flashkickk, a co-parent, explained that he was intentional about the lessons he instilled in his daughter and was happy that some young fathers saw the relationship with his daughter as worth emulating.
“Her mother and I co-parent her currently because of her mother’s busy schedule. I take care of her during the week and her mother takes over during the weekends. There are some weekends that I lobby to take her out for some activities,” he said.
He explained that he did not want to limit his daughter to what she was taught in school alone but also wanted to give her the chance to learn about things happening around her.
“I have realised the kind of activities we engage in even makes learning at school easier for her. For instance, when a teacher mentions a mountain or a river, she is able to relate quickly as she has seen one before. There are many fun activities around us that fathers can engage in with their children,” he said.
Presence over presents
Flashkickk explained that even before his daughter was born, he started researching on activities that would excite her and expose her to different events around her.
He recounted that he grew up without his father and although he had many father figures who supported him in different ways, they always had to go back to their respective families.
“My mother broke her back to put me in the best schools in town and she did all she could to give me a good and comfortable life but I always felt ‘something was missing at home and that was my father. Anytime I saw my friends with their fathers, I admired them and wished I had my own father at home.
Flashkickk believes that exposing his daughter to different activities would encourage her to take responsibilities and solve problems independently
“I know how it feels not to have a father at home so when my girlfriend got pregnant, I resolved to be a present father and made conscious efforts to be with my child and expose her to the many adventures and events around her.
“My friends know me to be a presence over a present guy; I may not be able to give you gifts or cash but I will be there for you whenever you need me and that’s the same way I’m handling fatherhood,” he said.
To him, fatherhood was not just about providing financial support for a child, but being present at every point no matter how demanding one’s job was.
Living within your means
Looking through his page, you may assume he is an affluent man who loves to “spoil” his child with fancy activities but he explained to The Mirror that he planned for all their outings and saved towards them.
He is grateful to his mother, Madam Hanna Ama Asantewaa who takes care of Camille when he has to be at work
“Anytime I get paid, I put a percentage somewhere for our dates, and I have done this consistently. Spending quality time with your child does not mean breaking your bank or going out of your means. There are many activities around us which we can do with our children without overstretching ourselves”.
Importance of fatherhood communities
Today, there are a number of groups and communities on social media made for mothers.
On these platforms, mothers share their experiences — childbirth, raising children, etc — however, that for fathers are non-existent.
Flashkickk thinks it will be helpful if such communities that focus on mothers are available for fathers to also interact and share their experiences.
Flashkickk is also an equestrian and he loves teaching his daughter how to ride horses
He said although he had received some negative feedback from some people who thought he was exposing his daughter or posting pictures for “likes” and “comments”, he was also happy that he had been able to influence young fathers in his circles to spend more time with their children.
He said if there were more of such platforms, men could also share their experiences as fathers and learn from one another.
Asked how he would describe his fatherhood journey, he said it was a learning experience that had taught him patience, anger management and limited his expectations.
Camille Afia Asantewaa Ofori Atta
“There's a world of difference in being a co-parent, and I want to pass on my knowledge and experiences to others who might find it difficult.
“The goal is to encourage more dads to find and do the things they love with their children while creating cool memories.”
He expressed gratitude to his mother for taking care of his daughter whenever he had to go to work.