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Insights from influential dads

FATHERS play an important role in the lives of their children, shaping their experiences and providing a foundation of love and guidance. Their influence extends beyond daily interactions, impacting their children’s confidence and overall well-being. The significance of patriarchs is celebrated on Father’s Day this Sunday, a time to honour the men who embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood.

theSun spoke to two influential fathers about their journeys into fatherhood. Their stories highlight the balancing act between professional demands and family responsibilities, offering heartfelt reflections on the essence of being a dad.

Denes Kumar – The multifaceted dad

Denes Kumar, renowned as a host, producer, and actor in the Malaysian Indian entertainment scene, is a father to two children. His journey into fatherhood has been enriching, blending seamlessly with his dynamic career.

“Fatherhood wasn’t exactly in the script for my life. But it has definitely been the most rewarding role I’ve ever played. Being a dad changes everything. It makes you realise that fancy awards ceremonies are not everything.

“The real red-carpet moments are watching your kid take their first steps or hearing them giggle at your silly jokes. It’s like being handed a script with a whole new storyline,” Denes says, reflecting on his unexpected yet fulfilling journey.

$!Denes treasures every time he spends with his spouse and children.

Balancing a demanding career and fatherhood has its challenges.

“It can be a bit of a daily challenge sometimes. There are days I feel like I’m messing up both parts,” Denes admits. However, open communication with his family has been crucial.

“My wife and I talk things through, and we both try to be understanding about each other’s schedules. We openly communicate about our schedules and priorities, and we try to carve out dedicated family time.”

Denes emphasises the importance of support and delegation.

“I rely on my wife and family to help out, and I’m not afraid to ask for help. Having a supportive partner who understands the demands of my career makes all the difference. She understands the crazy hours and unexpected filming delays that come with this business.”

Time management is another critical aspect of his life.

“We create a family calendar together, and it helps us juggle appointments, school plays and even date nights or movie marathons. When I’m on set, I give it my all so I can be fully present when I’m home.”

Reflecting on the challenges and rewards of fatherhood, Denes shares: “The biggest challenges are definitely the lack of sleep in the early years and the constant worry about their well-being as they grow.

$!Denes and his two beloved kids.

“But the rewards far outweigh them. Seeing their little faces light up makes everything worthwhile. The bond you build with your child is truly magical.”

He recalls moments when his kids’ needs took precedence over his career.

“There have been times when I’ve missed premieres or red carpets because my kids needed me more. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything.”

For new fathers or fathers-to-be, Denes offers heartfelt advice: “Embrace the chaos! It’s a wild ride. Get ready for a hilarious, messy, sleep-deprived, but ultimately incredible journey. Be present, be patient, and most importantly, have fun with it.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and remember, there are no perfect dads, just dads who love their kids. And find yourself a partner who’s your biggest cheerleader.

“A supportive wife who understands the chaos of your career is like winning the lottery.”

As for his plans for Father’s Day, Denes has a unique day ahead.

“This Father’s Day is shaping up to be a wild ride – double the celebration, double the chaos! It’s also my birthday, and to add a twist, I’ve got a shoot scheduled for Pasanga series season 2 on the same day. It’s going to be a jam-packed day for this worn-out dad!

“But I’m ready for the adventure and hoping for some epic memories. Wish me luck wrangling the kids and the film crew for a Father’s Day (and birthday). That’s more memorable than exhausting!”

$!Despite his busy schedule, Akhmal takes time for his family. – PICS COURTESY OF AKHMAL NAZRI

Akhmal Nazri – The dedicated dad

Akhmal Nazri, an acclaimed actor and host, is also a devoted father. His journey into fatherhood has profoundly shaped him, bringing unexpected joys and invaluable lessons.

“Being a father really changed me a lot as a person. At first, I thought it was only about changing diapers and feeding a baby, but it’s actually more than that. I thought it was going to be tough, but I enjoy my journey mostly.

“I was nervous to raise my daughter because I had to teach her so many things, but actually, she’s the one who taught me a lot.

“She taught me to appreciate so many things like time and family,” Akhmal shares.

Akhmal is mindful about separating work stress from family life.

$!Akhmal considers raising a daughter to be extremely challenging, but he is loving the experience.

“If I’m stressed at work, I will never bring it home with me. It will give bad energy or vibe to home. And also, I cannot become the same person when I’m at work. When I’m at work, I am Akhmal Nazri. When I’m home, I am a husband and a father who emotionally needs me. And I need them too to’recharge’.”

Prioritising family time is a core value for Akhmal.

“You can always find time when you know what is your priority. Mine is family. If I’m too busy, I will try my best to find time even if it’s only for five minutes just to play with my daughter. I don’t want to miss a moment with her.”

Despite the challenges of missing key moments due to work commitments, Akhmal finds great joy in his daughter’s growth.

$!Akhmal with his wife and kid.

“My challenge would be time with my daughter. When I’m not able to be there to witness her first step and first word. Sometimes I have to be away from home for a month or two. But the most rewarding part is how my daughter turns out to be. Brave, active and smart.”

Akhmal’s advice to new fathers or fathers-to-be is heartfelt and encouraging.

“Be present. Try to find time to spend with your kid because they grow too fast. Don’t miss a single moment with them. With five minutes of your time, you already create a bond. And also, don’t be too nervous. Everything’s going to be okay.”

This Father’s Day holds special excitement for Akhmal.

“Last year, I only celebrated with my wife, but this year we are going to celebrate together with my daughter. My wife said she has a surprise for me, so I’m so excited and I can’t wait to see what it is!”

theSun wishes a very Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there!