Jawade Elibox is a 29-year-old senior graphic designer at G&A Communications and video blogger. More than that, though, he is a father. And despite his sometimes hectic schedule, he is making sure he takes time to capture the precious moments in the life of his daughter Paige daily, documenting almost everything you could think of about her on film. He first discovered he had an appreciation for film at the Barbados Community College.
“I would say the design programme there changed my life. Although I majored in design and layout, I was still exposed to a wide range of mediums, and film was a small part of it. When Paige was born, I felt as though it was my responsibility to document our life together as much as possible, and the film experience from school really helped me express my narrative in a creative way,” he says. “So I get to capture moments of our lives and at the same time I get to improve on my craft and share it online.”
He’s very clear that being a father is job number one, stressing that Paige is priority. “I enjoy what I do at work for the most part, but sometimes it can get a little busy and deadlines don’t usually change, so you’ve got to do what you have to some days, but I try to keep both worlds separate.” Adding that bonding time is vital, he says: “I don’t consider myself a very seasoned father as yet, but thus far I think quality time is really important for parent-child relationships.”
And as is the case in many father-daughter relationships, Daddy’s little girl knows how to “play” him. “What she can’t get away with her mother she tries it with me. She knows how to play me,” Jawade admits. On a serious note, he says he wants his daughter to see him as a friend, protector and provider. “I just want her to see her father as the guy to go to for anything.
I don’t ever want the communication channel to ever erode, especially in her older years. I heard those older years are tough.” And having had a father who showed him how a man should raise his children, Jawade says he has had a good example of what a parent should be. “My greatest fatherhood teacher would have to be my dad.
My sibling and I never lacked what we needed in life – that mainly included discipline and a religious background. I learned a lot about life from his stories and his work ethic,” he says. And while he’s only just at the start of a lifetime journey, Jawade is confident he will be a good father, giving Paige the guidance she needs, even as she forges her own way. “She really has a mind of her own, but they are a few ideals I would like her to adopt, like staying kind and humble – that’s a recipe I can imagine will help her in life,” the young dad says. “I always imagined having a child who was just like me, but that isn’t the case here.
If anything, I would say she is the opposite to me in a lot of ways, and I think that is actually better. She challenges me and forces me out of a lot of my comfort zones. I would encourage her to make her own footsteps with me in mind.” As for his most memorable moments as a father so far, Jawade says the night of her daughter’s birth stands out. “It was only me and her in the room, because my wife was in recovery.
I remember Paige started to cry and I wasn’t sure what to do. The nurse asked me ‘Did you check her pamper?’ ‘No, mam.’ ‘Did you lift her?’ ‘No, mam.’ ‘Did you feed her?’ ‘No, mam’. Right there, I discovered I now had a lot to learn about her.” Jawade soon realized he had to do that quickly, too, and along the way there would be way more embarrassing experiences.
He says his toddler has “no filter”, so going out with her in public is like “walking around with a time bomb”. “There isn’t much of a filter at two years old so, like any child, she calls it as she sees it.”
by Kobie Broomes