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Mr Slaughter’s on a roll
International disc jockey Derek “Mr Slaughter” Pereira had many thoughts about what he wanted to be and how he wanted to achieve it on reaching the legal age of 18. His mission was to positively impact the international music world as a DJ and entertainer and at that he succeeded, under his now universal brand X-Caliber Sounds.
But becoming a father was furthest from his thoughts, much less standing at the altar, exchanging vows. Eighteen years on, he’s easily embracing the titles father and husband. Slaughter opened these chapters just a decade ago. “It defines me as a man. In our industry, in our business, in our circle, in our field of work, we (are) not supposed to do that. Yes! They say artistes, DJs and sportsmen not supposed to have children. Their lifestyle is not appropriate for it,” he said, laughing.
Slaughter asked, “You never hear mothers tell their daughters don’t deal a DJ?...They have a set of woman.”
That perception, however, did not stop Axia Nadine Danglade from falling in love with him and ultimately saying yes to his proposal to become Mrs Derek Pereira, back in 2007. They had two children before their nuptials: Ky-mani Joshua, who turns ten this month, and Kya Rain Dominique, nine. Years later, they had another boy—Khadel Jacob. He’s nine months old. Ky-mani has inherited his father’s popping personality and has already taken a fancy to deejaying.
But Kya, on the other hand, is said to be the image of her mother. She is outgoing with a burgeoning passion and talent for singing and dancing. Khadel, according to Slaughter, is a mama’s boy. But beyond that, his potential is yet to be discovered. Father’s Day 2012, for Slaughter, had special meaning. He soaked up all the wondrous family moments he’d missed over the years.
So why was this year so special? Well, it was the first he’d spent on local shores. “I can’t remember the last time I was in T&T for Father’s Day. My job takes me away for as long as three months. It felt good (to be home). I got a chance to be around our kids. I got a chance to be around my family,” said Slaughter.
Becoming a father/husband
On becoming a father/husband, Slaughter said, “Even before I was a biological father, I was a father. “I was a father to a group of men that was part of my sound unit. So I understood the gist of being a father even though they weren’t my biological children. In fact, some of them were older than me, but I understood what it meant to provide for and thus when I had kids of my own, it wasn’t that hard.”
Five years after saying I do, Slaughter had no regrets, but admitted that this new take on life was not without rough patches. “You have to understand marriage to get into it. Most of us would do it because we think it’s the right thing to do, especially when a woman bore your children or because of parental pressures.
“Get married because you love the person, like I did. Get married because you know what it is to compromise. When you are single, you think for yourself, but when you are married you have to think for you and your companion. Remember, that’s your soul mate and you’ll make mistakes along the way. Trust me!” he said.
He would not volunteer any examples, however. Slaughter added, “There are temptations. You feel like you are fed-up. Those are the elements that come with it. Every day will be a test. “Sometimes you get over the hurdles, sometimes it’s harder to get over the hurdles. But if you can’t get over the hurdles, then you’ll separate.”
Ordinarily, he would not be in T&T during the month of June, but rather globe-trotting, appearing at many signature events. But the health of Khadel caused him to re-organise his schedule. The spirited infant was born with an irregular heartbeat. So Slaughter adjusted his schedule and workload to spend more time with the baby of the house.
“I did that (spend a lot of time away) with Ky-mani. I did that with Kya. With him (Khadel) and his current situation, I want to spend a little more time with him in his earlier stages, especially seeing that we have three kids home now and is only so much work mommy could do. It’s a blessing to have (my) mother-in-law around,” he said. You won’t hear any horror stories from him as it relates to his mother-in-law Marilyn Danglade.
Asked if he felt fortunate having a good relationship with her that was not without disagreements, he replied, “Of course, especially having lost my (biological) mother. To have a mother-in-law as a mother that’s a very good thing. “If more fathers in T&T paid attention to how their children were growing up, we wouldn’t have that level of crime. Fathers are very important in a household. My biggest challenge is to be the best father possible, until they can make decisions on their own. I am sticking to that challenge.”
When he’s away, he tries to maintain his visibility using Skype technology. When on local soil, Slaughter could be seen cycling with them and he makes it a point to attend almost all their activities. Yet, he has not conditioned himself to help with their homework, nor has he taken on meal preparation duties. For his lapses in these areas, he blamed a tight business schedule. Even so, there was no denying his faith. Each time he spoke about his family blessings, it was from a position of strength and devotion which explained his multiple references to Almighty God.
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