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Meet Chinua Cole, the founder of DadApp

FOUNDER: Chinua Cole

24-YEAR- OLD Chinua Cole is the brain behind the pioneering platform, Dadapp, the community hub that aims to connect and empower dads.

The platform covers the five main areas of pregnancy, newborns, health, money and sex, which Cole said has been used to "normalise the conversation and give dads the specific tools to navigate these topics."

Although not a father yet himself, he said: “hopefully at the time that I do, there is a support system around me which enables me to fulfill that responsibility effectively."

"I come from a background in football and previously I spoke to many of my friends and teammates about their experiences as a man but specifically as a father.

“We’d have really candid conversation regarding fatherhood and a lot of the topics were of deep nature. I thought to myself if they’re going through that, how many other people are going through the same thing?"

After doing some research into the facts and figures, Cole learned that for men, the statistics surrounding mental health and fatherhood were detrimental.

Cole explained: "The average person doesn’t understand why a dad would have postnatal depression, but its real. Dads and men, in general, can be reluctant to share their concerns about anxiety because it’s a difficult thing for them to talk about, particularly at the time when they feel like they should be supporting their partner and baby."

He went on to address the stigmatized language that can have negative consequences on the image of masculinity. He said: "The phrase ‘man up’, attaches so many stigmas to what a man is supposed to be”.

"What you’re also seeing is really unfortunate statistics regarding suicide. It’s the biggest killer among men in the UK under 45 and you have to ask yourself why is that so prominent in men versus women?"

Discussing the ‘macho’ identity labels that are often attached to men, Chinua said: “I think it’s an old-school mentality of being ‘the hunter-gatherer’ and to not really feel anything.

We are human first and men second so naturally, we are going to feel things, we will feel vulnerable and it is okay. That’s why there needs to be a platform to have that conversation."

Cole also spoke on the apps efforts to combat men’s social isolation after he learned that "a lot of men don’t feel comfortable fulfilling their fatherhood role." The mobile app utilises geo-location to allow fathers to connect and meet with other fathers nearby.

"I think that fatherhood in this generation can be isolating and so that’s why we wanted to use geo-location because you can meet in real life and those fathers will be near you," Chinua explained.

“I think there’s a lot of possible pressures right now for fathers like more financial responsibility, changes in relationships and lifestyle and also lack of sleep and heavy workloads.”

Chinua wants men to know that the platform is designed specifically for their needs and concerns. He said: "women won't be able to access the app because there are different anxieties, worries and struggles so we just wanted men to have a space to speak."

"On the app, there are three options, boy, girl or expecting but what we’ve also added is stillbirth,” he said. “That resonates with me because I had a sister who had cot death, which was a really isolating time so I wanted to make sure that is an option."

With bright plans for the future, Chinua spoke excitedly about the apps next steps. “The community will never stop and it’s so nice to see how everyone's getting on. Years down the line, we want to be known as the global hub for fatherhood."

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