American actor and former basketball player Duane Martin celebrated his 55th birthday on Wednesday by sharing an adorable picture of himself and his two sons.
Actor and former basketballer Duane Martin is a proud father of two sons, Xen and Ezekiel. Besides his career, his kids are one of his greatest achievements in life.
Hence, Martin could not help but pay tribute to his sons in an Instagram post he made on Wednesday to celebrate his 55th birthday. He shared a sweet picture of him and his sons posing all smiles with his boys.
The picture showed the striking resemblance between Martin and his boys, proving that he has strong genes. In the post’s caption, he wrote:
“Thank you god for blessing me with the gift of making the world happy through my art and business understanding 🙏🏽.”
Martin also said he is in constant gratitude for his two sons, who he described as amazing souls and change agents to walk the earth with. He also tagged his sons as the greatest gift before expressing more gratitude to God.
Many of Martin’s famous friends took turns to wish him a happy birthday, including actress Gabrielle Union, Tamar Braxton, and rapper MC Lyte, who said Xen and Ezekiel are blessed to have Martin as their father.
Martin shares his sons with his ex-wife and actress Tisha Campbell, famous for portraying Janet “Jay” Marie Johnson-Kyle in the ABC comedy series “My Wife and Kids.” She also starred as Gina Waters-Payne on the Fox comedy series “Martin.”
Campbell and Martin tied the knot on August 17, 1996. The former couple welcomed their first son, Xen, in 2001, while Ezekiel was born in September 2009.
Xen was born with autism, meaning it was difficult for his parents to bring him up normally. However, it did not deter them from raising him the right way.
Campbell never allowed her son’s autism to get the best of her family. Instead, ever since he was diagnosed, she and Martin dedicated their lives to helping raise awareness and tolerance for the condition.
Campbell further said that her sons helped her recover from the heartbreak of separation and their support allowed her to move on.
In 2011, Campbell collaborated with four other mothers of autistic kids to produce a short film titled “Colored My Mind.” The film was screened at the MegaFest International Faith and Film Festival in 2013.
In a chat with Essence, she said the then-12-year-old Xen believed he was no longer autistic, a belief she said is his reality. She said Xen was non-verbal and used to flap his arms and rock back and forth. Campbell added:
“He’s never been in a special needs class because I wanted him to model after typical kids and now he’s a typical kid. He has a girlfriend and he is now speaking; you can’t shut him up.”
In February 2020, Campbell had more cause for celebration after Xen gained admission into his dream college against the odds. She shared the news with fans, revealing she cried tears of joy because Xen got into the college he had always talked about since he was 8.
She expressed pride in him for not waiting for anyone to help him with his admission but applying and doing the process all by himself. She also revealed Xen wants to be an animal conservationist and said his dream would come true.
Xen’s admission into college came two years after his parents separated in 2018, over two decades after their marriage. The ex-couple finalized their divorce in December 2020.
Martin and Campbell’s split was acrimonious. She accused him of hiding and misappropriating money while they were married. The actress also claimed she had only $7 to her name when she left her marriage and had to start over.
Campbell further said that her sons helped her recover from the heartbreak of separation and their support allowed her to move on. Martin and Campbell got joint legal and physical custody of their children, but neither of them got child or spousal support from each other.
In a statement after their divorce was finalized, Campbell said she was married for over 20 years and had two amazing kids from her marriage. Beyond that, she was the happiest she had ever been.
While Martin and Campbell’s marriage did not work out, it is good to see that they are co-parenting their sons effectively and that Xen and Ezekiel are also doing well.