Who knows more about parenting? The mighty search engine we call Google, or two dads with only their own, limited experiences of fatherhood?
For this special Father's Day Edition of Ask AfroDaddy, I was joined by my friend, Tristan, and together we took on the questions you told us you recently asked Google. Listen to the podcast to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher to find out how we did!
I'm not sure how much you know about my non-AfroDaddy activities, but back in the day I used to work for a music radio station. At times, it was a really great place to work - especially when you had opportunities to interact with super talented people.
One of those opportunities happened when I met three young dudes with some amazing voices. They had started a group called "The Black Ties" and were generally really great, nice people to be around.
You know, the kind of people you want to be friends with...but are way too cool and nice for you?
Here's one of their performances on a local morning show:
Recently, I saw that one of trio, Keeno-Lee Hector, had posted this on Facebook:
"I was 37 when my gf fell pregnant. I was so excited and petrified. I was so scared of failing as a parent. What I didn't expect was what he would teach me. I learned about the human capacity for love, and @missnabielalevy and I have learned the importance of patience. I think he'll only understand the indescribable depth of the love I have for him, when he has his own kid. So, I guess I'll just say thanks for saving my life monkey. Happy birthday."
Clearly, this was a guy who understood the value and importance of being a dad - so he would make a great Father-in-Focus. Well, here he is:
1) Who are you, who are you kids and ages
I'm Keeno-Lee Hector, a husband and a father of 3 year old Mika. I'm a singer, actor, voice artist and jingle writer.2) What is one thing that surprised you about fatherhood?
I didn't really understand the human capacity for love until I met my little guy. My interactions with him are an integral part of my emotional growth, I honestly feel like I wasn't truly adulting till my son arrived.
3) One thing that you think all dads-to-be should know
Be prepared for a sublime paradigm shift. Everything is about to change. Especially nappies. Nappies always need to be changed.
4) A favourite moment of being a parent
My son looked me in the eye, cupped my cheek & sincerely told me, "I love you dad" last week! It is such a pleasure to be able to communicate with this brand new personality, it's a magical process.
5) Where can we see your stuff?
All my music is available on most music platforms under the name Keeno Lee. Please follow me on IG & Twitter on @keenolee.
I think "Sara se Geheim" is still flighting, and keep an eye out for my appearances in ScyFy Channel's "Banana Splits" and "Christmas in the Wild" on Netflix this year...
Do you know a dad who you think should be a Father In Focus? Tell me about him - email email@example.com.
Generally, I don't really care about other people's business. I've never read gossip magazines, I don't want to know how famous people live, and I can't stand the faux-real life shown in "reality" TV.
But there are times when a news story pops up on my timeline that, even though it has nothing to do with me, is indicative of a bigger problem that we should ALL address.
That's what happened when I saw this headline:
You can read it yourself, but the long and short of it is that Herschelle Gibbs' child's mother had to take him to court to force him to pay child support. From the article it also seems like he doesn't want to have anything to do with the child. And that got me thinking: What would I say to Herschelle (and other men like him) if I had the chance?
Well, I think the conversation would reflect the two immediate, and almost opposing, reactions that I would have if this was a friend of mine. I think, to some extent, both are valid and fair, so I here's what each part would contain:
Part 1: Empathy and Understanding
"Herschelle, I get that this isn't what you wanted. It probably wasn't in your plan to have a child right now, or in this way, and I can totally understand the anxiety, fear and frustration that has come with all of this.
You might be worried that you are going to have less "freedom" and less money. Well, you are definitely go to have less money - the court is making sure of that!
...too soon? Sorry.
But seriously, being a dad is a privilege and a gift. If that feels like a cliche, it's only because it is so fundamentally true. With the right mindset, it can quickly become the best thing in your life.
Yes, it's hard. But I'm sure you didn't just become one of the greatest batsmen of all time without doing some hard work. You reaped the benefits of that hard work, and trust me, the same is true of fatherhood.
Like I said, I know all of this is scary, but if you need help and support, give me a call and we'll work something out. Or talk to the dads that you know and ask them to help you. Form that community around you and your child, and you will be more than fine. Trust me, it'll be worth it."
Part 2: Reality Check
"Herschelle, what the F*&%, man?
Why does the mother of your child have to take you to court to get money to care for YOUR son? Even if you don't want to be an engaged dad, you still have a legal and moral responsibility to, at the very least, ensure that your child is cared for.
Honestly, this doesn't have a damn thing to do about the kind of relationship you have with his mother. This is about you stepping up and doing the right thing for that little baby.
Also, you are adding yourself to the long list of men that give us a bad name. Some of us are trying to make changes with the way the world perceives fathers, and you are screwing with that.
Do you know what happens when a child doesn't have a father? Do you know that he will be more likely to do poorly in school, more likely to become a victim of addiction and more likely to be involved with teenage pregnancy? There is a bunch of research to back this up.
Not to mention the main role that a father plays: showing his son what it means to be an empathetic human being.
Get your sh*& together, bro. It's not too late. Yeah, you may not be in love with the boy's mother, and frankly, you don't need to be. All you need to do is love the child - you still have a chance to make a real impact in his life."
So, obviously, this is never going to reach Herschelle Gibbs - I don't have that kind of following - but even if it did, do you think these words would change his mind about fatherhood? What do you think we could and should say to men in this situation?
Today's guest has almost 50 years of parenting under belt, and I know (from personal experience) that she has a lot of knowledge that we can tap into! That's right, this special Mother's Day episode of Ask AfroDaddy features my mom! She joined me in our attempts to answer your questions about Life, the Universe and Parenting!
Listen to the full episode by subscribing to the Ask AfroDaddy Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotifyor Stitcher. You can also listen to it right here:
I am very excited about this edition of Father in Focus.
There was a time in my life when I worked in the radio industry here in Cape Town (that time officially ended last year...but feels like so long ago) and, frankly, I found it to be too cutthroat for me. There weren't loads of people who you could really look up to as a younger person - but today's Father in Focus definitely is one of them.
Tim Thabethe and I worked together for about 5 years, and in that time I discovered that he was the kind of guy you could play some golf with, have a drink with, laugh with and get advice from. In a world full of self-serving showboats, Tim is an island of humility and wholesomeness.
I guarantee that he hated that last paragraph. He's just that kind of guy.
If you are looking for a hardworking, family man who actually gives a damn about the people around him, then please let me introduce you to Tim Thabethe:
1) Tell us about yourself and your kid
I’m Tim Thabethe, radio broadcast fanatic. I am father to one child, my daughter, Kia, who is 9 years old. She has already achieved more in her 9 years on this earth than I had at that age. She is my absolute everything.
2) What surprised you about fatherhood - either about it in general or about your own experience?
It was a lot simpler than I anticipated. Having said that, I think my daughter and her easy-going nature made it simple. My wife was so comfortable as a mother, the entire experience of being a father and parent seemed effortless, right down to the nappy changes. Although I do believe my challenges will only begin when she is a teenager. She may well be a challenge but boyfriends? Less so!
For as a far as I can remember the only challenge I recall was not being able to take away pain in the form of an injury or illness. As much as it’s a normal part of life, her unhappiness was something I always wanted to fix (typical Dad) and that feeling of hopelessness is quite overwhelming when you are waiting for medicines to take or for healing to play its part.
Another thing that surprised me was that my daughter would be my best friend. We go to movies, play Xbox and visit the driving range together. There is this hierarchical view of parenthood where Dad is senior and child is junior, and it is for the most part, but I had never considered that with a 33 year age gap that we could engage in a way that was fun for adult and child.
3) What is one thing that you think all dads-to-be should know?
Well I think this is for parenting in general. We are going to make mistakes. Heaven knows I have. We are going to say and do the wrong things. We are going to encourage different behaviours (for better or for worse).
My philosophy is that as long as I parent with love and as long as my daughter knows it and feels it, I’ll be forgiven for the things I didn’t do quite right. I see her behaviour sometimes and realise that it’s because of me that she reacts or acts in a particular way. I consider how much it has affected her and either try to make it right or pray that it doesn’t affect her for the worst as an adult.
For the things I cannot fix I try to permanently envelope her with my care and love so that she is never in doubt of it. I have learned that raising children is a gamble. Each has an individual personality and makes sense of the world in different ways. As a parent you can input too much or too little and either will have a lifelong effect on the little human you are guiding towards adulthood.
The only sure thing you have is your love and as long as she or he feels it, I believe it will go a long way in shaping your little person into a big person of tomorrow.
4) Do you have a favourite moment of being a parent?
All of it. Good and bad. Navigating my daughter through her best and worst times has been a privilege. Being given the opportunity to shape a person is a gift that we must never give up on.
Put trivially, I’d imagine it’s like an artist on canvas who starts out with a blank canvas. The opportunity to make something beautiful but finishes with something exquisite. But the journey from blank canvas to celebrated art was one of trial, error and challenges. I’d describe it a bit like that.
5) Where can we see your stuff ?
I have no stuff. I’m am the shadow between light and darkness that allows beauty to flourish even is the most opaque of places.
Which is bull****.
I’m a production manager who facilitates creativity, so basically I plan the fun. Although some of my work can be heard on #KfmSundaze between 3 & 7pm.I have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but only when I am moved do I move onto them so I hope that a post from me is.
Here's an interesting question: What qualifications do you need to be a mom?
Is it just having a piece of paper from the government stating it to be a fact? Can you claim the title because you have to pay for the upkeep of another human being?
I mean, being a mom obviously involves all that - but even though I'm not a mother myself (duh), it's clear to me that there a many things that make a mom. Which means that there may have been a person in your life that fulfilled that role in many ways without ever being called "mom". If you're lucky, you might have had a few people in your life that have "mothered" you, without getting any of the credit.
This Mother's Day, NetFlorist wants to acknowledge all those people who, even though they might not have the official title, have been our moms. For me, it didn't take long to figure out who that was: my big sister.
Viv was 14 years old when I was born, and I've been told by reliable sources that she immediately took her big sister role VERY seriously. I want to be clear: our mom was (and still is) an amazing mother, but I'm sure she was glad for extra help Viv was ready to offer.
There were many roles my big sis took: cook, bum-wiper, cuddler...and as I got older, confidant and role model. If I am the progressive modern man I like to think I am, a big part of that is because she challenged me to take a better look at how the world works, and how I can make it a little better.
And isn't that one of the big tasks a mother has to undertake?
So, this Mother's Day, I'm going to head to NetFlorist.co.za to find something nice to celebrate my big sis.
You should do the same...or you can enter this competition and have it done for you!
Post a pic of the person who played a motherly role in your life in thet, and you could win this hamper from NetFlorist.co.za valued at R500:
2 piece cosmetic vanity set1x Wild Rose lotion1x Nestle Aero Chocolate1x Bookmark and keyholder
A miracle happened this weekend: Our boys slept over at their grandparents. Not just that, but it was an unplanned event, which meant that we hadn't organised it for a specific reason (like a wedding or work thing) - so we had a whole 24 hours to ourselves. But that left us with a question: What do parents actually do when they are kid free for a day? Here are some of the ideas we got with some help from you on social media:
This episode is brought to you by Cool Kids Cabs - click here to find out how to get the safest transport possible for your children:
Over the past few months, quite a few of my friends have announced that they are becoming dads or are expecting another child. This is super exciting, until I hear the some of the things people say to them. Here's what you SHOULDN'T say to new dads:
This video is sponsored by Cool Kids Cabs - find out how to transport your child safely while you are at work by clicking here:
In this episode of Ask AfroDaddy, we are fighting all the negativity! Yes, being a parent is hard - but that isn't the whole story, so we spent some time looking at all the ways being a mom and dad is really, REALLY great.