The power of fatherhood: Lessons learnt and hopes for the future

14 June 2024
Fathers from your favourite shows share inspirational stories about their dads and about being dads.
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The meaning of Father’s Day has evolved – no longer specifically honouring paternal bonds, but rather expanding to include the celebration of powerful, positive male influences in people’s lives. There’s a mirror image to it, too – it’s not just a celebration for people to honour the father figures in their lives, but also for those paternal figures to reflect on their role in helping shape lives and provide guidance within or without the traditional nuclear family.

For many, Father’s Day is a particularly powerful celebration of the bond between fathers and sons – with paternal figures looking to pass on lessons that they, themselves, may have learned from the men in their lives, to the young men in theirs.

Carte Blanche presenter Macfarlane Moleli says that one of the greatest passions his father passed on to him was for education. “As an education specialist, he was always passionate about education. This was followed on by making us read from a very young age and fortunately my sons have found the same love and passion for reading and I'm blessed to have kids that are so knowledgeable about everything as a result of that inherent love for reading which I believe comes from my father,” says Macfarlance. “My father’s name was Tseboafter all – and Tsebo means knowledge!”

Fellow Carte Blanche presenter Govan Whittles’ faith was instilled by his father. “My father taught me to be a follower of Jesus Christ – and also about the South African liberation struggle, to respect my elders, and stay humble at all times,” he says. “ I also learned to place myself among the lowest and poorest and accept the responsibilities I have with grace and determination. My grandfather taught me to be firm, reason well, have integrity, and to not be lazy.”

Suidooster’s Theodore Jantjies’s (Aiden) greatest lessons from his father were to be respectful and humble, but to know when to back himself and make sure people know where they stand with him. “My father also inspired me to go out into the world to make a change, through conversations with friends and family and instil hope in the hearts of our youth and be an example of determination and hard work,” he says.

Life with Moshe star Moshe Ndiki, a new father of twins, didn’t have a relationship with his father growing up – but that taught him the importance of a paternal role model. “I saw and felt the effects – the hurt and pain one goes through when one’s father is not voluntarily around,” he says. “Him not being in my life motivates me to be around for every aspect of my children’s lives.”

The most important thing Bravo and Plaasjapie presenter Ewan Strydom learnt from his father was to work hard. “My dad taught me to put my head down and equip myself to be my best,” he says. “I learnt to be prepared, focus on my work, and try to make a difference in even one person’s life through what I do.”

Kindness and compassion are a common denominator shared by the four dads in their hopes for their sons’ future. “I want them to be kind people, more than anything and form part of a nation of kind, considerate men – men who take care of themselves and their mental health,” says Moshe. “I want them to be successful in the right way – by being kind – because it’s nonsense that you can’t get to the top without being kind, I’ve never stabbed anyone in the back to get where I am.”

Macfarlane hopes that his sons are able to meet their full potential by being kind and loving human beings. “I want them to always be helpful to others and know that they are loved by their dad – and that despite everything that the world can throw at them, they can always find solace in prayer and a firm belief that everything comes from Allah,” he says. Theodore adds humility to his hopes for kindness: “I hope they also grow up to be humble individuals who pursue their passions and make a positive impact in the world – that through hard work and solid work ethics they can shape the world they want for themselves.”

“I hope that my sons are strong men one day who can stand on their own two feet, look the world in the eye,” says Ewan. “I want them to be able to make their own way and do so with their heads held high, their shoulders back – and showing respect for others, so that they can make a success of whatever they do.”

Whittles hopes that his children will be kind, strong in faith and principles of justice and equality, and that they will fight for goodness and mercy for the oppressed. “Also hoping one of them records a hit reggae album and perhaps leads a revolution – big dreams, man!”

How would they like to be remembered as fathers? “I really want my kids to know that I love them, and that I live every day of my life for them and to make them proud,” says Macfarlane. Theodore hopes that his sons will remember him as a present father, an amazing dad, and friend. “Someone who creates a safe space for them to be their authentic self and that they know they were loved to the moon and back – and also as a husband who’s madly in love with their mother and was always up for a braai!”

Moshe’s hope is that his children remember him for his love, kindness and hard work. “I just want my sons to remember me, by being a phenomenal dad to them – I want them to look back and say ‘my dad was the best dad that we could have ever asked for’,” says Ewan. Govan would like his son to remember him as a man of God and a storyteller. “Maybe also as a conscious underground rapper. That's enough”.

To all fathers, father figures, paternal influences, positive male presences – and to those who still have those figures in their lives, as well as those who don’t – Happy Father’s Day from the MultiChoice family.