Celebrating fatherhood with Mzansi Magic's dads

14 June 2024
A glimpse into the lives of Ayanda Makayi, Vuyo Biyela, Duma Ndlovu, and Junior Khanye.
men and children

Fatherhood is a unique journey, especially when balancing the demands of a thriving career. For Ayanda Makayi, Vuyo Biyela, Duma Ndlovu, and Junior Khanye, this balance is a daily act of love and dedication. As we celebrate Father's Day, these prominent figures from the South African entertainment industry share their experiences and insights on being present and engaged fathers despite their hectic schedules.

Ayanda Makayi known for his role as Stokkie on the Mzansi Magic telenovela Gqeberha: The Empire, understands the challenges of balancing his career with fatherhood especially in a co-parenting dynamic but tries to continuously connect with his son. He says: “Balancing your career with responsibilities is never easy especially being far from your child. He is in Johannesburg and I’m here in Gqeberha but it’s important to always remember purpose and why I am here which is for him and being a father who can provide for him. Support system is also very important and his mother and “Mam’P” (his nanny) are amazing and he is just so loved which makes it all work and all worth it.” He adds that because of the distance, he relies on videos calls to connect with his son but outside of the usual video calls he enjoys traditions with his son which include “our ice cream dates at McDonald’s, kicking the ball together, Lwandle loves swimming so I try make sure I can take him to go to his lessons whenever I can, pick him up from school, we love singing together … even in his baby language.”

Vuyo Biyela, who portrays Kwenzo Dlamini on Mzansi Wethu's popular telenovela Sibongile & the Dlaminis, firmly believes that fatherhood comes first and balancing his acting career with parenting is a non-negotiable and he admits that a supportive family structure aids in this balance. “I’m a father before I’m an actor so balance is not a question. I always make time for my kids regardless of my busy schedule. I have a very supportive family structure so that also makes things easier." He adds: “When I’m not on call we love playing educational board games and since my son is a football fanatic, my daughter and I are always at his training sessions and football matches supporting him and lastly my daughter always gives us live performances of singing and dance every night before bedtime that’s where everyone shares a good laugh.”

⁠Renowned poet, playwright, and producer, Duma Ndlovu who is currently working on drama series Queen Modjadi coming to Mzansi Magic, on Sunday 14 July at 20:00. He acknowledges the challenges of balancing a demanding career with fatherhood saying, “Balancing my demanding career with fatherhood has been a challenge, but I have always made it a priority to set aside dedicated time for my children. Whether it's mealtimes, sharing ideas and things to do, or weekend activities, I try to be fully present and engaged when I'm with them. Most especially on big calendar days. We always gather and share meals and laughter.” He adds that ⁠when he is not working he makes it a point to engage in activities that his family and more especially his children enjoy, “We have established some traditions such as telling stories, weekend road trips to the villages, and family nights which we all look forward to. These moments are precious to me, and I cherish the bond we share during these times.”

Football legend and analyst, Junior Khanye whose 14-part reality show Fixing the Game: Junior Khanye will premiere on Mzansi Wethu on Thursday 11 July at 18:30, values every moment spent with his kids, even amidst a hectic schedule. Despite his kids not living with him, he emphasises that he always finds time to spend with them, “It can be two hours or one hour and even though they don’t stay with me, I don’t mind travelling and seeing them because my kids come first. I know work comes first because if I don’t work, I can’t provide for my kids but in my life, my kids come first, and I try my best to always give time to seeing my kids in between my busy schedule.” He says that it is important that he shows up for his family and encourages all fathers to do the same.

As these fathers share their stories, it is evident that fatherhood is a commitment that transcends distance, time, and professional demands. This Father's Day, we celebrate the dedication and the loving bonds fathers nurture with their children. Let the experiences of these entertainment fathers remind us of the significance of being present and making every moment count.

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