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Thursday, December 8, 2022

OG Molefe touches on the potential for men to be carers in their families

Johannesburg – The topic of fatherhood remains an emotive one for many South Africans, and the Amatyma movement continues to urge South African men to be responsible and embrace fatherhood.

Television sports editor and news anchor OG Molefe, who has an 8-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son, spoke to the founder of the movement, TT Mbha, about how fatherhood changed his life.

“There are two spans of how I look at my life – before my daughter was born and after she was. When she came into the world she changed everything about my life. It stopped being about me and she was my No 1 priority.

“This changed my life for the better because everything I do revolves around my kids. I try to spend as much time with them as possible because there was never time, with the way we grew up. Our parents were working too hard for us to be afforded time to spend with us,” he said.

Molefe said he realised that his daughter was completely different from his son, considering how he would interact with them.

“My daughter wants to go everywhere with me, which is how she gained an interest in golf because I’m always playing golf, while my boy is finding his feet.”

He said one of the lessons he had learnt from being a father was to slow down and be calm.

“My daughter takes after my father as she’s brave and fearless. What’s interesting to see is how my parents are with my children. They are so patient as grandparents, much more so than they were to us as parents. They were much more strict with us,” he said.

Molefe, who grew up in Kagiso, said his relationship with his father is now different to when he was growing up.

“We grew up in a different era where our parents were constantly hustling, trying to make ends meet. I didn’t grow up with my dad, I grew up with my grandfather … his dad. So I learned everything from him. My introduction to golf was through my grandfather, as he used to be a caddy. My dad and I only started building a relationship later in life after I lost my brother to cancer,” he said.

Molefe said his father stopped working to take care of his ailing brother, and they spent every waking moment together.

“Once cancer spread to the rest of my brother’s body, he was immobile and needed help to get by, so it was helpful that my father was around for him,” he said.

On the importance of men speaking up, Molefe said a movement such as Amatyma was needed.

“I’ve realised that because of our past, where our fathers never spoke out much about their issues, a space where we find like-minded people like this one is important because you relate and bounce ideas off each other. Amatyma needs to get together; if we don’t talk, the next generation will be faced with our issues too,” he said.

For more information on the movement, visit the Amatyma page across all social media platforms.

This is a partnership between the Sunday Independent and Amatyma – seeking to highlight challenges faced by men in our society that prevent them from being supportive fathers, brothers, lovers and partners.

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