“The future becomes a powerful part of the present” South African dads share what being a father means to them (Part 2)
We asked local dads to tell us what they feel being a father means to them, and this is what they shared with us.
"It’s not a one-dimensional job: you have to be serious and fun, sometimes all at the same time" (iStock)
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We asked dads to share what being a father means to them, and we received so many amazing, honest and insightful responses that we had to share them in two parts!

Find Part 1 here: "Unlike fathers of old, we need to show our children a more humane face" South African dads share what being a father means to them

Also, we filmed local dads talking about what their dad's meant to them, and it's beautiful. 

Read on to learn about what being a dad means to these South African men: 

Meshack Kekana, founder of dadsinthepicture.co.za

"Positive Fatherhood to me means being consistently present in my children's lives. Knowing exactly where they are, who they are with, how they feel and being exposed to their thoughts helps me influence them effectively.

All we as parents can do is influence them and build strong bonds which will always help them find their way home no matter what the world tells them. The outside world only wins where I as a parent have failed, for the world can influence momentarily but ultimately everyone returns to that which they know for sure.

My children mean everything to me and ultimately they are the true measure of my failure or success in life."

Nkosekhaya Nofemele, father of two

"Being a dad means the world to me as I am a young dad of two. It takes a lot being a dad as I grew up looking at my dad as a super hero and the best dad in the world.

To me being a dad is sacrificing , loving ,caring, protecting, bringing joy and warmth within your family, being there all the time for you kids, being the teacher of your kids.

As they depend on us. And the most important thing that most dad's fail, is in spending time with your kids. That is the most precious thing to do, and a priceless gift."

Christopher Williams, father of 4 - soon to be 5, and husband at myspreadsheetbrain.co.za

“Being a dad to your kids is such a huge responsibility. Sure, it involves a lot of changing dirty diapers and acting like a clown to make your two-year-old giggle. But there is also the added weight of knowing that they look to you for stability, comfort and security.

It’s not a one-dimensional job: you have to be serious and fun, sometimes all at the same time! To me, being a father means that God has entrusted me with the responsibility of raising my children to be who He has called them to be.”   

Also read: New research confirms involved dads enjoy healthier, happier lives

Gladwell, father and business owner 

“With apologies to the overused cliché, being a father is both scary and exciting simultaneously. It is also humbling and sometimes overwhelming. It is scary because I have people who completely depend on me for most, if not all, their psychological, emotional, primary, educational, social, developmental needs.

I am their oracle and their superman. That is probably not such a bad thing as it is also a voyage of self-discovery. It has made me discover all kinds of fascinating things about myself. The future becomes a powerful part of the present.

It has inculcated a stronger sense of the purpose, of responsibility, of self-care and self-betterment. To love, to protect and to guide. Being a father to me is a unique and special privilege that I never ever take for granted."

Mike, father of one, blogger at mikesaidwhat.co.za

“When Sasha came into my life 16 years ago, I was filled with such lofty ambitions and high ideals, I was going to teach her right from wrong, and I was going to teach her to be a good person, to show kindness, to give charity, to care for others and to put them first.

I was going to teach her to live her life to the fullest, to see the fun in all she does, to suck the marrow from the bones of life and to never waste a single second. Little did I know that God had in fact sent HER to teach ME those very lessons and for that I am eternally grateful to BOTH of them.”

Also see: Another powerful ad from Gillette, this time featuring a dad teaching his transgender son to shave

Russel Maart, father of two boys

“Everyone thinks dads have the easy job, come home from work and play, have fun all the time. Mom’s are always thinking, “Oh, here comes the fun one…”. In reality we have a tricky part to play.

I have 2 boys and it difficult to teach them balance and timing. Balance between fun and discipline, structure and spontaneity; and the timing of when we can have fun and go crazy vs quiet time. We imprint silly things on them and spark debates like Jedi vs Sith and who has the best super powers. In the end it’s like having 2 best friends.”

What does being a father mean to you?

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Read more:

A Father’s Day reminder from science: Your kids aren’t really growing up quickly

A day in the life of two dads and their adopted son

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