‘I am used to it’

CityPress - - News -

Ma­pule Ko­bela strug­gles with the strain of hav­ing to be on top of ev­ery­thing by her­self when her part­ner al­ways has a ready ex­cuse about why he can­not help out with the par­ent­ing or house­hold chores.

Ko­bela (41), runs a busy beauty sa­lon in Katle­hong. She also has two chil­dren – Mbali (10) and Ofentse (7). She and her parter Ti­isetso Mlan­geni (39) have been to­gether for more than a decade.

“My part­ner and I are self-em­ployed and his job re­quires him to wake up very early in the morn­ing,” she says.

“I open my sa­lon at 9am and close at 7pm every day of the week, but I still have to wake up at 5am to pre­pare the kids for school. I spend hours stand­ing on my feet at the sa­lon, yet I still have to come home, fix din­ner and help the chil­dren with home­work. It’s ex­tremely strain­ing.”

Mlan­geni, who runs a busi­ness with his brother, was not there to ar­gue – he had just left the house for a rou­tine ses­sion with the gents af­ter work.

But this does not stop Mbali from de­fend­ing him: “My fa­ther is al­ways away at work, but when he is around he irons our clothes, cooks for us, pre­pares our lunch tins and some­times drops us off at school.”

Ofentse agrees, but his mother doesn’t.

“Ti­isetso only does all of this once in a while when its suits him. He also does this when he’s apolo­getic about some­thing. He al­ways for­gets about the lit­tle things that re­quire me to play var­i­ous roles. I need to or­gan­ise, re­mem­ber, re­main at­ten­tive and be aware of al­most ev­ery­thing in the house,” she says.

“He spends a lot of his free time watch­ing foot­ball and hav­ing drinks with his mates. I once men­tioned that he could help with cook­ing, and he told me that his fa­ther didn’t raise boys to cook.”

De­spite these ir­ri­ta­tions, Ko­bela says Ti­isetso is a “great fa­ther who takes very good care of me and our chil­dren, which is why I’ve been with him for 10 years”.

Ko­bela says she al­ways jokes about be­ing the hard­est “rock” among her friends. She of­ten brags about run­ning a thriv­ing busi­ness and bring­ing up not only two chil­dren, but rais­ing a hus­band too.

And al­though she has be­come used to the men­tal load, she would love it if Ti­isetso would help out with clean­ing and laun­dry on week­ends when she works so that she can use the time saved by not do­ing this chore to get some much-needed sleep.

“I am used to be­ing an or­gan­iser, warmth cre­ator and a strong leader in my home,” she laughs. “But I am grate­ful for my two won­der­ful chil­dren and a lov­ing part­ner.”

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