Mas­ter P, Kena, Deeflava

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Mas­ter P is a proud fa­ther of two boys, Siyamthanda who is 8 and Aphiwe who is 5 years old. Speak­ing about how be­ing a sin­gle fa­ther has been like for him, he is quick to clar­ify that he is a fa­ther yes but he wouldn’t call him­self a sin­gle fa­ther rather a co-par­ent­ing be­cause the mother’s of his chil­dren are present and con­trib­ute to mak­ing sure the chil­dren get the best life.

Be­ing a work­ing man with a busy sched­ule some­times is hard to han­dle but he says it is eas­ier for him be­cause his chil­dren live with their moth­ers and he vis­its them ev­ery chance he gets or they come visit him. He says when they are around and he has to work, they are al­ways well taken care of by his aunt. He says as a fa­ther he has never ever felt judged just be­cause he is a sin­gle fa­ther. He says the judg­ment nor­mally is re­ceived by sin­gle moth­ers be­cause there is still all this mis­con­cep­tion and be­liefs that the wo­man must have done some­thing wrong to be­come a sin­gle par­ent. If any re­ac­tion Mas­ter P says he gets peo­ple who ac­tu­ally think he is a cool fa­ther. Speak­ing on dat­ing, he says he has been a very lucky per­son be­cause he has not dated a wo­man who had a prob­lem with him hav­ing chil­dren. If any­thing he thinks he meets ma­ture women who re­spect, love and do not try to com­pete with his chil­dren. This is some­thing he is re­ally happy about.

Be­ing a fa­ther can change peo­ple pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively, de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances around you. Mas­ter P says, be­ing a fa­ther has changed him a lot. “Be­fore I be­came a fa­ther I lived my life reck­lessly but hav­ing peo­ple to live for changed me for the bet­ter”, he ex­plains. .He says there are a num­ber of things he used to do which he is not proud of but be­ing a fa­ther made him come to a de­ci­sion to quit it all.

Speak­ing on how he spends time with his two boys, he says, “My kids stay far apart, the ol der one (Siyamthanda) stays in Mba­bane and his lit­tle brother (Aphiwe) stays in Mh­lume, so I rarely s pend time with them to­gether”. He says that when­ever they do get to spend time to­gether it is al­ways a good time. “I t a ke t hem f or games, but what­ever hap­pens, they must eat pizza at the end of the day”, he chuck­les.

As a fa­ther Mas­ter P says he teaches his chil- dren to fear God be­fore any­thing and re­spect other peo­ple, young or old. “My dis­ci­pline method with my chil­dren is firstly I talk with them to let them know what and why it is wrong, If they con­tinue to do the wrong, no pizza for them”. He says that al­ways works for him. As a par­ent you try and in­stil good char­ac­ter traits in your chil­dren as a very young age, Mas­ter P he says, one traits he is in­still­ing in his chil­dren a nd he hopes they grow with it, is to be al­ways hum­ble a nd smile in other peo­ples face. “I won’t lie, raisi n g child r en isn’t cheap, with hefty s c hool fees and stuff, one

has to work re­ally hard to make sure his chil­dren get a bet­ter life”. He says for him it is a whole lot eas­ier be­cause he shares some of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with their moth­ers.

Chil­dren are in­quis­i­tive by na­ture and as they grow they get to a point where all they do is ask ques­tions none stop. Some­times the prob­lem is not that they are ask­ing ques­tions rather the kind of ques­tions they ask and how they ask them. Mas­ter P says some­times his chil­dren ask him if he’s go­ing to marry their moth­ers and he says that is the hard­est ques­tion to an­swer. He says his re­sponse to that usu­ally is “when the time is right we’ll know”.

There are a lot of com­par­isons about how chil­dren from sin­gle par­ent house­holds fare against chil­dren from the “nor­mal” house­holds, Mas­ter P says he doesn’t think there’s any dif­fer­ence be­tween whose par­ents have sep­a­rated and those from “nor­mal” house­holds, as long as they get gen­uine love from both par­ents who are on good terms.

My big­gest chal­lenge as a sin­gle par­ent is I al­ways have to travel when­ever I want to see my chil­dren, some­times I wish we could all wake up in the same house, share the same space but that is not the case.

For any par­ent, the hard­est part is not be­ing al­ways around for your child/chil­dren. Mas­ter P says it is no dif­fer­ent for him. “I wish I were with my chil­dren 24/7 but that is not pos­si­ble”. Headds, he gets com­fort from know­ing they are well taken care of. On the con­trary he says t he bes t par t about be­ing a fa­ther is when he gets to spend time with his boys, j us t t hem with no dis­tur­bance.

Mas­ter P says the only a dvi c e he can s har e with other fa thers would be, “do what is bes t f or your chil­dren, don’t us e y our chil­dren as weapons to fight your ex, love your childr e n un­con­di­tion­ally and make sure you dis­ci­pline them ac­cord­ingly so you can be sure they will be able to s ur v i v e t he world even if you are no l onger around.


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