• AfroDaddy

Father in Focus: Tim Thabethe

I am very excited about this edition of Father in Focus.

There was a time in my life when I worked in the radio industry here in Cape Town (that time officially ended last year...but feels like so long ago) and, frankly, I found it to be too cutthroat for me. There weren't loads of people who you could really look up to as a younger person - but today's Father in Focus definitely is one of them.

Tim Thabethe and I worked together for about 5 years, and in that time I discovered that he was the kind of guy you could play some golf with, have a drink with, laugh with and get advice from. In a world full of self-serving showboats, Tim is an island of humility and wholesomeness.

I guarantee that he hated that last paragraph. He's just that kind of guy.

If you are looking for a hardworking, family man who actually gives a damn about the people around him, then please let me introduce you to Tim Thabethe:

1) Tell us about yourself and your kid

I’m Tim Thabethe, radio broadcast fanatic. I am father to one child, my daughter, Kia, who is 9 years old. She has already achieved more in her 9 years on this earth than I had at that age. She is my absolute everything.

2) What surprised you about fatherhood - either about it in general or about your own experience?

It was a lot simpler than I anticipated. Having said that, I think my daughter and her easy-going nature made it simple. My wife was so comfortable as a mother, the entire experience of being a father and parent seemed effortless, right down to the nappy changes. Although I do believe my challenges will only begin when she is a teenager. She may well be a challenge but boyfriends? Less so!

For as a far as I can remember the only challenge I recall was not being able to take away pain in the form of an injury or illness. As much as it’s a normal part of life, her unhappiness was something I always wanted to fix (typical Dad) and that feeling of hopelessness is quite overwhelming when you are waiting for medicines to take or for healing to play its part.

Another thing that surprised me was that my daughter would be my best friend. We go to movies, play Xbox and visit the driving range together. There is this hierarchical view of parenthood where Dad is senior and child is junior, and it is for the most part, but I had never considered that with a 33 year age gap that we could engage in a way that was fun for adult and child.

3) What is one thing that you think all dads-to-be should know?

Well I think this is for parenting in general. We are going to make mistakes. Heaven knows I have. We are going to say and do the wrong things. We are going to encourage different behaviours (for better or for worse).

My philosophy is that as long as I parent with love and as long as my daughter knows it and feels it, I’ll be forgiven for the things I didn’t do quite right. I see her behaviour sometimes and realise that it’s because of me that she reacts or acts in a particular way. I consider how much it has affected her and either try to make it right or pray that it doesn’t affect her for the worst as an adult.

For the things I cannot fix I try to permanently envelope her with my care and love so that she is never in doubt of it. I have learned that raising children is a gamble. Each has an individual personality and makes sense of the world in different ways. As a parent you can input too much or too little and either will have a lifelong effect on the little human you are guiding towards adulthood.

The only sure thing you have is your love and as long as she or he feels it, I believe it will go a long way in shaping your little person into a big person of tomorrow.

4) Do you have a favourite moment of being a parent?

All of it. Good and bad. Navigating my daughter through her best and worst times has been a privilege. Being given the opportunity to shape a person is a gift that we must never give up on.

Put trivially, I’d imagine it’s like an artist on canvas who starts out with a blank canvas. The opportunity to make something beautiful but finishes with something exquisite. But the journey from blank canvas to celebrated art was one of trial, error and challenges. I’d describe it a bit like that.

5) Where can we see your stuff ?

I have no stuff. I’m am the shadow between light and darkness that allows beauty to flourish even is the most opaque of places.

Which is bull****.

I’m a production manager who facilitates creativity, so basically I plan the fun. Although some of my work can be heard on #KfmSundaze between 3 & 7pm.I have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but only when I am moved do I move onto them so I hope that a post from me is.