Fathering Our Childhoods

Please introduce yourself.

I was born 22 years ago to the Ngubo family. I was raised by my mother’s family in a small township with my cousins who I consider to be my siblings. We were raised by our grandmother, but I later started boarding school. It was in boarding school that I discovered myself and began to know who I was: an introvert with big dreams. I then realised family was not necessarily blood relatives, but rather who you have strong relations with.

 What do you consider to be your field of passion/expertise?

Kids. I have a huge passion for kids. I have seen the life in townships and how [growing up] we lacked role models. I refused to give in to ‘Kasi’ stereotypes of young people amounting to nothing or we all end up in the streets. My passion for kids stems from wanting to inspire them to break the stereotype. I have seen most of my friends conform to the township life – delinquency.

 What change are you keen to drive?

I want to break away from the idea that men cannot love; to set an example for young boys so they may be able to show affection towards their kids and others. I want us to constantly improve ourselves as men, and not let the tradition that our fathers have lay down to describe us; we need become the best fathers to our kids. This could be the solution to young girls who seek love from old men as a substitute to the lack of love from their fathers. Love is one of the things we lack; money is what we chase and at the expense of our kids’ love.

 How are you driving change?

I started out by visiting schools in Gugulethu, with an intention to get closer and to build a relationship with the kids. Now I work with Siyazinga, Amy Beihl Foundation, HisKidz and youth at SAIIA. I use sport as a tool to engage with the kids; either physical education at school or swimming socials outside of school. This gives them the ability to see other places and be exposed to a different environment outside of the township. We also tutor and have after school programs for the kids, which focuses on improving their academic performance.

How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change?

Activate has introduced me to other young people who have the same passion as myself. They are about bringing change. This space has allowed to learn how to improve myself as a person and how to get involved with my community.

What do you think is the priority in setting the agenda for our country in the next 5 years?

We are country with great documentation of democracy on paper but when it comes to action we are lacking. Currently our country is known for making promises but not delivering. We need transformation and change. This means setting an agenda that will allow us to measure and implement change.

Tell us more about your role and work as a mentor to the learners you work with?

My role is to be there for them whether academically or socially. I have built incredible bonds with the kids and their families. I support and help them improve their confidence and see that there is more to life. I try to have career and personal talks intertwined so the kids can know that they can both live and dream big.

Final comment?

Before you go out and be a hero, heal yourself. How can you help someone else when you’re still fixing?

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