On 20 November 2021, Fathers Matter Project Coordinator Lereko Mfono attended the Amatyma Financial Wellness Conference. He shares what he learnt from the event.
The conference was hosted by well-known Black Real Estate CEO and TV Personality TT Mbha. Many know him for his presence on reality TV, and some for his major moves in real estate, but on this particular day, I got to know him as a passionate father and family man who has taken on the gargantuan responsibility of mobilising fathers – across all corners of society – and ensuring there are networks, such as his, to support them and make sure they are heard.
Old Mutual was a sponsor of the event, and although its presence was felt through the promotion of some of its products (many of which were actually directed at men), the sense was that it was truly behind this movement and would allow TT and the guests to really get to the heart of fatherhood in South Africa.
Guests included, in no particular order, DJ Sbu, Nhlanhla Lux, David Molapo (guest speaker) and Mahlomola Mashoeng – all of whom came with different outlooks and experiences about how fathers can be equipped and equip themselves with financial knowledge that can create a legacy for their children.
I particularly loved one segment in the programme that allowed men to chat in smaller groups about current issues such as gender-based violence, personal responsibility and how fathers can practically support each other in this volatile economy.
We, the fathers, pledged to use our influence in our own circles to do something to uplift one another and to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Pledges of these kinds tend to come across as empty platitudes at times, but when a large group of fathers are gathered together in an auditorium and are staring into each other's eyes, hearing one another, talking about our experiences, really engaging meaningfully, something of truth, and of substance, is planted.
Lereko Mfono is the Project Coordinator for Fathers Matter.
He is a multifaceted creative, with a background in drama, writing and facilitation. He is passionate about the transformation of mindsets through story and media.