Lereko Mfono and Nkosinathi Sixabayi joined Heartlines’ Fathers Matter project at the beginning of November. Lereko in the role of Project Coordinator, and Nkosinathi as the Church Lead for Fathers Matter.
Lereko and Nkosinathi share more about joining the Fathers Matter project and their thoughts on fatherhood.
1. What aspect of your new role excites you the most?
Lereko: It’s been really exciting getting to know the people in the organisation and hearing their stories of how they got to work for Heartlines. As an organisation that has service at the centre of what it does, it’s been enriching to hear how our lives, the journey of ups and downs, led us all to this point.
Nkosinathi: I'm excited and look forward to working with churches around our country on such a crucial issue of raising responsible, inspirational and godly fathers. Giving practical skills to fathers which are a great need in our society. I look forward to working with the different reps and champions around the country who are doing phenomenal work. The church is by far one of the most influential and impactful institutions and working with the church can be encouraging.
2. What advice would you give to your younger self just before the birth of your first child?
Lereko: Mhmm, I would say remember not to carry the burden by yourself or with your wife only – there are many men who have walked this fatherhood journey waiting with bated breath to share how they did it and what to look out for – I would advise myself to reach out more for help.
Nkosinathi: Make sure you're present in your child's life as a father. It is the best gift you can give them.
3. Complete the sentence: “South African fathers…”
Lereko: …are about to realise their true potential.
Nkosinathi: …are faced with challenges in their endeavours to be great fathers. They are faced with many obstacles which include unemployment and cultural issues in fulfilling their responsibility. This is due to how that responsibility is generally viewed by society, which in most cases is reduced to financial. This hinders them from enjoying the joys of fatherhood and being present in the lives of their children. There is great potential to turn this tide as many of them are willing to do their best. Every little intervention goes a long way in turning this tide.