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Lupi Ngcayisa talks challenging the ‘absent father’ stereotype

Lupi and Phalo Ngcayisa.
Lupi and Phalo Ngcayisa.

Doting dad Lupi Ngcayisa feels that black men are changing the ‘absent father’ stereotype.

Indeed, modern black men are constantly showing that fathers can be nurturers to their children instead of being the aloof provider.

“We’re in a stage in our lives now where I feel there is an appetite for men to go beyond what society has deemed to be the role and responsibility of the man so far as child rearing is concerned,” he says.

The father of two has had to learn a lot of things the second time around, things like juggling his hectic work schedule and being able to spend time with his youngest.  He believes it is very important to have an established routine.

Ngcayisa and Phalo’s mornings consist of 15-20-minutes of playtime while listening to their morning song and simultaneously getting ready for work and crèche. The two then have breakfast together and their day begins. 

Similarly, they have an afternoon routine, which varies each day. From walks in the park to sharing sandwiches with those less fortunate than them, to going out for a bite to eat. The three- year old Phalo per his father is an intelligent and compassionate child. 

Ngcayisa is part of a group of celebrity fathers who are part of a campaign by detergent brand OMO, aimed at promoting the positive idea of play and abolishing the stereotypes that mothers are the parents who should nurture children.

The other dad’s involved are actor Thapelo Mokoena and former football star Kaizer Motaung Junior.

Ngcayisa strongly believes in what the campaign is advocating for. He fondly recalls days spent picking guavas and eating them until he got sick. He says he’ll never forget the smell of guavas. 

“My two fondest memories of my childhood would be picking guavas and the summertime. We used to splash ourselves with water and pretend to be at the beach.”

Having a second child is something he discussed with his 23-year-old-daughter Sinesipho.

“I have an incredible relationship with my daughter; she prepared me a great deal for the dad that I am now to Phalo because many lessons were drawn from my relationship with her. “

He goes on to state that having children has taught him a lot of things. It has strengthened his relationship with his community, colleagues and with his children. 

“Fatherhood has taught me the true value of partnership, and how to manage them.  I say partnership because you cannot dictate to [your child], you negotiate, and you present your argument.”


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