Single dads’ army: ‘I can’t even think of bringing a woman home'

2017-06-18 06:01
Hands-on Thabang Tikane in discussion with his sons Lebogang (right) and Tumiso. Picture: Poloko Tau

Hands-on Thabang Tikane in discussion with his sons Lebogang (right) and Tumiso. Picture: Poloko Tau

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The house suddenly comes alive as Thabang Tikane, 42, walks through the kitchen door.

His two boys put away their phones and get back to their books, pretending they have been studying.

Tikane, from Mahikeng, a deputy director in the North West social development department, looks exhausted as he heads for the nearest couch, kicks off his formal shoes and takes a deep breath.

Home time marks the start of Tikane’s other job – that of a single parent. But he enjoys every moment, he says.

Tikane understands the different characteristics of his children – son Lebogang, 19, daughter Tiiso, 15, and his youngest Tumiso, 14, – very well.

He has been the only parent they have known since their mum died shortly after giving birth to Tumiso.

“Tiiso in most cases acts as the spokesperson for the collective. She gets to lead the delegation on most issues, but she is also considerate,” he says proudly.

“Every time an issue is raised, it becomes clear that the pack has already caucused and agreed on it.”

Parenting has its challenges.

Tikane attends parents’ meetings at three different schools, and they often clash – which is difficult for a single dad who wants to show commitment and interest in his children’s schooling.

He also wants to ensure the children get enough time for their studies, and he fervently monitors their progress.

In terms of household management, Tikane says: “We have someone who helps us with cleaning and laundry, but we do our own cooking on a rotational basis.

"We often cook together and later enjoy dinner together.”

Tikane admits that raising a girl is a challenge, and that discussing certain issues is sometimes hard.

While he buys her sanitary items, he says she still finds it difficult to tell him whenever she needs them.

“I would often hear it from her aunts. I have decided to give her space because she opens up easily to her aunts, but I hope one day we will be able to have those chats when she is ready,” Tikane says.

“Being a single parent is no walk in the park ... The recipe is to respect the children, ensure they are happy ... I can’t even think of bringing a woman home.

“We’re a happy family and I look forward to spending Father’s Day with them. Maybe they have a surprise for me ... who knows.”

A politics enthusiast, Tikane thinks of himself as a responsible, disciplined and caring “political principal” determined to treat his children decently.

“I am a humble and caring father,” he says.

Read more on:    mahikeng

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