Cape Town - Like a magician waving a wand, all it takes is a gentle wiggle of fingers on a tiny tummy to make Oyinkosi Mthethwa’s face break into a gummy smile, complete with heart-melting dimples. The man with the magic touch is four-month-old Oyinkosi’s dad, Idols SA winner Khaya Mthethwa, and his grin is as wide as that of his little man.
Fatherhood is clearly agreeing with him. “I’m having a very good time. It’s a new journey and I’m really enjoying it.” Khaya (31) and his wife, former Miss South Africa Ntandoyenkosi Kunene-Mthethwa (27), welcomed their bundle of joy in February.
“I still can’t believe I’m a dad,” he says, adding that his son has brought him “unimaginable joy”. Something in him changed the first moment he held Oyinkosi in his arms, he says. “Having a son is a huge thing for a man – it’s something to really treasure. And it’s also a God-given gift to have someone carry the lineage forward.”
Khaya and Ntando might be household names in Mzansi but they want their little boy to have a normal upbringing. “If I could ‘un-famous’ myself I would,” Khaya says. “But I want to give my son the opportunity to choose if he wants to have a private life or wants to be on social media.”
Up to now the couple have shown only partial glimpses of their baby’s face on social media and that’ll be it for a while. For Khaya there’s so much more to life than a social-media following – for him it means making sure God is in your heart. Like his parents, Themba and Lulu Mthethwa, he’s an ordained pastor and wants his son “to respect God”.
Still, this doesn’t mean they’re going to deprive their firstborn of the finer things in life. A month before Oyinkosi was born Ntando posted a picture on Instagram of herself with a luxury stroller, a gold-and black Baby Merc Faster 3, which reportedly comes with an R11 000 price tag.
She captioned it: “Transportation for my little human and it makes mommy look equally as good.” “Kids are expensive,” Khaya says now, “but I’m not even counting when it comes to him.”
The honeymoon was barely over for Khaya and Ntando when, about six months after their wedding, she presented the Move singer with a neatly wrapped little box. “I was, okay, what’s that? I’m the one who always buys her gifts so she really got me interested,” Khaya recalls. When he opened the box he found a home pregnancy test with a positive indicator. The ecstatic couple agreed that they wouldn’t tell anyone their news just yet, “but that same night we told our parents and everybody”, Khaya says. “Everyone was very excited for us.” Then came the rough part of the pregnancy: morning sickness. “Early in the pregnancy Ntando was uncomfortable and nauseous all the time,” Khaya says.
He had to step in and take over the household chores. “I was the one cooking, cleaning and making sure she was fine.” He also attended antenatal classes. Khaya says at first he was nervous about becoming a father. “I was excited but I was also scared because I was going to have someone who looks up to me.”
Oyinkosi arrived a day later than expected. Ntando gave birth via Caesarean section, with Khaya at her side. The little boy weighed a healthy 3,5kg at birth. “When they cut my wife, that wasn’t nice at all. But it was a life-changing experience. I cannot explain what the birth did to my heart.” The last time Khaya’s heart was snatched away was when he proposed to Ntando six months after they’d started dating.
Looking back, he says, it’s one of the best decisions he’s made. “The first time I met her I felt something I’d never felt before and I said to myself, ‘Let’s go.’” The happy parents smile at each other, clearly still very much in love.
“I still ask my wife if we’re really married,” he says, beaming. They were married in a traditional wedding in 2017 at Ntando’s home in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. But courting the beauty queen wasn’t easy, he reveals. “Ntando gave me a hard time. I didn’t have WhatsApp so I had to download it so I could chat to her because she didn’t want to use iMessage.” He’d fly to Nelspruit every second week for dates. “I did it all, the flowers, gifts, I mean everything!” But it was worth it.
“She’s a superwoman, caring and a detailed planner, while I’m more chilled.” Ntando brought direction to his life as “she’s a visionary and thinks about ideas every day. She’s extremely loving and loyal. She carries herself like a lady.” Ntando, who’s now Mam’fundisi (a pastor’s wife), has accepted her new role with grace and poise. “It was a big leap for her but she’s doing very well. She’s respectful and loves people.”
Being a husband, father and church leader – and muso – may look like a high mountain to climb, but Khaya says he can handle it. “I have to find balance but I’m still young. I have the energy and the opportunity to do all these things.” The couple say they have similar dreams for their son because the way they were raised was quite similar. “Everything I saw my parents doing I’m applying to my child’s life,” Khaya says.
“We both have parents who were heavily involved in their children’s lives. They allowed us to see our strengths and what we were passionate about.” Khaya says whether Oyinkosi decides to follow in his father’s footsteps or pursue his own dreams, they’ll support him.
“If he becomes an intellectual or a neurologist, great. But whatever he decides to do must come from his heart.” For now, Khaya is loving the journey of fatherhood and relishes every moment he spends with his wife and son. So will Oyinkosi be a big brother one day, we ask? Hopefully in the next year or two, Khaya says – and hopefully it’ll be a girl.