Like father like son: Veteran footballer Lucas Radebe and Tik-Toker son Primo on family values

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Soccer legend Lucas says Primo reminds him of himself when he was younger.
Soccer legend Lucas says Primo reminds him of himself when he was younger.

He is a photocopy of his dad, his height, the way he laughs, and his sense of style. But more than anything, his dad is proud to have raised a replica of himself who is disciplined, focused, and loves what he does. 

Veteran footballer Lucas Radebe (53) beams while watching his son Ofentse “Primo” Baloyi (29) speak eloquently and passionately about what he does for a living. 

“At first, I wasn’t sure about this social media thing and content creation. But seeing him serious and passionate about what he does has made me interested and want to learn about it,” Lucas tells Drum. 

“He has an account, but he doesn’t really understand TikTok. He goes to my younger siblings, who show him the dance moves and not the business of content creation. So, I let him have fun with his kids, while I make business,” Primo laughs.

“Yes, he is always trying to lure me into TikTok and I am open to learning. But he is scared I might have more viewership, so I stay in my lane.”

Lucas respects his son’s path and how he is finding his passion. 

“I might not understand it much, but I see it’s got its benefits and he takes it seriously and I can see how well he is doing.”

On Thursday 1 December, the former Bafana Bafana and Leeds United captain, and Primo will be celebrity guests on episode three of The Festive Get-Together in The Life Artois, at 21h30 on Mzansi Magic (DSTV channel 161). In the episode, the football legend and Tik Toker son talk share with show host Unathi Nkayi about their career paths making their mark in the world, while making time for each other, even in the most challenging of times.

Lucas says Primo reminds him of himself when he was younger.

“We have too much in common. We are almost the same person. Firstly, have you seen how good-looking we are?” Primo says.

“He must thank me for the good genes,” Lucas chips in.

“I think more than that, both of us are very competitive, not in an unhealthy way. We are work-oriented, disciplined, and routine beings. I do things with the same discipline he had when he was playing football. There were certain things he didn’t do in his youth that others were doing, and I am also at that point where I don’t do anything that will mess with my work,” Primo says. 

“It’s nice to see yourself in someone else,” Lucas adds.

Raising his kids, Lucas made sure he instilled good, strong family values. 

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“Respect what you do well, and it will respect you back in one way or the other. I know my son works really hard, which is something I appreciate. I raised him to be kind and respectful which just tops it all off. I can safely say, I raised a well-mannered young man. I am impressed with the person he has become. He makes good decisions. I was surprised to learn he even has a management crew. He is growing and getting to the next level,” Lucas adds.

As a pioneer in SA football, Lucas captained Kaizer Chiefs, Leeds United, and Bafana Bafana, and was part of the national team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. Along the way has made mistakes that he has learned from.

“I’ve made a few here and there, we all learn and grow. There is nothing that derailed me. I always kept my focus. I believe you have to play and get to a point of settling down,” Lucas adds.

“I think I’m better than him though, he had me at 24 years old, and I’m 29 without a child,” they break out in laughter.

Lucas says, he and Primo spend a lot of time laughing. “He always disses me and my age. How different things are in our generation and the fashion of our time. He thinks he can compete with me.” 

The two laugh loudly together, like good friends. 

While many celebrities struggle with being in public with their children because fans always want to take pictures or get autographs, Primo says he understood the love fans had for his dad from a young age and it did not affect him in any way.

“Growing up was a movie. I remember we would go to places like The Rand Show which was a big festival and very kid oriented. We couldn’t have too much fun or go on the rides because everyone wants to take a picture and shake his hand or get an autograph. Being in public was that, and we were exposed to it from a very young age. We couldn’t leave the mall when we wanted to. People would want to touch their captain’s hand.“

He says he didn’t have a problem with that at all.

“It was a bit annoying at times. But looking back now, I am in the same position where going to the mall takes hours because you are constantly being stopped for a picture, I realise that it is love. They are showing genuine appreciation for what you do. We could see the people being so humble in their approach. It’s not something to be annoyed about. You learn to be patient.”

Primo says even on international trips, his father would be stopped for a picture or two. 

“We went to Mauritius, and I was so shocked to see people know him there,” Lucas says his son is more recognised in public spaces than him these days. 

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“In a good way though. It’s his time now. I am okay with the oldies. I want him to experience that and find himself,” Lucas adds.

With having so much in common with his father, Primo says there was also once the pressure for him to play football.

“I played football. There was a lot of pressure. I had a whole career in football,” he says.

“It came naturally for him. It’s in the blood. I didn’t force him. He had all the ability and the influence. Had he pursued it further, he might have been far. But, no pressure. But I’ve learned to give my kids space to be themselves and explore. I have to let him do his thing. Nothing beats experience,” Lucas says.

Primo’s vision is to be as successful as his dad.

 “I want the same type of impact that my dad had in the game but in my own space. He played so well that people trusted him, and he became the monument of that industry. I want to achieve the same in my space. I want my opinion to be trusted in anything entertainment related. I am trying to take over and have the same kind of stature. I am already at the forefront of South African content creation,” Primo adds.

Being all about family, this festive season, they plan to do what they do almost every year and that is to gather with immediate and extended family and have a good time.

“We have a big family, and this time of the year is all about spending quality time, swimming, eating, laughing, and reminiscing on the good old day. With a big family like ours, we don’t struggle with friendships, and we can’t wait for the holidays to kick in.”

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