It’s said the first sight of love for many woman is the love she receives from her father and that the way her father treats her will influence the kind of love she invites into her life.
Speaking to Move!, four women share their heartwarming stories of love and the role their fathers have played in their lives as young women.
Mbali Matches is a 19-year-old first year student in international studies at the Stellenbosch University. She and her father share the same taste in music and on any given day you’ll find them listening to music and dancing together, she says. “We listen to jazz and dance together. In fact, music has become so sentimental to me because its something I share deeply with my dad.
“My father has taught me that just because a person is good to you it doesn’t mean that’s the truth of everyone else’s experience of that person. My father and I have always been close, I don’t remember not being close to my Dad. I have always been a daddy’s girl but as I get older that’s starting to change,” Mbali says.
“My father is my anchor, he validates all my feelings and he takes the time to understand them. He lets me know it’s okay to feel a certain way and it’s okay to not be able to do a certain thing. He holds space for all my failures,” Mbali adds.
Pam Magwaza is a career woman working as a digital editor for two of the most-read publications in South Africa. The 25-year-old, who lives in Cape Town, says her father has always been her rock and that he’s taught her kindess and patience.
“My dad is one of the kindest, most giving people I've ever met. He didn't even have to actively teach it to me, I just learnt through his actions. He is also incredibly patient – with himself and other people. This, unfortunately, is not a trait I learnt easily but he still advises me a lot on this and that helps,” Pam explains.
“The most beautiful thing he has done has been to seek to understand me as a person. In all the ways I've changed as a woman all these years he has actively evolved with me. Even when we have a disagreement (which isn’t often) he knows exactly how I deal with conflict and meets me half way. He also shows me a lot of respect and goes out of his way to boost my self-esteem. When the world is on my shoulders and challenges my worth, he's there to to help me rise above it, always.
“My dad has never been a rich man but I don't remember ever asking for something and him denying me it. Whether it was a chocolate, a cellphone, a visit to a fancy restaurant or clothes, I always eventually got it. I once asked him why, and he said because he ‘never wants me to be tricked by any man who'd want to entice me with material things in exchange for my soul or body’. I appreciate how hard he worked to give me the best he could at the time and how he tried to protect me as much as possible,” Pam adds.
Qhmaninande Trom is a 22-year-old social worker who says her father has always been her protector. He has shown her hard work pays off no matter the struggle.
“My father used to walk my sister and I to the bus stop every morning around 5am. He made sure we always felt safe and protected. No matter the weather, my father made sure to walk with us. He did that each day for five years. That showed me my dad’s love for me is unshakeable.
“My father made sure I went to university. No matter the obstacles, he fought hard for me to study and so my graduation was the most beautiful day I shared with my dad. I always prayed to God that my parents be present when I graduate. My dad has taught me that nothing is impossible. He has taught me I need to work hard and persevere. He has shown me I can achieve anything I put my mind to,” Qhamani says.
Bandile Nsthingila is a 21-year-old journalist. She says her father has shown her the importance of commitment.
“He has worked for the South African Police Service for over 30 years and has been married to my mother for nearly the same number of years. He still wakes up early to go to work so many years later – even during this pandemic he’s still showing up to work despite his fear, despite his age. In the same way he always shows up for us, time and time again. So, his commitment to his job and his family is one of the lessons I’ve learnt from him,” Bandile tells us.
“My father paid my registration fee in my first year. To this day, a degree and so many sleepless nights later, I still have the receipt pasted in my diary. When my mom told me he took out a loan to pay it, I broke down in tears. They both knew how important it was for me to enrol in university and the fact that he went to those lengths warmed my heart. You know, it’s one thing to say you don’t have the money for something, but it’s another to do something about it.
“Over the past few years I’ve gotten to know my father as a person outside of him just being a parent. We’ve built a bond through our shared love for jazz, soccer and Zulu history that’s been nothing short of amazing. I definitely consider myself a mommy’s-daddy’s girl!” Bandile adds.