The sensational and vibrant persona of Mapaseka Mokwele is no stranger to the media industry. Mapaseka broke into the broadcasting industry in 1996 where she worked as a presenter for “Your Own Business” she was later snapped up by SABC news department. She has also been the face of SABC 3’s prime time English news bulletin for the past 3 years. She is now the host of Home with Mapaseka Mokwele on Kaya FM. We sat down with her to find out how she parents?
When did you have your first child?
I had Thabo (but we call him Thaboza) when I was 27; I got married at the age of 25. At age 35 I had my son Lefika. In total am a mother of four – my husband has a son and a lovely daughter.
What changes did your children bring into your life?
Thaboza calmed me down; before I had no care in the world. I used to work ultra-hard and never even had time for myself but learned to have me time so that I can give them my time.
How different were your pregnancies?
Thaboza’s pregnancy was difficult I was not prepared for the body changes, I picked up 40kgs. This hit me hard. I gained a lot of weight in a space of nine months. I became self-conscious and aware of my bodily flaws and how unsexy I looked. Under normal circumstances that would not have bothered me. Every sickness you see in pregnancy books I had it, carpal tunnel syndrome, pre-eclampsia, hypertension, you name it. This was after I had had an ectopic pregnancy the previous year.
Lele’s pregnancy was the easy, I was healthy I was looking sexy, I loved the bulges, I appreciated seeing the changes in my body. This of course comes with maturity and being comfortable in your own skin. I didn’t know that then I was comfortable in my own skin then. I enjoyed the pregnancy up until a day when I fell down the stairs at six and half months of my pregnancy at work. I rolled down the stairs and hurt my back, had back pain and the pubic symphysis bone had split. That was painful. I had to have someone help me bathe, dress me. My husband was extremely supportive and would check up on me.
Did you have natural or caesarean birth?
I am scared of pain so I had caesarean births with both my children. I was also not allowed to have natural birth because I was so sick during Thaboza’s pregnancy but still I would not have chosen it. With my second pregnancy I had torn muscles due to the fall and the caesarean was the best option.
How did you decide on the names of your children?
Thaboza was our joy; after the ectopic pregnancy and he continues to bring us joy. He is named after his great grandfather. He shares the name with his father. My husband and I alternate the names given to the children. They take names from both families. So they each have their grandfather’s names from both sides.
What is your parenting style?
My husband talks to the kids and does not raise a hand to them. I am firm but warm. I play with my kids, run around and if they want something they come to me. I sit down and reason with them.
What values are you imparting to your kids?
My husband and I both love and value our families and we are teaching the same to the kids. For instance on Sunday without fail we sit down for a Sunday lunch and we eat together and we have a good time. I don’t work on weekends and I spend that time with the kids. Sometimes we have a Saturday morning movie marathon and we watch movies, play games and just bond as a family.
What have your parents taught you that you are now applying to your kids?
Being disciplined and planning ahead. Talking, sharing and discussing things. I can pick up the phone and talk to my parents any time and I do the same with my kids.
How do you handle being a working mother?
My son does his homework before I go to work. On days where I am not there daddy checks his work. We have a system that works. Sometimes his big sister assists with the homework.
Your wish for the children of South Africa?
As parents we need to love our children. Let them be kids, don’t abuse them, ill-treat them.
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