Unathi Nkayi on parenting and fitness

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Unathi Nkayi
Unathi Nkayi

What was the turning point in your fitness journey?

I had always promised myself that whatever life throws at me, I wouldn’t succumb to weighing triple digits. For years, I stepped on the scale and weighed 98 kg. At that moment, I knew that one slice of cake would tip me over to the wrong side of the scale. I wanted to lose weight slowly because I didn’t want excess skin. I also decided to do it publicly because I had been body-shamed publicly — and inspire other women that their body goals are attainable.

READ MORE: Seven inspirational quotes by Unathi Nkayi

How do you incorporate fitness into motherhood?

It’s been wonderful to see how infectious exercising is, and how my children have jumped onto the fitness bandwagon. Whenever we go to the gym, my daughter no longer wears tights and T-shirts — she rocks tights and a sports bra, like me. There are two comments that jump out where fitness and my kids are concerned: the one day I walked out, and my son was disgusted at the firmness of my thighs. He said, “Mom, someday I’m going to have your thighs,” and I told him to keep on working. I love this competitive spirit that we have going on. My daughter, on the other hand, once said: “I love the fact that you and I have these beautiful, big and round bums!” It’s just beautiful to be able to give her that kind of confidence so early in her life.

READ MORE: "I love and crave being taken care of. I want to feel protected and covered,” – Unathi Nkayi

You’ve always been consistent about not subjecting your children to the scrutiny of the public eye. How have you maintained this discipline over the years?

My daughter turns nine in May, and my son is 16. It’s been rewarding to watch them grow and choose their respective journeys. I want them to have freedom to be who they want to be without the added pressure of having two parents in the public eye. I want to strip them of the burden or responsibility of being Thomas and Unathi’s kids, and grant them the freedom to be who God intended them to be. I want them to bear as little responsibility as possible, for having famous parents, and to lessen the consequences of what we go through publicly as their parents. My son wants to be an architect and play hockey abroad while my daughter wants to be a plastic surgeon. Imagine that their clients always instantly recognise them as our kids — we don’t want to impose that burden on them. Our parenting has nothing to do with the limelight, and I’m grateful to be co-parenting with someone with whom I’m on the same page.

READ MORE:  “Parenting needs a community and an openness to learning” – Olwethu Leshabane

What are some of the lessons you hope to impart to them?

The greatest one is for them to be the best versions of themselves — and that takes work. We are a hard-working family that rewards effort, not achievements. I also want them to know that they are enough, to enjoy their individuality and live their lives the best way they know how.

Buy a digital copy of the April issue on Magzter or Zinio to find out what Unathi Nkayi had to say about this new chapter of her life!

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