Durban - Musician, dancer, television host, actor, influencer, son and brother are some of the many hats Lindo Sithole wears.
However, of these many titles, “father” remains his favourite. Born and bred in eMtshezi in Estcourt, the 31-year-old said the term “father” did not only make reference to a parental role, but referred to a deeper sense of being.
Sithole said it encompassed a lot of responsibilities, and waking each day knowing at there was someone who looked up to you as their role model and had placed their entire faith in you, was a feeling beyond articulation.
Sithole, known by his artist name “Lin Dough”, cemented his place in the entertainment industry at a young age.
He won the hearts of South Africans by becoming a formidable team with his son Valdo, 8, when he gave his audience a sneak peek into their daily lives as the inseparable father and son duo.
Their embodiment of a father and son relationship quickly landed them performance gigs and sponsorships from many big brands. Sithole clarified that although his son lived with him, and he was responsible for him from dusk till dawn, he shared a healthy co-parenting relationship with the mother of his child.
He added that although life has since “become kinder” to him on the financial side, he has had his share of challenges since becoming a father. “I did not grow up in a rich family, so I did not have it easy when fatherhood knocked on my door.
“There are some expenses that are just not negotiable, such as baby formula and diapers, so when the time came, I obviously had to step up and play that role diligently and make sure he is well taken care of, financially and emotionally,” Sithole said. He added that his choice to be a “present father” was inspired by the fact that he met his own dad at age 14.
He wanted to rectify his father’s mistakes by being present in his son’s life. “I told myself that I would be there from the time he was born, to his crawling phase, to his first steps and first words and the many other major milestones after.
These are the things that kept me going, and I told myself that as a parent, even though money might be challenging, you are playing a big role by just being present, and the fact that a mother’s love and a father’s love can never be the same,” he said.
Sithole said that this parenting role had helped him to grow, as opposed to when he was younger.
“Fatherhood has taught me a lot of responsibility. Before one becomes a father, one generally thinks about the latest phones and jeans or where one will go partying, but having Valdo has taught me plenty of responsibility.
“Although I’m still able to fulfil those roles, the priorities changed and things went from being about me to being about my baby,” he added. Sithole said that he ensured that he instilled values in his son, which included respect for others and being a responsible young man. He relayed a strong message to other young fathers.
“I know there are a lot of fathers who are raising their own children. There are also those who run away from that responsibility. “Let us be the generation that takes care of their own offspring, and let them be proud to call you father. You do not have to be rich, but just be there for your child,” he said.
Sithole said he would spend most of Father’s Day doing gigs. However, he would start his day with a “nice breakfast” and be smothered with love by the most important person in his life, his son Valdo.