As father’s Day draws near, TV and radio personality Lerato Kganyago has called on men to play a prominent role in the upbringing of their children.
Kganyago said a father’s absence from a child’s life could have a negative impact on the child.
The new host of Project Runway South Africa recently opened up on social media about a grudge she had held against her father.
In a series of tweets, Kganyago spoke about her relationship with her father and how anger strained their relationship. “I held a grudge... for so long... until the one time he called me after so many months and he said, ‘I’m listening to 702, they’re talking about women and infertility’. I broke into tears because at that moment I realised he cared, but he didn’t know how to show me he did.
“But today I made a decision to let go and embrace my father as he is! I held on too long to what had happened in the past... I was dying inside, longing for his love as an only child! The best gift you could ever give your child is your love and affection!” she wrote.
Rebuilding my relationship with my father was the best thing I ever did for my SOUL. We don’t have a perfect relationship, but letting go of what had happened in the past freed me! Many years I longed for a fathers LOVE, though he was present physically... he wasn’t emotionally
Kganyago explained that after she lost her baby, she expected her father to be there for her, but he never showed up. She said she was angry with him.
“The three days I was in hospital after I lost my baby, I kept staring at the door, hoping he would walk in, but he didn’t! We didn’t speak for months after that. I avoided going home because I was so angry at him. He ditched me again when I needed him the most!”
The 35-year-old said the whole situation had taught her a lot about forgiveness.
“When you forgive someone, it is not necessarily about that person. I have forgiven people who have never asked for forgiveness before. Forgiveness is about freeing yourself from a lot of bitterness and anger, and just looking at greatness coming your way. When you don’t forgive and hold grudges against people, you are holding yourself in prison. It is very important that we forgive and move forward.”
She said a lot of fathers were present physically but not emotionally. “There is nothing as painful as having a father who is present but he is really not present. It is more like you have a father, but he is not there to play father duties,” said Kganyago.
The former Live Amp presenter said her relationship with her father was now much stronger, and that they had “found our common ground” ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday.
“He is my father. I love him wholeheartedly. I think it comes with growth, where you speak about things on the table. We became closer than ever. Come on, I am the only child. We are getting older.”