We spent 5 minutes with Skeem Saam actor Cedric Fourie (30) who chatted to Kwanele Mathebula about how fatherhood helped bring his life into perspective. Pictures Peter Whitfield
I was unemployed when my girlfriend fell pregnant. I was 26 years old and she was 25. I was shocked when I found out, then started to panic because I was job hunting. Although I’d always wanted to have children, I wasn’t ready at the time because there was instability in my life. I started to question what kind of father I was going to be, especially since my father wasn’t around when I was growing up. A few months into the pregnancy, I decided to embrace the fact that it was happening. I didn’t want my child to grow up feeling like he was a mistake or unwanted. I wanted him to feel loved from birth.
A few months before my son Tristan was born, I got a job. Because I was still new, and hadn’t accumulated enough leave days, I missed his birth. But, as soon as I knocked off, I headed straight to the hospital to meet him. When I first saw him, I looked for some resemblance of me in him. I then prayed for him while he was sleeping, and I was in awe that he had finally arrived. Seeing him was incredible.
Raising Tristan has been a collective effort. The first two years of his life went by smoothly. His mom and I watched him all the time. He loved being held and would cry when we put him down. Also, my work schedule was flexible and allowed me to spend a lot of time with him. His mom was also great and sometimes surprised me with how much she knew about motherhood. Our families were very involved and helped out as much as they could. Their support helped make things a little easier.
Fatherhood has made me wiser. After the birth of my son, I had to grow up. It was important for me to take full responsibility of him. Even though I knew that my family was there to help when I needed them, I never took advantage of their support. I started thinking about insurance policies – life cover, so that he can be taken care of when I die. Furthermore, I had to learn that just because I am his parent and responsible for him, I also need to allow him to be his own person. This is how I was raised and hope to raise him.
Leading by example is important to me. I want my son to be better than me, and learn how to be a good person from watching me. There are certain things that I don’t indulge in, such as alcohol and smoking because I don’t want him doing those things. I realised very early on that if I want him to be the best version of himself, he needed to see that from me.