5 minutes with Sechaba Gqeba

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Motswako presenter and media personality Sechaba Gqeba (31) never considered becoming a mother until she met her husband. She shares how he has helped her balance it all. By Kwanele Mathebula Pictures Supplied

5 minutes with Sechaba Gqeba

Being a mother wasn’t a part of my plans. I was born and raised in Sebokeng, Vereeniging. I had a happy childhood with my two siblings and parents. When I was 12 years old, my parents divorced. We lived with our mother who held our family together. My father remained in my life until he died in 2007. Although I loved children, I never pictured myself as a mother. But, this changed when I met my husband, Sakhi. We have two children – Alumkile (7) and Lethabo (5 months).

My first child was unplanned. In 2012, my career was in its early stages and I was in a long-distance relationship with Sakhi, who lived in Port Elizabeth at the time. I was hosting a graveyard show on Kaya FM, working as an MC at the local casino and studying. I was 25 when I started feeling that something was wrong with my body, and suspected that I was pregnant. I then took a pregnancy test which confirmed my suspicions. When told him that I was pregnant, I was nervous. But, his excitement was affirming. He booked a flight to Johannesburg so we could tell my mother together, who took the news well and even cried. He later sent his uncles over to my house to start the lobola negotiations. Six months into my pregnancy, work and school started to take a toll on me. Because I also wanted to have my family under one roof, I decided to move to Port Elizabeth. I gave birth in October and three months later, we moved to Cape Town.

My second pregnancy was difficult. In 2018, I fell pregnant with my second child. Although the pregnancy was planned, I wasn’t prepared for how tough it would be. I was bedridden for the first trimester due to severe nausea. At the time, Sakhi and I had booked a seven-day vacation to Bali, Indonesia, to celebrate my 30th birthday in June. Because we’d already paid for it, I decided to take the plunge and make the trip. This didn’t work out well because I spent the first night in hospital, and the rest of the holiday in bed. Being sick in a foreign country was scary because of the language barrier and not knowing much about its health system. As my pregnancy progressed, things began to get better until I gave birth to my son, Lethabo, in January this year while living in Cape Town.

Having a supportive husband made a huge difference.  From the moment we started dating, Sakhi knew how important my career was to me. He has always been supportive, and that hasn’t changed as our family grows. There have been times when I struggled to balance the demands of my different jobs – radio, TV presenting and being an MC – with being a mother. I often fly to Johannesburg to shoot the SABC 2 talk show Motswako and do MC gigs, which means spending a few days away from my children. During these times, he takes care of them. This has been great for me because it has also decreased the guilt I struggle with for leaving them behind to pursue my dreams. Having this kind of partner has made motherhood a joy for me.

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