∇ Tell us about your family
My wife, Dominique, 1 year old daughter, Hannah, soon to be born son, John, two previously wild cats, Grys and Ash and a pavement special dog, Lucy. I currently reside in Kempton Park, Gauteng. We stay on a beautiful plot where most of Dominique’s family live, each family unit in their own corner of the property.
∇ Was having kids something you always wanted?
Absolutely. I’ve always had those cliched movie moment ideas in my head of fishing, hiking and camping with my kids. And now I’m looking forward to the day they’re old enough to do just that.
∇ What was the scariest moment so far?
We woke up one night to Hannah crying hysterically from her room. I got up to go investigate. I walked into her room and picked her up in the darkness only to feel a lot of wetness all over her face, head and neck. She had vomited all over herself, a lot. I shouted for my wife to come help while I got straight into the shower with her, clothes and all and cleaned it all off. She was horribly distraught. It was scary to think she could have so easily choked if she wasn’t able to move around yet. That freaked me out a bit.
∇ What was the best moment so far?
There have been so many! But the most memorable one so far happened in my first few minutes of Fatherhood. My superbly courageous and powerful woman of a wife was in early labour from around 15h00 (light labour started already at around 10am), needless to say she sailed through with flying colours despite the obviously incomprehensible physical challenges of natural labour – a truly moving experience to see the true power and potential that lies within a woman. Inspiring and humbling! As Hannah was put into Dominique’s arms, me right beside her, our beautiful little God-favoured warrior Hannah Louise made a small and sweet little cry of confusion, eyes darting around and arms and legs kicking about wildly and freely – and from a state of painful delirious drunkenness, Dominique’s motherly instincts kicked in instantaneously, immediately striking up a motherly conversation with this fragile little human being, as only my amazingly talkative wife can, as if all the pain before never even happened. The unmistakable sound of Dominique’s voice and the familiar warmth of her body on her skin put Hannah into what can only be described as a calm trance. Her little voice stopped crying, her legs and arms stopped flapping about and she became calm. And then I said something cheesy like “Hey my Baby girl…” Then it happened. Her big bright baby eyes too big for her eyelids looked straight up at me and suddenly locked onto mine… And she stared, and stared, and stared… Right into my soul… For what seemed like an hour… I put my finger near her hand and she clasped all her little fingers and thumb right around it, eyes still locked onto mine. I was speechless… And in love. I’ll never forget that moment all the days of my life.
∇ You are a hot shot movie director and that leads to a lot of travelling – how do you balance family life and work?
Becoming a parent changed the balance quite a lot. When it’s just two adults in the family, namely husband and wife, you find ways to cope and make up for the lost time. You understand that the work is important and necessary for career building and family provision. But when kids come along the traveling and long hours at work take their toll. So much so that I recently made a big decision to turn down a big project that I initially agreed to do. You don’t get to make up for that lost time with your children, they don’t understand the concept of work or a career, they just have basic needs that you need to meet, no excuses or explanations will do. They just need you.
∇ How would you describe the role of father?
Being there to support, guide and love your kids unconditionally. And to lead by example. I firmly believe that your children end up reflecting a lot of what you do as a parent, and so there’s a massive responsibility on us to do it right – everything from how you treat your wife, to animals, friends and strangers. And especially how you handle yourself in different situations. They absorb everything. The role of a father is to make sure they’re absorbing as much good stuff as possible, and to lay the groundwork and foundations of a solid and healthy upbringing.
∇ Did you read lots of parenting books beforehand? Any recommendations?
Except for the Bible, not really, no. I kind of trust my instincts and my wife and I pray a lot. Our faith keeps us guided and grounded in what we believe to be sound parenting.
∇ How would your little girl describe you?
“Wrapped around my little girly finger!” “I just have to give him that smile and he’ll do anything.”
∇ What was the best advice someone gave you before you became a parent?
This is not so much something that I heard, rather, something I WISH I HAD heard before becoming a parent; Travel, travel, travel. Be free and indulge in all the selfish and fancy free things in life you take for granted before that little thing arrives. Your life truly turns upside down and becomes consumed by parenthood! And it’ll take roughly 20 years before you’ll enjoy that level of independence again!
∇ If you could go anywhere and take your kids with – where would you go and why?
I would go on a Safari trip into Africa 300 years ago, but with the modern conveniences of a 4×4 and some malaria medicine. In the days before borders, politics, bribery, and corruption. Just the pure beauty of Africa in all its glory. I would love to experience that awe and beauty with my wife and kids.
∇ Tell us about your next project.
I recently turned down directing my latest TV project in favour of a long overdue project – raising a family. I’m taking some much needed time off to be with my wife and daughter for the next few months, also in anticipation of our newest family member and son, John Christopher, arriving somewhere in August. In the meantime I’ll take my time to consider different projects.