All Neo Leshabane ever wanted to be is to #BeThatDad
In the fast-paced world of entrepreneur Neo Leshabane, time is the most valuable currency.
In the fast-paced world of entrepreneur Neo Leshabane, time is the most valuable currency. When he walked away from his job as a Chartered Accountant, it was to put all of his time into supporting his wife Olwethu’s career as a TV personality, blogger and digital media entrepreneur. And he’s putting the same energy and time into his desire to #BeThatDad for his three sons.
On 5 March, Leshabane will join a host of other dads who are choosing to spend their time connecting with their sons at the Vodacom RED Father and Son Campout at Loftus Versfeld.
The campout’s emphasis on focused fatherhood is one of the reasons why this annual event has become one of the most meaningful father and son gatherings, which brings together everyday dads and their sons along with celebrities, sports stars and Vodacom Bulls players and their sons all around the shared purpose to #BeThatDad for their boys.
It’s a purpose Leshabane is particularly passionate about. For this devoted father, it’s less about the presents he can buy his sons, and more about being a present dad.
“I lost my dad when I was very young. I’ve always wanted to be the dad I never had,” Leshabane says after he’s just dropped his boys Mikaili (10), Morgan (8) and Malik (3) off at school.
“I longed for more time with my dad, so time for me has been the biggest currency in my relationship with my sons. I’ve always wanted to be that dad.”
It’s exactly because of the pressures on his time as a father of three sons all under the age of 10 who are immersed in the digital culture with their own Instagram account, and while managing his wife’s growing career that Leshabane has instituted a few non-negotiables when it comes to his role as a dad.
“I make no exceptions in my life. One of these is that I insist on doing morning school drop-offs. No matter how tired I am or what commitment I may have had until late the night before, I do the school drop-offs and I attend to each one of my sons’ favourite things. They are each so different, and as a result I make sure I don’t compromise on each one of their passions.”
Allowing his sons to develop freely in their own passions is something Leshabane cares deeply about.
“I let them lead because if they do what they love they’ll be passionate about it. What they like, they do freely and fully.”
Dads going offline with their work and other commitments to get back online with their sons is a cause Leshabane is fully supportive of and looking forward to as he and his boys prepare to camp on the main field of one of the great theatres in world sport at Loftus Versfeld.
“The greatest gift we can give our kids and in turn our country is to be conscious, caring and present dads. It will have a far reaching implication on their lives. It’s a challenging dance we all live with, and we don’t always get the balance right. But for me, the underpinning philosophy is that you work when you work, and when you are with your kids you be with your kids.
“It always strikes me how kids cherish memories and time with you a lot more than things. My boys speak to me far more about memories we’ve given them than things we’ve given them. It’s a constant reminder that to #BeThatDad you just need to be present and conscious. You can be present, but if you’re on your laptop or your phone then that doesn’t help. Our philosophy is that if we’re with our kids, we are with them with an intensity that makes us unavailable for anything else at that moment.”
And as much as their careers and success allow them to provide for their boys, Leshabane says its more often than not the simplest things that make a lasting impression on them.
“We recently went back to the farm and they experienced village life there, and they really enjoyed it. They loved swimming in the river. I mean, we’ve taken them to Disneyland and Legoland, and here just swimming in a river ranks as one of their best holidays ever.”
The simple things. Like time with dad. And camping out in a tent on a rugby field, where young boys once dreamed the dreams of men and then made them reality.
As a Vodacom RED VIP client, if you want to join Leshabane and his sons at the Vodacom RED Father and Son Campout on 5-6 March 2022, then register on www.redrewards.co.za. Entries are open until Sunday, 13 February 2022.