THE MOLEBATSIS


We chat to Wandile and Jessica Molebatsi, who recently became parents for the second time. 


The TV personality and entrepreneur – best known for his roles in Rhythm City, Soul City and Thula’s Vine – and his fashion-designer wife were married in 2013. They had their first child, Elijah Aruna, late in 2014 and welcomed little Onalenna earlier this year.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILY?

Wandile (W): Our family is loud and jovial. We love meeting and arguing over politics and the economy. I have three brothers and my father has 11 siblings, so you can imagine that family get-togethers can be really crazy. 

Jessica (J): We are also open with each other. We have close, trusting relationships.

YOU RECENTLY WELCOMED YOUR DAUGHTER, ONALENNA. HOW DIFFERENT ARE THINGS THE SECOND TIME AROUND?
J: The second child is a game changer! I felt that I was running in circles for the first two months – it was far more emotional and chaotic. Every day felt like a task to be managed, but it has since settled and is definitely becoming more enjoyable.

W: Very different… Onalenna is nothing like Elijah – from the crying to waking up at night and late-night feeding. Elijah loved to eat and sleep, but Onalenna wakes up every two hours and wants to be rocked back to sleep after eating.

WHAT HAS PARENTHOOD TAUGHT YOU?
W: It has definitely taught me to be more decisive about my time. I am an entrepreneur, so time is something that I always feel is in short supply. I always need to be overseeing budgets or reading scripts, and I am realising that what I dedicate my time to has to be very carefully planned. I need to give time and energy to my most important jobs – father to my children and husband to my wife.

YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS YOUNG PARENTS?
W: Managing our finances. Jess runs her own business, Jessica Jane Design, and I am an executive producer at Coal Stove Pictures. Making sure that we have paying clients and ensuring we can meet our monthly financial obligations has been tough.

WHAT VALUES ARE YOU TRYING TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN?
W: Jessica and I have very different parenting styles, but I think when we combine them they work well. I am a bit of a worrier, I must admit. But Jess is a lot calmer and lets the kids grow and experience life. I am already thinking about who they are going to marry [laughs], while Jess is prepared for them to be who they want to be right now. I am trying to learn not to dictate to them but rather let them blossom and grow.



WITH TWO LITTLE KIDS, HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO SQUEEZE IN QUALITY TIME AS A COUPLE? 
J: With Onalenna being so small, it’s difficult, but as she gets older and easier, we will find time. Until then, we need to appreciate the time we have together as a family. We love having our quick catch-up chats in the mornings.

W: It’s tough! But we try to squeeze in time together when we can. We love going for picnics – sitting in the sun and nibbling on platters. I would love for us to do that at least once a month. Right now we only do it once every few months.

HOW DO YOU SPEND FAMILY TIME?
J: We like taking long drives together. My parents stay in the Free State, so we often take weekend breaks to see them and be by the river in Parys. Wandi and my father Joachim like to braai and watch rugby.

W: We love having big meals and chatting about life in general. Food plays a big role
in our family time.

December has always been a time when we can meet and reconnect as a family.

ANY SPECIAL FAMILY TRADITIONS?
W: Summer for us is always an important time. December is when we can meet and reconnect with family. Because there are soomany of us [laughs]December becomes that time when we can all see each other in a relaxed setting. Sunday lunches have become a family tradition during the year.

J: We also celebrate Christmas on the 24th, not the 25th because my father is German. I am from Durban so we travel down to Durban at least once a year.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON?
W: We will be trying to wind down a bit. It has been a busy year and I would love to visit Jessica’s grandparents in the Natal Midlands. We usually have Christmas Eve dinner with Jessica’s parents in Parys, then we head to Walkerville for the usually noisy Molebatsi family Christmas lunch!
THE MOLEBATSIS THE MOLEBATSIS Reviewed by Zandile Xabendlini on December 01, 2017 Rating: 5

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