Fatherhood in South Africa

Japhia Emori and father, John Kadende

By Kaitlin Parker

Growing up in Rwanda, John Kadende had a clear idea of the family he would like to one day raise. But those plans were thrown off course when war erupted in 1994. The conflict forced Kadende, his wife and two young children out of the country. Before landing in Cape Town, they first traveled to Congo, Tanzania, and Malawi. In Rwanda, Kadende was a math professor at a university. In South Africa, he’s worked mostly as a cab driver. Here, he speaks about fatherhood and his close relationship with his son Japhia, who goes by the nickname “King.”

This piece was originally recorded for an episode of the Radio Workshop, a product of the Children’s Radio Foundation in Cape Town.

Want more from South Africa? Listen to “Zundiqondisise” by Simphiwe Dana, a Xhosa pop singer. Xhosa is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa.

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