As we celebrate Father’s Day in the Kingdom this year, we want to take a moment to honour the dads who despite having their own families, contribute so much to ours here at SearchKings™ Africa.
Introducing Dave, Harry, Brett and Lwazi…………
Dave Freedman, SK’s esteemed Operations Director to us, is also daddy to a 6-year-old daughter Autumn. ‘My world completely changed when my daughter was born’ Dave says, ‘she became my sole focus.’ Autumn is also Dave’s personal hero. ‘She has had to adapt to so many changes at home with our recent move and starting at a new school – and every time she puts on a brave face and takes on the challenge while singing and dancing.’
Known as ‘dad’ in the office, Dave says being a father has fine-tuned his patience and ability to look at a situation holistically to determine the best solution and outcome. As for advice for new dads? ‘You are a father now, your child sees you as their hero. Take the good and the bad from your own childhood to be the parent you want to be and give them what they need. Rough day? That’s fine but that time after work when daddy gets home is gold to your child. Treasure it and engage. They have been waiting all day for you to come home.’
Of course, striking that work-life balance is never easy but it can be done. Dave says it’s all about time management – when he is working it’s head down to give our customers the very best support online but when it’s time for family, that is the sole focus.
Harry Chembe has been SK’s world-class chef for the last five years and he loves what he does. Besides his passion for cooking, working at SearchKings™ Africa has taught him how to cater to specific health and dietary requirements – a much-needed skill in today’s service industry. As a dad, Harry says the most important thing is to be patient. ‘Try and understand what your children need and avoid harsh words. Support your children in any way you can.’
Harry believes it’s important to make time for work and family and focus on each part of his life in the moment. And while he prides himself on his work in the kitchen, Harry’s proudest achievement to date is raising his 17-year-old son – at times without the means to do so. ‘I am proud of how I have managed to support my son in all aspects of his life, even though I did not always have the resources. I have tried to raise him to be somebody, to grow up to be more than me.’ Well Harry you are definitely somebody to all of us at SearchKings™ Africa.
Brett Perlstein, our fearless founder and CEO, had his first child in the same week the country went into hard lockdown. And while the global pandemic forced businesses to find new ways of working and ignited stress around the uncertainty of what lay ahead – for Brett there was certainly a silver lining.
Brett had an incredible opportunity to spend the first year of his son’s life with him for those key moments dads often miss – getting to see him grow and develop. ‘Having my son Jamie 24 hours before the first lockdown gifted me 12 months of paternity leave. I haven’t missed a bath time, a vaccination, or storytime in the morning. The pandemic offered me an opportunity to really get to know my son and I value every precious moment we have together.’
The pandemic also required employers to be more supportive of employees than ever before. ‘Being a dad has taught me the power of empathy, patience, love, and nurturing – all aspects that are key to growing professionally in my role and really helped me understand what my team needed during a very difficult time.’
Lwazi Ndlebe is a web developer in the Kingdom who loves problem-solving creatively to answer his customer’s business needs. As a dad of a little girl, Lwazi says that being a parent has taught him to be more responsible in the workplace.
His advice to new dads is simple – be a good dad always and as for finding a work-life balance, Lwazi is winging it. ‘Take it as it comes’ he says. ‘There ain’t no memo for this, so just do your best to make it work.’