Celebs introduce the leading man in their lives this Father’s Day

Jarrad Ricketts and his father, Basil. Picture: Supplied

Jarrad Ricketts and his father, Basil. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 18, 2023


IOL Entertainment got to meet the dads behind some of Mzansi’s famous faces. With today being Father’s day, they took a trip down memory lane to celebrate the man who made them who they are.


Singer Jarrad Ricketts says his father, Basil Ricketts, is the “Sinatra and MacGyver” of the family.

“Growing up I always saw my dad work hard to put food on the table. He was always doing whatever he can to make life comfortable for us.

Basil and Jarrad Ricketts. Picture: Supplied

“My dad is someone who can find a solution for literally anything.

“I have a fond memory of when the hooter of my mom’s car wouldn’t work and the next day I saw a doorbell switch installed next to the radio. I was confused, only to discover that the new doorbell switch my dad installed was the new car hooter.”

Jarrad says his dad is also a singer and he taught him music at a young age.

“My dad is a singer, guitarist and pianist … self-taught. He introduced me to music and performance from a very early age.

“I also remember that every Sunday after church, while my mom was preparing Sunday lunch, my dad would hop onto the organ at home and start playing all the hymns we sang in church that morning and we would all be singing along.

“My dad has always been good with his hands and continues to build kitchen cupboards and other furniture pieces for friends and family. I’m always amazed by how resourceful and creative he is,” Jarrad said.

“The biggest lessons my dad has instilled in me is that you are not limited to your circumstance or surroundings. He always encourages me to be the best artist and gets excited when he sees me on television or in a newspaper, always saying, ‘You go boy, you keep going!’”


Dan Corder and father, Hugh. Picture: Supplied

5FM Breakfast host Dan Corder says his dad, Hugh Corder, “is an absolute icon and an inspiration”.

“He, along with my mother, taught me what it means to be a good person, to treat people decently and to live a purposeful and meaningful life.

“Interestingly, he was one of the chief writers and key architects of South Africa’s world-famous Bill of Rights, upon which our Constitution was created. In the late 80s and early 90s, he was in the face of apartheid and other factors, negotiating, researching and preparing for the start of a new South Africa.

“So much of him is in that Bill of Rights: His attempt to make a more just world through that and the other work he’s done.

“The way that he treats people and handles them is a total inspiration for me; a blueprint for how I want to live my life.”


Khanya “Kyeezi” Siyengo with dad Andile Siyengo. Picture: Supplied

Good Hope FM and Metro FM radio personality Khanya “Kyeezi” Siyengo admires dad Andile’s work ethic.

“My dad is literally the blueprint to success for me. I’m the kid in my family who watched my dad work so hard to provide opportunities and exposure to his family.

“My dad has guts and my word does he have a work ethic. On top of all of that he loves to support and share information and give back to where he comes from (Gugulethu, Cape Town).

“In all of his achievements my father has always instilled that we form part of a bigger picture in our country and immediate community. In other words, we are never too big, we are never going to look down on anyone, and also, it’s our responsibility to empower each other.

“From being a activist during the apartheid era to earning his doctorate in a foreign country, starting his own family with my amazing mom and my two siblings; in my eyes, my dad has it all.”


Chad Saaiman with father, Abie. Picture: Supplied

Award-winning performer Chad Saaiman said his dad, Abie, was his biggest supporter.

“My dad is 70 years old. A gentleman, who taught me about many things – including my first love, football. One of his traits that stands out is his extreme punctuality; as long as I have known him, he has never been late.

“He is a simple man, kind, and in the same breath, bold and unafraid. We have always had a great relationship and I am grateful for his role in my life growing up. One of my biggest supporters.”


Tyrone Paulsen. Picture: Supplied

HeartFM’s Tyrone Paulsen says, “My dad is Desmond Paulsen who currently lives in Wellington. He is 74 years old. My love for music and football comes from him.

Desmond Paulsen. Picture: Supplied

“Des, or Fonnie as his fondly known to everyone, is a self-taught singer and muso who can’t read music but can play most instruments by ear.

“He loves jazz music but has a fondness for the Beatles and Frank Sinatra. My dad has played a leading part in my life with his belief that he instilled into my brother and I that if you need or want something you have to work for it.

“Don’t wait for handouts. You will reap the rewards of what you put in.

“I know my dad has always tried to give us a better start in life with those principles, be it on the sport field, our hobbies, education and work life. Sadly, my dad has one major flaw, he supports Tottenham Hotspur, but you can’t always be perfect.”


Dean John Smith and his father, John. Picture: Supplied

“Suidooster” actor Dean John Smith paid tribute to his dad, John Smith

“He tries his best to be the best version of a father despite losing his dad when he was 7 years old and being one of 11 children.

“He didn’t have a blueprint of how to be a father and had to figure it out as he grew.

“Yet, he is still trying his best to be the best he can be and be there for me in ways he knows his father couldn’t be there for him.

“He is the father of dad jokes and will laugh at his own jokes.

“He taught me and my two siblings about how important character is and that you have the right to think a lot about yourself but no right to think less of anyone else.”


Natasha van der Merwe and Dad, Piet. Picture: Supplied

Actress Natasha van der Merwe says her dad Piet is a real joker and the life of the party.

“Something I learnt from him, aside from the usual ‘how to change a tyre’ etc, is things like unconditional love. He goes beyond and always wanted the best for my brother, me and my mom.

“I admire my dad and how he loves my mom for their 46 years of marriage.

“He has all the qualities I look out for in a future husband.

“I’m a real daddy’s girl. To my dad, I love you!”


Nick Hamman and father, Crammy. Picture: Supplied

5FM Radio Personality Nick Hamman was inspired to follow the music path by his dad, Crammy Hamman.

“I am exceptionally grateful to him for inspiring my love for music. When my dad was growing up he made his pocket money as a gigging jazz musician and when I turned 11, I decided to pursue the same hobby of playing the drums.

“Once I started playing in a band, my dad became our manager and used to go around Cape Town getting us gigs in restaurants, at weddings, 21sts and 50ths.

“Sharing this love of music and live performance with him makes up some of my fondest memories of childhood and was certainly the start of learning about the music industry that ultimately built the foundation for the career I have today.”