TikTok star Audrey Mbatha opens up about being a modern-day dad

Tiktok influencer Audrey Mbatha with his husband and son. Picture: Supplied

Tiktok influencer Audrey Mbatha with his husband and son. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 14, 2024


South Africa, a vibrant tapestry of culture and diversity, stands proudly as a giant among African nations. With accolades aplenty, it’s also renowned for being one of the first African countries to legalise same-sex marriages.

In honour of Pride Month and Father's Day, Independent Media Lifestyle caught up with TikTok star Aubrey Mbatha to delve into his journey of redefining fatherhood.

Mbatha, who affectionately refers to himself in his video entries as “your favourite house-husband here”, is originally from Durban and has been living in Johannesburg for the past decade. He shares his story of love, family and breaking societal norms.

Married in 2021, Aubrey has embraced the role of house-husband for nearly five years, dedicating himself fully to parenting since the adoption of their son.

Reflecting on his upbringing, Mbatha recalls the absence of his own parents due to work commitments and the impact it had on him. Determined to provide a different experience for his son, he chose to prioritise being present in his child’s life over a career.

Mbatha’s journey into the world of content creation on TikTok began three years ago, initially without a clear direction.

However, as he started sharing glimpses of his life with his husband and family, he noticed a growing interest from his audience.

Encouraged by the positive reception, Mbatha decided to amplify his narrative, showcasing the reality of being a queer black man in South Africa.

Meet the Mbatha’s. Picture: Supplied

“I feel like I needed to give my community a voice, share with other South Africans that we are here, we exist, and we are not going anywhere. Being gay is not a phase or a lifestyle choice; it’s who we are and we live a beautiful life.”

For Mbatha, it’s about more than just gaining followers; it’s about representation and visibility. He aims to shatter stereotypes and challenge societal perceptions of LGBTQIA+ individuals by showcasing the normalcy of his life as a married, gay man raising a family.

In a society where being gay is often stigmatised and misunderstood, Mbatha’s platform serves as a beacon of hope and affirmation.

He strives to show young gay individuals, particularly those in townships like the one he grew up in, that they too can live fulfilling and authentic lives.

Parenthood is a journey filled with questions, doubts, and moments of profound growth. Mbatha, a devoted parent to his son, reflects on how fatherhood has transformed his perspective and helped him confront his own inner struggles.

“Did I make the right decision? But I can tell you this, through the lens of fatherhood and being a supportive partner, I have unearthed layers of myself previously unknown, thanks to the lessons taught by my son.

“It’s been a journey of self-discovery. Every day, I learn something new about myself and realise my own capabilities.”

@aubrey_mbatha #foryoupage #fyp #househusbands #aubreymbatha ♬ Kourt as Kim From KUWTK - E! Entertainment

Despite the challenges, Mbatha finds solace in the joy of creating cherished memories for his son, and his husband witnessing them thrive.

“My dream is to see my son living his best life,” he shared.

“I wake up every day with one goal in mind: to give my son the best childhood experience possible. Becoming parents has been an incredible journey of growth for both me and my husband.

“We now view things like finances in a different light. We never used to worry much about money, but now we have future plans, savings and investments, all for the sake of our son’s future. Every day is a learning experience, as he grows and changes, so do we.”

For him, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram have become powerful tools for self-expression and advocacy.

“Social media has given us a platform to be ourselves without fear of judgement,” he explains. “It allows us to show the world our true selves, free from the constraints of societal norms.

“We live in a world where being gay is still stigmatised,” Mbatha acknowledged. “But through social media, we can embrace our true selves and educate others.”

He added: “I can walk to my car, go to the gym, and return home safely. But there are others in townships who face a different reality.

“Social media, especially platforms like TikTok, have become safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community. Especially after Covid, more people are embracing their true selves online, finding support and acceptance.

“Wearing nails or going to the gym doesn’t faze me anymore because I’ve embraced who I am,” he explained.

“But I know that many other gay individuals still struggle with this. They’re afraid to show their true selves in public, fearing judgement and discrimination.”

Mbatha, expressed a desire for inclusivity in traditional settings. Reflecting on personal experiences, especially concerning their son’s schooling, he highlighted the importance of being recognised as equals, beyond the conventional “mum and dad” roles.

Mbatha pointed out that the simple desire is to be visible and acknowledged for who they are, rather than being defined by their sexuality.

He expressed a hope for a more open-minded approach, where people prioritise seeing individuals for their essence before focusing on their sexual orientation.

In closing, he underlined the diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community and the need for broader acceptance and understanding.