'Spare the rod and spoil the child,' actress Manaka Ranaka’s mother would tell you, she was such a disciplinarian and strict mother, to the extent that the actress at one time thought she could be her stepmom.
This, then drew her closer to her father Kgotlaesele Ranaka, when she was younger.
However, the 40 year-old Manaka has chosen a completely opposite style of bringing up her children far much divorced from that of her parents, especially her mom Mama Siba (60).
Worn out because of age Mama Siba told Move magazine that she has flexed up her muscles now and she is no longer that strict anymore especially with her grandkids.
When it comes to disciplinary action on children, Manaka hasn’t copied anything from her mom.
“I have learned a lot about being a mother but beating my children as a form of discipline is a big no-no! We would be beaten with kettle cords and belts.
“During a good portion of my childhood, there were times I thought I was adopted,” she said.
The Ranakas' reality TV show has given viewers a glimpse of Mama Siba's no nonsense temperament. The family first appeared on Dineo’s Diary, the reality show of the family's last-born daughter, media personality Dineo Ranaka, which began seven years ago. “I admit, I was a bit stricter then,” Mama Siba said.
Maturity have brought the similarities between Manaka and Mama Siba they are now 'friends' they understand each other better. And Manaka has come to realise that all the type of treatment she got from her mom while growing up was to her own benefit.
“I didn’t like how she was but today I get that she was strengthening my leadership qualities as a woman and as a mother,” Manaka said.
Today Manaka’s children, Katlego (18) and Naledi (11), are granny’s besties, especially the eldest daughter.
Manaka loves to lead by example in everything that she do; “I had to be exemplary and I always got the most heat from my mother. Maybe that is why I have an ‘I don’t care’ attitude in life because of the expectations I had to live up to.”
BEING A PARENT
Manaka is more of a big sister to her daughters, though with boundaries, she strongly believes children should not dictate the pace for parents, but should abide by set rules.
“The only thing you owe your children is to look after them and raise them well,” Manaka said. As for Mama Siba, being a granny is fun and relaxed, compared to when she had to raise her children, Mpumi (38), Dineo (36), Mzingisi (30) and Ranaka (25).
Manaka is always with her male friends, usually with no make up at all, this had left many thinking she was a lesbian when she was younger.
“That is how it has always been. Girls just have way too much drama. My sexuality has always been in question and that doesn’t bother me,” she said.
Her mother Mama Siba also confessed that there were instances when people told her that her child is lesbian. “I would simply say ‘What is it to anyone what my child is?’” She said, implied she is still protective of her children.
MANAKA IN SPOTLIGHT
Manaka is no newcomer on TV, she has been on the small screen for two decades. “It has been 20 years in the industry. What a milestone,” she said.
She made her debut appearance on the SABC 3 soapie Isidingo in 2000 and since then, she has been a regular face. While she boasts of many caps on TV her best has been playing Lerata Khumalo on multi-award winning SABC 2 comedy, Stokvel from 2003 to 2012.
Her character Lerata, was a married woman, who behaved like still a girl in the way she wanted to continue milling around with girls, she was part of a women’s stokvel, and opposite to Manaka in real life.
When not on SABC 1 soapie Generations: The Legacy or Mzansi Magic’s drama Lockdown, Manaka enjoys spending most of her time behind doors watching TV. “I just chill a lot indoors with the remote as my best friend.”
LOVE IN THE AIR
Speaking about love, she said her mom, Mama Siba has one golden rule; she doesn't tolerate her daughters dating or having affairs with married men.
“They must never ever be involved with a married man,” said Mama Siba who has been married to Ntate Ranaka for close to 40 years and she respects the sanctity of marriage.
Manaka envies her parents' love; “Being brought up by mama and papa was beautiful. Seeing the love they have for each other, I do see myself getting there.”
Unlike one of her character Lucy Daile, who wants to get married and ready even to propose, Manaka is not in a hurry to get married.
“I don’t like that character, it corrupts my child,” Mama Siba said.
Ntuthuko Mdletshe is the father of her second child, Naledi, and he’s stolen her heart again. “We broke up some years ago and now we are back together,” she said.
Growing up in Leondale, Ekurhuleni, the actress' parents made sure they were well provided for. And is grateful for having parents like hers who does all they could to make sure their children enjoy their childhood.