'Thank goodness it’s just one!' – dad-to-be recalls growing up as a quintuplet

14 September 2018 - 14:11 By Naledi Shange
Danie, Verona, Joe, Carol-Anne and Joedene are the Terblanche quintuplets.
Danie, Verona, Joe, Carol-Anne and Joedene are the Terblanche quintuplets.
Image: Supplied

A quintuplet from Knysna in the Western Cape is soon to become a father himself – and while he loves the idea of having kids of his own‚ he knows he wouldn’t be able handle having five at the same time!

“In this day and age‚ things are expensive‚” Danie Terblanche‚ 31‚ told TimesLIVE. “I would welcome it‚ but it would be tough!”

Danie’s wife will give birth to the couple’s first child in January. “Thank goodness it’s just one!” he said with a smile.

He was speaking as news of the surprise birth of five babies to a Vosloorus couple set South Africa abuzz this week. The quints are healthy‚ their doctors say‚ and are expected to be discharged from hospital by the end of October.

Asked what it was like to grow up with four siblings of the same age‚ Terblanche said he prefers to focus on the positive: “You always have friends! As children we would fight‚ but it’s great now that we’ve all grown up.

"We didn't really have our own space‚ but we got used to it."

As a result‚ sharing became a way of life. “If there were four biscuits for example‚ then none of us would have because there wouldn't be enough for all of us‚" explained Terblanche

“We didn’t really have our own space‚ but we got used to it.”

As a result‚ sharing became a way of life. “If there were four biscuits for example‚ then none of us would have because there wouldn’t be enough for all of us‚” explained Terblanche.

For the Terblanche quintuplets‚ there may have been nothing too difficult or unusual about their upbringing‚ but he acknowledges that it must have been very different for their parents‚ who had to work hard to feed five hungry mouths.

Despite sharing the same birthday‚ food and space‚ Terblanche says he and his siblings all developed different personalities‚ which shows in their various career choices - from a beautician and a church worker to businessmen.

The Terblanche quints have an older brother‚ who is now married and has children of his own.

Danie is the first of the quints to welcome a child. He is hoping he won’t have the same fate as his parents!

Mzansi’s famous quints

Five babies born to a Vosloorus couple earlier this month set South Africa abuzz. However‚ this was not the first time that South Africa has seen quintuplets. These are some of Mzansi’s famous quintuplets:

  • The Mapokgole quints‚ born in June 2013

The Mapokgole quints were born at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria‚ to parents from Tembisa on the East Rand. It was reported at the time that the children had been delivered at 30 weeks. Sadly‚ two of them died just six days after their birth‚ with doctors saying some of their organs were underdeveloped. The babies weighed a little over half a kilogram when they were born.

  • The Botha quints‚ born in April 1989

Conceived through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)‚ the Botha quintuplets were born in April 1989. As with the recent birth of the Buthelezi quints‚ throughout the pregnancy the parents thought they would be having triplets.

The Botha quints were named Calvin‚ Candice‚ Kirsten‚ Wesley and Brendan. Eleven days after they were born‚ the first of the quints died following a lung complication. Treatment at the time led to further complications‚ with one being completely blind and at least two other being blind in one eye. The quint who was left completely blind has gone on to make a career as a DJ and is known as DJ Darkness.

The Sunday Times reported recently that Candice Botha is pregnant with twins‚ after undergoing fertility treatment in the same clinic in Sandton where her parents Andrea and Leon had sought help in the late 1980s

  • The Terblanche quints‚ born in May 1987

The Terblanche quintuplets are Carol-Anne‚ Joedene‚ Joe‚ Verona and Danie. From the age of 12‚ when their mother died‚ the quints were looked after by their father and domestic worker Maureen‚ whom they call Nana. The Weekend Post reported that their father waited for them to finish school‚ before remarrying.

  • The Tukutese quints‚ born in September 1966

Nogesi Tukutese made world headlines as she was believed to be the first woman to give birth to quintuplets in South Africa. She had 11 children in total‚ following the birth of her quints.

The family was originally from Centane in the Eastern Cape. When the Daily Dispatch spoke to one of the quints‚ Thandekile‚ in 2013‚ she said two of the quints had since died.

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