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Editor's Blog

Ashamed To Be A Man In SA!

November 19, which was two Fridays ago, marked the 22nd International Men’s Day, which has been celebrated since 1999. This is a day put aside to honour the positive contribution that men make to society. A day that is observed to cherish the achievements and contribution of all men in our community. 

Did you even know there was such a day? As a man and a proud father, this is a day that should have brought a lot of happiness, celebration, pride and honour because men are leaders. Men are the heads of their homes. Men are the providers. Men are the protectors. Men are the guides for everyone in the family and community. Men are the great supportive system that is much-needed in every family and society. Men are teachers and preachers. Men are the custodians of culture and tradition. Men are the face of the family. Men are the voice of reason. Because of these pointers and more, it is a liability for any boy not to have a father. Equally, every girl-child needs a father in her life. Men have a pivotal role to play in our society as they are responsible for making sure that women and children are safe and provided for. Men have to ensure that women and children live in a good and safe space in our communities, not just in their homes.

Sadly, unlike Women’s or Mother’s Day, Friday, November 19, came and passed just like that, as any other Friday. There was nothing special about it, to such an extent that even most of those who were supposed to be celebrated on the day were not even aware of it. There was no hullaballoo at all and there are several reasons for that. The main reason above and beyond everything else is the fact that men have become monsters! Men have become worse than animals! We’ve lost the plot! Men have neglected their role in society so much that they even turn their backs on their own kids and families! We are in a desperate need for a moral compass to direct us back to where we need to be. Women have become new men, doing the little that they can to protect their kids from men, sometimes from their own husbands and boyfriends. On the day we were supposed to be celebrated, South African Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, announced that 9 556 people were raped in our country between July and September! That’s a mind-boggling statistic, it doesn’t matter how you cut or slice it. This is just barbaric and these people were all raped by men! I’m ashamed to be a man in South Africa!  

This statistic is an indication of just how bad things are in our beloved country. This is direct evidence that it is not safe to be a woman in South Africa! This is unacceptable because these satanic incidents are perpetrated by males. It is disgusting and a clear sign that something drastic needs to be done to protect our women and children from these monsters masquerading as men. If our government, which is by the people and for the people, was about the people and with the people, they would look no further than sport as a tool to try and change this unbecoming behaviour. Even the hardcore criminals that are behind bars are sport-loving people, surely with most of them leaning towards football. If there is a voice that every man – Black, White, Coloured, Indian or whatever – understands, it is sport. It is for that reason that I’m of the belief that the social ills in our communities can be resolved through sport, especially football. As the editor of Soccer Laduma, a man and a father, I’m appealing to all the men, young boys, every male around, to please hold hands and do better. Let’s hold hands and encourage one another to change our ways and behaviour towards females so that we never hear of any femicide or gender-based violence. Let us hold hands and pull in the same direction to become better men, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers and, more importantly, better human beings. We must do better! We have it within ourselves to change and become better. 

The moment we keep quiet when we witness these social ills, whether committed by friends or loved ones, we must know that we are complicit to those crimes. We need to call one another out whenever any one of us acts against our principles and what we stand for. No one should abuse women and children in our name and get away with it. Anyone who acts in contravention of what men are all about isn’t worthy of being called a man! Unfortunately, one rotten potato spoils the whole bag, they say, and that’s so true. It isn’t going to help for anyone to grandstand and claim not to be one of those who abuse women and children. What your friend, brother or relative does, reflects on you. It is not enough to do right on our own, we must spread the word so that we become and build a better representation of men in our society. That’s the only way that our daughters, girlfriends, wives, mothers, aunts and sisters can feel safe around us as we’d all see them as our own relatives. Now, women can’t even trust their own husbands or even fathers with their daughters. That’s how bad things are and it will take us, football people, to change this sad state of affairs. 

We need to make sure that we build and encourage a society of real men of integrity. Men who will see their feminine counterparts as their equal, be it on the streets or even in the workplace. We need men who will not look to take advantage of vulnerable women. Men who will not be looking for sexual favours from desperate and unemployed women in exchange for a position in their company. We need more father-figures and role models who will be protective of every female around them and extend that love and compassion to the next gentleman. That is how we can become a better society and if there are people who can champion this, it is football supporters. We already have our different club supporters’ branches, which should be the first place for us to start this revolution. If we do that, before we know it, there will be an automatic change in our behaviour and those around us. We can do this! Male football supporters, let’s all play our part as men to ensure that women and children are safe in our country. It starts with you! 

 

Cheers,

VeeJay        

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