The Role of Men in Our Society

By Modise Moloi

South Africa is facing a fatal fast ticking time bomb of a widening leadership gap between the elderly and young generation as a result there is a scarcity of prudent young men in our society. This has posed a severe challenge to our society to a degree that a blind person can see it and a deaf person can plainly hear it. The driving force and the fuel of this challenge is lack of sufficient mentoring initiatives and dissipating Ubuntu culture in our society.

In the absence of mentors and role models we young men have turned to become rapists, izikhothane, robbers, hijackers, drops out of school and even young boys have become murderers. Men have a huge role to play in mentoring and molding the young generation to be responsible citizens. All men in our society irrespective of age have the responsibility and capacity to deal with this monster that is stifling our society. In order to deal with these challenges, men can lead the following initiatives in our societies:


Mentoring Conversations [Big Brothers Conversations]

The first thing that needs to be done by men is to create the mentoring conversations between the young men and the elderly or matured men. This will assist the young generation to learn from the mistakes that the elderly generation has committed. In addition these conversations should teach the young generation about the process so as to deal with entitlement mentality and the hunger for instant and overnight success. It is an undeniable fact that it is often very hard for business, political and church leaders to find time for mentoring sessions. However, for this noble cause both I believe that every man has to be a blessing to at least one young man. “If You have Never Mentored Anyone in Life You Are a Selfish Soul”


Adopt A School Programme [Encourage Education]

In the recent times education has come under serious challenge especially in the less privileged areas. I believe that most of us are from these less privileged areas. I suggest every man can donate his time and talent to empower the educators and learners through sharing their stories annually, mobilizing resources such as bursary information, mobilise other people to financially support academically deserving learners in that particular school.


Take A Boy Child To Work/Business [Inspire Hard work]

It is all good that as a nation we are redressing the imbalances of the past by empowering young men however, in the process the imbalances of the future are created by not taking care of the boy child. I think that we should introduce a concept of taking a boy child to work to introduce them to the working culture and business dynamics. It is the responsibility of men to take a boy child to work or business.


Men-To-Men Conversations

I have realised that most men face a number of challenges however they often do not have a platform where they can share and express their frustrations. It is also based on the culture that says “Monna Ke Nku Ha A Lle” simply meaning that a man does not cry. As a result we have a number of men that have smiles on their face yet they are deeply hurting due to diverse challenges relating to finances, family and work. Due to lack a platform to express emotions a number of men end up committing suicide, indulging in drugs and alcohol abuse.


In order to deal with this challenge, we need create conversations in our societies with organisations such as Sonke Gender Justice Network, Brothers For Life; and Family and Marriage Association of South Africa (FAMSA). This can help reduce the rate of men getting involved in rape and suicide.