MUT’s inaugural Men’s Conference has created a platform for men at the University to have conversations about their role in society and to help build one another by offering advice. The Conference, which was themed #AreYouManEnough, was held at the Coastal Beach Lounge in uMgababa, on 28 November 2019.
Pastor Ntokozo Zulu of Life Changing Powerhouse Ministries, kick-started the Conference with a session on what it means to be a man. Zulu told the eager audience that being a man was about taking responsibilities. He said that men must lead with humility; they must provide for the families and community and they must also play a role in protecting others in society. He was followed by Dr Sandile Tshabalala, Head of the Health Department, KwaZulu-Natal, who impressed upon men that it was essential for them to talk about their issues, and to look for help as soon as possible. Dr Shabalala also explained in detail the role played by health condition in the family setup. He told men to stop allocating blame if there were sexual problems.
“Men need to put their money where their mouths are. They need to learn to take their responsibilities seriously. How can you expect me to respect you if you are drunk all the time? Will you trust me as a doctor if you saw me drunk the previous day,” asked Dr Tshabalala.
Cultural activist, musician and Zulu culture commentator, Mbuso Khoza premised his speech on the belief that once people move away from their cultures, they lose their way. Khoza pointed the problems that accompanied the switch from Zulu culture to Western cultures. He said now men are confused about their roles in the households and in the general society. He advised MUT men to find out more about their roots, so that they could be able to know their proper identities, and their roles in their respective societies. Some of these roles are protecting the family, providing for it, and men’s behaviour, areas that were discussed at length by other speakers and delegates.
MUT men showed tremendous interest in the initiative by using the platform to bring issues to the table for discussion and to ask the speakers and their fellow colleagues to help with counsel various issues that they encounter. They requested that the men’s Imbizo be an annual event. One staff member suggested that the meeting be done in July, the Men’s month, to take away the stigma that is associated with men’s behaviour during the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children abuse.