Men urged to be active in communities

2016-07-27 06:00
Photo: SUPPLIEDPrince Nhlanganiso Zulu launched the Isibaya samaDoda programme last Thursday which was intended to raise awareness on men's health.

Photo: SUPPLIEDPrince Nhlanganiso Zulu launched the Isibaya samaDoda programme last Thursday which was intended to raise awareness on men's health.

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PROVINCIAL ambassador for Tuberculosis (TB) Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu in conjunction with the iLembe Department of Health launched the Isibaya samaDoda programme last Thursday, 21 July, at the KwaDukuza Town hall to raise awareness on social issues pertaining to men.

The launch was attended by, among others, traditional and religious leaders, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and an estimated 120 men who were encouraged to constantly be mindful of their physical and mental health.

With Zulu leading the way, the attendees were also encouraged to test for HIV and Aids and to continue to do so to be aware of their status.

The prince urged men to play an active role in their respective communities when it comes to addressing social ills such as substance and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, crime, and rape.

“Men must play a role in ensuring that all victims of rape are not afraid of reporting their cases to the police. Secondly, we, as men, must remember that real men do not rape. A real man takes care of his family and has one sexual partner,” Zulu said.

He encouraged men to lead a healthy lifestyle by sticking to a balanced diet and by taking care of their bodies through physical exercise and training.

iLembe Department of Health assistant manager Bonie Ndlela said the programme seeks to eliminate misleading notions and beliefs on men’s health by initiating dialogues intended to provide accurate information.

“Men must have engaging conversations on how to rebuild healthy family structures which would subsequently lead to healthier and more stable societies.

“All this, we hope, will help reduce the level of violence in our communities,” Ndlela said.

She said the programme is intended to ensure that men become active members of the community who positively impact on the younger generation.

Zulu said Isibaya (kraal) – an enclosure for livestock – was culturally an area in which young men were taught moral values hence the programme was given this name – Isibaya samaDoda (loosely translated to an enclosure/gathering area for men).

“In modern society, this practice has been abandoned and as a result, the young men of today grow up without any values,” Zulu said.

He said young men without a father or a father figure would benefit immensely from this programme.

“Gender-based violence, sexual assaults and crimes of a similar nature result from the fact that young men no longer receive cultural training from father figures,” Zulu said.

The programme also raised awareness on sexual and reproductive health including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, and the importance of male circumcision.

Zulu said he will launch this programme in various municipalities throughout the province.

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