‘Why I joined the #Men’sMarch’

2017-11-23 06:00
Former journalist and member of the UCCSA Makhaya ManiePHOTO: SUPPLIED

Former journalist and member of the UCCSA Makhaya ManiePHOTO: SUPPLIED

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#Men’s March to Parliament – is a noble initiative that requires “real” men to reject all forms of abuse against women and children

The conclusive argument is that in most of the crimes visited upon women and children, the perpetrators would be that man closest to the family. That “Malume”, that stepfather or even the biological father.

On 19th November 2017, I joined the #Men’sMarch to Parliament heeding the invitation to all men to come out and make a stand against forms of violence, or abuse against the girl child and women in general.

To me, the march posed a challenge to our churches to not shy away from or sugar coat these atrocities.

Women and children abuse is a challenge to police as it is a crime committed behind the closed curtains, behind closed doors of that family headed by that man- on whom the poor and defenceless women depends for a life.

That “Uncle”, or stepfather whose role is to provide for the stepchildren of his wife. And as he commits these crimes, the victims would be suppressed to remain silent.

And this man –would happily continue abusing the child or his daughters and wife over period of time.

To many families“ this thing” happens for many years.

As a man committed to God and the church, the #Men’ sMarch has led me to challenge the church, that perhaps we should give hope to these victims in our sermons.

I have no doubt they come to our churches carrying the scars of being raped and/or abused by that man who –on a Sunday morning would often preach a powerful and spiritually uplifting sermon.

But soon after church and the sermons, we all go our separate ways, back to our homes.

As the doors are closed, curtains drawn – the same old cycle of abuse would resume. Being a “missional” church means that as a church, we should provide hope and sanctuary to those women and children as they have nowhere else to go or talk to but to the church.

These are the challenges that the police cannot overcome- it requires us men to embark on a change of attitude- women and children are not and cannot be seen as objects of forceful satisfaction.

Let’s stop the excuse of referring to culture or tradition- as was also lamented by one royal chief.

Aah Zwelidanile!, who dismissed with the greatest of contempt, the argument of using culture or tradition forwarded by men to justify their actions(sic).

I was privileged to have been one of those 3000 plus men who were joined in this march by celebrities such as Benni McCarthy, Matthew Booth, Robert Marawa and Sello Maake ka Ncube.

They delivered inspiring messages in support of this initiative, urging all men to stop excuses in justifying the abuse of women and children.

This week we kick off the 2017 chapter of the 16 days of Activism against all forms of Abuse of Women and children. Driven by the powerful #CountMeIn, my call to all men is: Let us resolve to expose all those folks who inflict crimes on children and women.

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