You're not bewitched if you cook, men told

2011-11-29 22:51

Mbombela - Husbands who cook for their families or babysit their children are not bewitched, says Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe.

Shongwe was speaking to 500 men during the opening of a two-day Mpumalanga men's summit that started in Mbombela on Tuesday.

"Babysitting or cooking in the house doesn't mean that you are a stupid man and that doesn't mean that udlisiwe [you are bewitched] but it shows love and respect for your family," said Shongwe.

"Real men play with their kids and they help with anything in the house, including cooking when they can."

The summit, dubbed "Asikhulumeni Madoda [Men, let us speak]," is seeking men's views on the abuse of women and children, especially during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

The MEC said most abusers hide behind culture and use alcohol as an excuse to abuse their families.

"There is no culture that says women must be abused. Some men go out and drink the same money that they are supposed to use to provide food.

"When they come back they abuse their wives and children and try to hide behind alcohol.

"I want to warn you men, police will arrest you as they do not take alcohol as an excuse for abuse," said Shongwe.

He asked men to work together in the fight against abuse and report abuse to the police.

He said some men also suffered abuse.

He warned that if any police officer laughed at a man who reported being abused by his wife, he should be reported to higher authorities within the police service.

Save the world

Shongwe also reminded the men to practise safe sex.

"Instead of engaging in unprotected sex, we must abstain, guys. Those who are married must be faithful to their partners and, if you can’t restrain yourself, make sure you condomise to save the world and yourself," he said.

He further encouraged the men to be good examples for their children.

He said many teenagers drank alcohol and had sex because they saw their fathers doing it.

The Mbombela local municipality organised the summit in conjunction with Shongwe's department, the Commission for Gender Equality, Sonke Gender Justice/Brothers for Life and civil organisations.

Commission for Gender Equality acting provincial commissioner Mfanozelwe Shozi said men and women were still not equal in South Africa, especially in terms of economic benefits.

He said a recent study on gender equality indicated that most women did not benefit from any tenders during the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was hosted in South Africa.

"We have conducted a research on tenders and opportunities to women during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in every sphere from the beginning to the end, and we found that women were left outside in most of the tenders and work during the World Cup," said Shozi.

Shozi requested the men to brainstorm ideas on how to address inequality.

"We need to go out of this house having come with solutions on how we can address this disappointment, we all know that women can better manage environments at our workplaces, so why have we left them behind?" asked Shozi.

  • johnkk - 2011-11-29 23:23

    Well,one of the better messages I have seen being delivered.

      Steph - 2011-11-30 08:55

      @Caucasian - they might not use the term 'bewitched' - but as a resident of Australia - I can tell you that there is a very similar initiative happening over here to coincide with the 16 days of activism movement . It is initiated and run by men , to educate other men that their wives are not slaves , or punch bags , and that alcohol is no excuse for abusing your family. In my view any message that tells men that it's not weak , or stupid to be a part of their family is good - even if it involves telling them they are not 'bewitched'.

  • Fred - 2011-11-30 03:55

    Ok, Babysitting or cooking in the house doesn't mean that you are a stupid man. But believing in witchcraft or any invisible supernatural entities is very, very stupid.

      phumlanii - 2011-11-30 07:45

      If ine hasn't experience something, it's hard for them to believe its existance.

      Mandla - 2011-11-30 08:25

      Do not forget to mention Christianity and similar religions

      Dorothea - 2011-11-30 08:34

      the problem is that black people like the western comforts and conveniences. but when it suits them, they rant and rave about their culture and use this as a reason to stay backward and treat women like dirt.

      Pieter Joost Oostdam - 2011-11-30 08:47

      Ummm..... Then what you are actually saying is that most of the world is stupid, even yourself If you believe in god. I don't believe, but i never judge a person on their believes

      goyougoodthing - 2011-11-30 09:52

      Pieter, to be fair, most of the world is stupid: 50% of people are below average. Average intelligence is an IQ of 100. Cognitively that's like being a teapot. 120 and above shows some kind of thinking... so yes, most people are stupid.

  • Silvana - 2011-11-30 06:18

    For a change, some constructive comments made by a government official. My concern is that the intellectual level of the address is for school kids not adult males. And they get to vote. Frightening.

  • Wouter - 2011-11-30 06:35

    Jamie Oliver must be very happy hearing this

  • Hermann - 2011-11-30 07:07

    Give Shongwe a Bells!!If the men will take him seriously and practice what he preached the country may experience a great improvement in social attitudes.

  • braamc - 2011-11-30 07:19

    Back to education 101. Poor state of affairs if you are an adult and can't conduct you like a decent and proper human being.

  • Sharkshoot - 2011-11-30 07:36

    What century are we in again....the 14th. Notice how he has to talk down to if they're Down Syndrome children....what a country.

      Ina - 2011-11-30 08:07

      Not everybody was brought up to know these things, or have a very high level of education, and if they are to be taught, that wasn't a bad lesson, plain, and easily understood, and should perhaps be seen in the spirit I am sure Mr Shongwe gave it. Perhaps we should be less critical of people who are trying to help, and more grateful that we grew up in an environment where we were given the right example. 21st century or not, there are still communities where these things are not known as a matter of course.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-11-30 10:01

      Ramona I agree with you about the message but what makes me nervous is that these people get to vote!

  • TheSlip - 2011-11-30 08:00

    Feminist groups will probably twist this into something sexist.

  • Peter - 2011-11-30 08:04

    He is just talking to thin air. It is in their culture, that is shoved down their throats, to accept and fear Tokoloshies and ghosts. If they do not do this or that, then they will have a spell put on them. Remember election time? - They will be punished by their ancestors if they do not vote ANC... Eish, they will believe anything because that is the way they are brought up. - And that applies to EVERYBODY. Bring those stupid, moranic, idiots out of the stone age and TEACH them the 21st centuary ways.

      Mandla - 2011-11-30 08:33

      I wonder how were you brought up, but you come across as an illiterate and moronic bigot who does not belong into this country. Pack for Perth you Idiot.

      Maai - 2011-11-30 09:29

      They've yet to learn 18th century ways...

  • Moi - 2011-11-30 08:30

    "Those who are married must be faithful to their partners and, if you can’t restrain yourself, make sure you condomise to save the world and yourself" Really???? You can't restrain yourself??? I think that's actually quite insulting to the majority of men who are quite capable of "restraining" themselves.

  • Dorothea - 2011-11-30 08:32

    scary that in this modern era, speeches like this have to made. i am so glad that i am not a black woman. black males really need to enter the 21st century.

      Moi - 2011-11-30 08:56

      You really shouldn't generalise.

      Steph - 2011-11-30 09:00

      Rather be glad that you know decent men , who treat you with respect - because your skin colour is irrelevant to this discussion.

      Dorothea - 2011-11-30 09:08

      skin colour is definitely relevant. black men as a whole do not treat their women as equals. the speaker seemed to feel the need to generalise too. i am very glad to have been raised within the boundaries of a culture that promotes womens' rights. this is why i have made such a success of my career, why i have a successful and healthy marriage; and raise my daughters to be independent and capable.

      Moi - 2011-11-30 09:23

      "black men as a whole do not treat their women as equals". Now that's just offensive. Plenty of black men treat their partners with the respect and love which they deserve. Maybe you should address some of the more old fashioned South African men who still believe that a women's place is in the kitchen. There's pleny of them out there and they aren't black.

      morwape - 2011-11-30 09:49

      So foolish that there is a high rate of divorce within your culture.this clearly proves the fact that Black men vlue their families

      mmamoraker - 2011-11-30 10:32

      I can't believe you just said that. You are a narrow minded bigot. Abuse knows no colour, get off your high horse!

      Dorothea - 2011-11-30 10:38

      as i said in an earlier post, if black men raised their daughters to be equals and treated their women with respect, there would be no need for a BLACK MAN TO PUBLICLY MAKE A SPEECH LIKE THIS ONE REFERRED TO IN THE ARTICLE. I am merely agreeing with his sentiment. If women were treated as equals and insisted on being treated as equals, this country would not suffer from the highest rate of RAPE, domestic violence, and HIV infections in the WORLD. The only way that these social evils will ever be addressed is by black women standing up to their men and DEMANDING respect.

      Dorothea - 2011-11-30 10:51

      amos, your women have learnt over the years to accept substandard behaviour - they are too scared to divorce you. black men are apparently very good at leading double lives and it has been confirmed by many of my BLACK MALE colleagues that it is an ACCEPTABLE behaviour to have multiple relationships. but then again, your lovely president is an open advert for spreading AIDS, isn't he?

      mmamoraker - 2011-11-30 11:01

      So in short what you are saying is that the reason there's a high rate of rape, domestic violence and HIV prevelance in our country is because of BLACK MEN? Wow, that's an amazing discovery Madam.

      Dorothea - 2011-11-30 11:27

      cathy, you misintepret my commentary. clearly you did not enter the world of tertiary education. men who rape and plunder disgust me. but as long as they are physically stronger and hold the dominant role in society, women dont stand a chance. it is a proven fact that change starts at the grassroots. change will have to be a revolutionary process. women have to assert their independence, they have to insist that their men wear condoms; allow them to enter the workplace; etc etc. women have to liberate themselves, it will not be handed to them on a platter. sad but true. men will not change unless they have to. many black colleagues have confirmed that having a girlfriend and a wife is totally normal. how will this change? by black women rejecting this behaviour as totally unacceptable. as i said : SAD BUT TRUE. if you think that the black culture promotes equality, then i suggest you take off those tinted glasses. furthermore, why dont you contact the MEC referred to in this article? him an i seem to be on the same page.

      mmamoraker - 2011-11-30 12:10

      Dorothea, you might have a point but just like Julius - it's how you get your point across that irks me. It's the use of "Colour" in your comments that get to me. As to how on earth were you able to reduce this article to race, paralyses me. I've read your comments on this site and most of them emphasize colour, you are always going on about black this and black that. My take is, you don't like black people that much - thus you are leaving the country at the of the year. You don't think much of black people. By the way, I did enter the world of tertiary education but it doesn't take a university degree to see the racist in you! Farewell and I hope there aren't black people in your "new country".

      Moi - 2011-11-30 13:14

      @ Cathy - well said. You took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Nigel - 2011-11-30 09:07

    lets not be condescending, this is a fair comment & it is progress, lets have more of this there is plenty more to do.

  • TheWatcher - 2011-11-30 10:22

    Well at least somebody is trying to make a difference. Good for him. Now how can we get this sort of message into the schools where its really badly needed?

  • Wanda - 2011-11-30 10:25

    You make it seem like only black man abuse women and children. You make it seem like only the illiterate abuse. As far as I know abuse has no race nor culture, it doesn't matter the kind of environment you were raised under. Yes for men their age, they should know of such but what worries me more is to hear a person utter statements like yours.

  • Maverick82 - 2011-11-30 11:02

    Nothing sexier than a family man!

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