The 2017 Men’s Day event celebrating good men at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) shined a spotlight on putting an end to gender-based violence. Listening to real life stories by South African celebrities such as Mr Sello Maake Ka-Ncube and Ms Marah Louw offered a glimpse into lasting emotional and physical scars caused by abuse.
Speaking at the event, which was held at the Johannesburg Country Club on Friday, 10 November 2017, Ms Louw shared some hard-hitting experiences that she endured at the hands of men in her life. She recalled on these memories, which are detailed in her autobiography “It’s Me, Marah”, asking if men deliberated on their hurting words before they speak to their partners. Although Ms Louw mentioned that she was speaking to the wrong crowed (in acknowledgment of the good men who attended the event), she said that they would help get the message across to end women and children abuse.
Also speaking at the event, Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor and Principal: UJ, said that men should start speaking out and doing more to stop gender-based violence. He suggested that there should be more social media hashtags that sought to show good intentions by men, such as #NotInMyName, #StopViolence. Prof Rensburg lambasted the killings of innocent people, rape of young girls and adult women, saying that good men must come to the fore to fight gender-based violence and injustices.
The Men’s Day event is organised to specifically encourage conversations about and positive action towards men’s health – a topic not always discussed openly nor broadly in the South African society. Robin Banks, one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of Mind Power and Personal Mastery, inspired the UJ men to let go of past bad experiences in order to lead healthy lifestyles.
A small group of theatre actors presented a short drama called “Komeng”, written and directed by Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, showcasing the influence men have towards each other and in relationships with their partners.
Musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse was also present at the event.