“Perhaps you are under the impression that you are just motivating and encouraging men but let me point out a side that you may have not seen yet. It’s encouraging to know that there are guys out there who aspire to be real men. Men that will protect us, their sisters and not take advantage of us. Men who will respect and honour us, not beat us and rape us.”
So says university student Rotondwa Mulaudzi, commenting on the Facebook page of new men’s organisation AmaDODA.
She adds, “It’s encouraging to see men who have declared war on fatherlessness in our continent. Men who will raise our sons and love our daughters. Men who will not use their past as an excuse to repeat the mistakes that their fathers made but are determined to set a different precedent for our sons. Thank you for encouraging Men to be Men so that we can freely be women.”
Imagining a generation in which South Africa’s seeming war on women is eradicated, AmaDODA: The Movement was founded by five University of Cape Town (UCT) students; Munashe Gomwe, Leroy Nyarhi, Tapuwa Mataruka, Dalisu Jwara and Munya Tshuma.
The organisation’s Facebook describes it as “a social vehicle committed to building a generation of African men that fulfil their role in society by exhibiting Ubuntu and leadership”. The organisation states, “Most importantly, Africa needs leadership.” Its motto is: Men of Value.
On why the organisation was founded, Nyarhi says, “A few of us grew up without fathers. We saw our mothers struggle to keep our families together on their own. We see that without good male role models, society cannot rid itself of the troubles that we, as men across the country, are causing. We started the movement in order to inspire men to be useful to society, instead of causing hardships to women, children, each other and ourselves.
“We hope that through our efforts, our children will grow up in a better society, where men are counted as assets of the nation.”
Abigail Calata, a journalist on UCT’s student newspaper Monday paper says, “These guys are trying to the build the society that I want my children to grow up in.”
Just four days after AmaDODA was launched on the social networking site, it received 1 000 likes.
RAISED BY VALUES
Sifiso Ndaba, who has joined the movement, says “We have a generation of men who were never raised. Simply because of science, a man being will naturally grow taller and bigger as time goes on, but don’t be fooled by this illusion. Most of us are just males, not men. A man becomes a man after he has been raised by a set of values and lives by them.”
Less than three months after its launch, more than 100 men from within South Africa and beyond our borders have answered the call for “men of value” to rise and commit to the movement via AmaDODA’s launch campaign, This Is Why I Have To be Successful. The campaign invites men to tell their stories of who they are, where they have come from, the challenges they have overcome or experiences that have shaped them and why they are committed to achieving success, in order to build their families, communities, nations and Africa.
The campaign has propelled AmaDODA into local media, with interviews on seven radio stations across the country, including Yfm, Power FM and SAfm and will be revived after the global 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender violence.
Supporting the campaign, AmaDODA has launched 16 Pieces, sharing artworks submitted on its Facebook page.
The organisation also works beyond the social media sphere, taking a group of Yeoville-based Grade 11 pupils to Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to promote a deeper understanding of their social context, exposing them to South African history. The organisation also provides mentorship and guidance to the boys to help them through their matric year and in submitting university applications.
Stating a firm belief in helping to “advance women in a progressive society”, AmaDODA will partner with the South African arm of global anti-gender violence organisation V-Girls, to bring the One Billion Rising campaign to the University of Cape Town In 2014. The global initiative aims to build awareness of and combat violence against women.
These are the first steps of what the founders hope will be an enduring, far-reaching journey, inspiring young men to lead a “charge of change across the nation to build a better South Africa for all”.
Dalisu Jwara, Co-Founder, Media and Communications Liaison 073 564 6417
Leroy Nyarhi, Co-Founder, Co-ordinator, 078 271 9229
Munya Tshuma, Co-Founder, Head of Finance and Fundraising, 078 218 8486
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