The boys come out to play

Christinah Motlhabane
  • International Men’s Day celebrated in Ghetto

The boys came out to play in Francistown on Friday as the city celebrated International Men’s Day a day early.

Established in 1992, the day is traditionally held on 19 November to promote basic awareness towards men’s issues.

This year’s celebrations took place under the theme ‘Positive Conversations about Men, Manhood and Masculinity’, the fun starting with a short walk from Ntshe House to the Old Stadium.

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With the Pantsulas leading the march in their crisp, eye-catching regalia, tunes from Splash blurring out from the moveable speakers, the walkers presented quite a sight as they snaked through the city.

At the stadium, activities such as aerobics, tug-of-war and football took centre stage.

Highlighting the objectives of the day, MYSC’s Tiny Tamasira Gontse explained the idea is to promote positive male role models, not just sportsmen or celebrities but everyday working-class men.

The boys come out to play
ACTION MEN: Aerobics was a popular activity

“The day celebrates men’s positive contribution to society, community, family, marriage, childcare and to the environment. It helps focus on men’s health and wellbeing and highlights discrimination against men in areas of social services and attitudes,” outlined Gontse.

When giving his speech, F/town Mayor, Godisang Radisego said Botswana commemorates the important event annually as a way to raise awareness on the effects of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the role of men in promoting gender equality as well as matters affecting men and boys.

“The theme for today provides an opportunity to introspect and focus on attributes, behaviors and roles associated with men and boys concerning GBV,” noted the Mayor, who stressed that the day is not meant to compete against Women’s Day but to highlight men’s purpose.

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For his part, Francistown High Court Judge, Lot Moroka noted the event comes at a time when the country is facing numerous challenges, the bulk of which are traceable to what he termed a ‘masculinity crises’.

“Murder rates are on the increase, rape rates on the increase and defilement and recently robberies. Domestic violence is on all-time high. For many women and children’s homes have become places of danger rather than sanctuaries of love and protection. More and more families are breaking down leading to high divorce rates,” warned a rueful Moroka.

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