The old adage ‘boys will be boys’ is usually loosely used and quite often an excuse to let boys get away with a lot of stuff that under normal circumstances would be perceived unacceptable.
For 24-year-old Kobamelo Mokhenyembula this could explain the root cause of much that is wrong with the boy child in today’s society.
“Society finds nothing wrong with relaxing rules a little bit for boys while upholding stringent rules for the girl child. We need to change this approach and start building the boy child who has been neglected for a very long time,” he told Voice Entertainment recently.
The founder of Lentswe la Bo Rre Foundation, which aims to mould young boys from primary school level teaching them right from wrong, is adamant his organisation can help combat the high incidents of Gender Based Violence (GBV) currently crippling the country.
“We have to work hand in hand with women on this project to help us raise well rounded young boys. I intend to target students. They need to be taught how to live in harmony with their sisters. We need a generation of young boys who’ll respect their sisters, wives and indeed mothers,” stressed Mokhenyembula.
The young man from Block II in Francistown is in the process of registering his foundation, which he believes, with concerted effort from the likes of SOS, Emang Basadi and Gender Affairs, will give Botswana’s young male generation some much-needed direction.
The unemployed Mokhenyembula feels the issue of peer pressure amongst school-going males needs special attention.
“If it’s not peer pressure, it’s what these youngsters see every day in their households or neighbourhoods,” he added.
“I grew up in an environment where GBV was a normal thing. One morning a man would hit his wife in full view of these impressionable young minds. Such issues never reached courts of law – they were resolved internally by family members and this further perpetuated GBV,” reflected the concerned youngster, noting he ‘learnt’ from a young age that it was a ‘normal thing’ in society for a man to physically discipline his wife.
“Society has accepted that occasionally a man will beat up his wife for whatever reason. We need to teach young boys that this is not acceptable,” he proclaimed emotionally.
Currently, Mokhenyembula discusses these issues on the foundation’s Facebook page, where members of the public are free to air their views.
“I’ll be able to engage with a lot of people when the foundation is fully operational, hopefully by March,” concluded the ruthlessly ambitious youth.