SOUTH Africa is facing a scourge of gender-based violence and all fingers point to males of all ages. There are many programmes in place that train and cultivate women but there are issues that while there are programmes aimed at women, there are no initiatives that speak to males and their role in the scourge. It is for this reason that City Mayor Themba Njilo has started a programme coined Father & Son, which convened for the first time on December 17 last year in order to create a platform for fathers and sons to take this violence head on. Attendees of all racial groups included pastors of various denominations, aMakhosi, councillors and members of the community.
Njilo, who attended with two of his sons, said the remodelling and training of males in communities needs to be led by leaders at the domestic level. “Members of the communities look at us to lead from the front and be exemplary in eradicating such ills. I have brought my sons in order to illustrate that it does not matter who you are but the challenges facing all males are the same. By coming here, my sons will understand that there is strength in numbers when we deal with such ills,” said the Mayor.
One of the Mayor’s sons Phumlani thanked his father for ‘turning him into a real man’. “This is a very critical initiative in as far as identifying challenges communities continue to face as if the father is not doing the right thing by not correctly grooming his son, the latter will be non-the-wiser about what is right and what is wrong. This will assist those who are young but are heads of their households,” he said.
Tradition Leadership was also present
There was a royal aura to the event as there were also aMakhosi present from within Msunduzi’s jurisdiction. Amongst them was Mpumuza’s iNkosi Zondi as well as the recently installed, albeit temporarily, iNkosi of the Nadi nation Zamathuli Zondi. In his address, iNkosi Zondi commended the mayor for this initiative as it is a step in the right direction.
“To underscore the objective of this programme, we as the Zondi nation have a lot of respect for women and this is illustrated by the installation of a woman as an interim leader of the Nadi nation,” said iNkosi Zondi. He went on to say that the programme opened his eyes as a leader and added that it must be replicated to the rest of the country. He also said that he has a wish for the Zulu Kung to see how it can be rolled out.
Pastor Mvunga Khomo said that what is despicable is that some of the abuse happens right inside the house of God, the church. “We wish to pass on a message that says that even if you are abused in the holy house, you need to report what has happened to you because we do not condone abuse that happens in our churches and communities. As a congregation, ours is to protect the vulnerable,” he ended. Also in attendance were mayors from neighbouring municipalities within the district such as Mkhambathini’s councillor Eric Ngcongo and Mpendle’s councillor Ndlela.
All attendees agreed about the significance of such a platform and pledged to eradicate this scourge of the abuse of society’s vulnerable, which includes women and children.
All those in attendance concluded by being in agreement about the importance of this platform and committed themselves to eradicating the scourge of abuse against the most vulnerable in our society, especially women and children.
They also agreed that a solution to the scourge is through remodelling the young boy-child.