Breeding men, not tigers Living with AIDS # 403

This USAID-funded campaign, ‘€œBrothers for Life’€, promotes the positive values that men should stand for. Part of it is a media awareness programme whose first advert started appearing this week. The advert publicises a manifesto that introduces the arrival of a ‘€œnew man’€ in South Africa.

This new man is the type that takes responsibility for his actions, a man who chooses a single partner over multiple chances with HIV, a man whose self-worth is not determined by the number of women he can have, a man who makes no excuses for unprotected sex – even after drinking, a man who supports his partner and protects his children, a man who respects his woman and never lifts a hand to her, a man who knows that the choices we make today will determine whether we see tomorrow.

But the man envisioned here ‘€œis not entirely new’€, says Mandla Ndlovu, Communications Manager for Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa, an implementing partner in the campaign.

‘€œThe problem is that this type of man is silent, hence he is not known to exist’€, he says, adding that ‘€œwhat is new is that this man speaks about it and is out there and he’€™s proud to stand up for these values. I think we all know good men. But, good news does not sell. What you hear more about South African men are the men that rape, abuse their women, abuse children. This campaign aims to lift out the voices of these other men, who actually are the big majority of South African men’€.

Instead of preaching to men, the campaign seeks to create an environment where men can learn from one another about how to become better people, partners and parents.  

‘€œThere are a lot of men out there who can teach, there’€™s a lot of men who are good parents, there’€™s a lot of men who actually practice great behavior and we would like that silent majority of men to come out and educate the rest of the men about how to be a good man in the context of South Africa in these dangerous times’€, says Ndlovu.

Sonke Gender Justice Network, which educates boys and men about their responsibility in social and health issues, is a partner in the project. Co-director, Bafana Kumalo, explained that the aim ‘€œis to focus on a group of society that has largely been ignored in health intervention programmes’€.        

‘€œIt’€™s an intervention that is focusing primarily on men on issues of HIV/AIDS and broadly health and wellness for men. It’€™s targeted, particularly, at ages of men from 30 upwards because having looked at most of the interventions that we have in the country currently that speak to the issues of HIV/AIDS, for instance, target younger generations. We felt there is a need, really, to have a programme that speaks specifically to mature men, particularly in the light of Soul City’€™s research that confirms issues of concurrent multiple partners as one of the drivers of the pandemic in the country’€, Kumalo said.


  • Health-e News

    Health-e News is South Africa's dedicated health news service and home to OurHealth citizen journalism. Follow us on Twitter @HealtheNews

    View all posts

Free to Share

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in the loop

We love that you love visiting our site. Our content is free, but to continue reading, please register.

Newsletter Subscription

Enable Notifications OK No thanks