Real men as­pire to in­spire, not harm

CityPress - - News - MSINDISI FENGU msindisi.fengu@city­press.co.za

Liv­ing a life that seeks to in­spire oth­ers to be the best in what they do, is what Peter Ntokozo hopes for.

Peter (15) is among a group of school­boys par­tic­i­pat­ing in an an­nual Boys2Men tech­no­log­i­cal ca­reer and moral re­gen­er­a­tion dia­logue pro­gramme set up by Karabo Mokoena’s un­cle, Tshepo.

Tshepo founded the project last year, be­fore his niece’s mur­der, in April, al­legedly at the hands of her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe.

The 27-year-old ap­plied for bail in the Jo­han­nes­burg Mag­is­trates’ Court on Fri­day, but it was de­nied be­cause he failed to prove ex­cep­tional or per­sonal cir­cum­stances per­mit­ting his re­lease.

Peter, a Grade 10 pupil at Cur­tis Nkondo School of Spe­cial­i­sa­tion in Em­deni Ex­ten­sion, Soweto, said he had learnt how to be­have as a man. He joined the pro­gramme last year.

“I’ve learnt that be­ing a man doesn’t mean you are a leader of peo­ple but that you have to in­spire oth­ers and give them a chance. If you are a leader, lead them in the right direction. I want to be that kind of a per­son. If I be­come a leader, what I’ve learnt is that I don’t have to boss peo­ple around. I as­pire to in­spire oth­ers,” he said.

He also thanked his sin­gle mother, No­sisa, for in­still­ing dis­ci­pline and morals in him.

Mokoena said he started the pro­gramme long be­fore his niece’s death and was mo­ti­vated by the scourge of femi­cide.

“I’ve al­ways spo­ken against gen­der vi­o­lence. At the time no­body lis­tened to me. It was like I was shout­ing from the cave. But un­for­tu­nately Karabo died and it hit home. It’s painful and I’m still griev­ing,” he said. Mokoena won­ders whether Karabo’s death was a way of God an­swer­ing the prayers of vic­tims and their fam­i­lies by putting him in a po­si­tion to reach boys with no father fig­ures in their lives. He has part­nered with a num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions and has re­ceived the back­ing of politi­cians, in­clud­ing Women’s Min­is­ter Susan Sha­bangu, Gaut­eng ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi, and so­cial de­vel­op­ment MEC Nandi May­athula-Khoza. Mokoena said five boys in Grade 9 were se­lected from dif­fer­ent prov­inces last year and, to qual­ify, they had to have no father fig­ures, and per­form well by scor­ing above 70% in maths, sci­ence and en­gi­neer­ing sub­jects. Dur­ing a five-day trip to Jo­han­nes­burg, they were coached by the chief ex­ec­u­tives of part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions, and ex­posed to fields in en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy. Last year’s grade nines also came along, and will do so un­til they reach ma­tric, af­ter which, if they per­form well, they will study at Tsh­wane Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, a part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tion, Mokoena said. This year’s pro­gramme will be launched to­mor­row.

TALK TO US Tell us how you feel you can be an in­spi­ra­tion to the wider com­mu­nity and how you would bat­tle the scourge of femi­cide. Pro­vide de­tails on what you hope to achieve.

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word KARABO and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50

Karabo Mokoena

TREASURE The lan­guage of the book may be dif­fi­cult for isiXhosa speak­ers to un­der­stand, be­cause it originated 170 years ago

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