Real men aspire to inspire, not harm
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.
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TREASURE The language of the book may be difficult for isiXhosa speakers to understand, because it originated 170 years ago