Ac­tor shares his abu­sive past to help men change

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MATLHATSI DIBAKWANE

RE­SPECT your sperm.

This was the ad­vice to men from le­gendary ac­tor Sello Maake ka Ncube at the launch of the AfriMan Ris­ing cam­paign at the Tsh­wane Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy’s Ga-Rankuwa cam­pus.

He said the cam­paign was to raise aware­ness of the is­sues men had to dis­cuss in or­der to stop be­ing abu­sive.

“The pur­pose of AfriMan Ris­ing comes out of where man­hood is at the mo­ment and how it has been for the past 40 years.”

Talk­ing about men’s is­sues was a dif­fi­cult sub­ject, he said, and shared the fa­ther-son re­la­tion­ship he had with his sons.

It was im­por­tant for fathers to be there for their sons… to show them right from wrong, he said. “I too wish that there were things my fa­ther had taught me.”

Ncube ad­vised the young men at the launch to “re­spect their sperm”.

The cam­paign is the brain­child of the ac­tor, pro­ducer and lo­cal hero, and tar­gets men in in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing.

It will pro­mote the im­por­tant is­sue of gen­der sen­si­tiv­ity among South African men, speak­ers said at the launch on Fri­day.

Ncube said the idea came to him when he was forced to face his own is­sues of be­ing abu­sive, and he took the au­di­ence on the jour­ney he walked to re­al­is­ing his abu­sive past.

“I’m over­whelmed. I never thought this mo­ment would come. The con­ver­sa­tion about men has been some­thing that touched me from when I was 24,” he said.

“At the time, the man­i­fes­ta­tions of me be­ing abu­sive showed them­selves and I was for­tu­nate in one as­pect, that I lis­tened to that lit­tle voice in­side me.”

Be­cause he lis­tened, the abuse be­came some­thing he ques­tioned for the long­est time in his life be­fore he could be­gin to act on it, he pointed out.

“It was only in 1998, when I heard of a group of young men in Alexan­dra say­ing they wanted to do a play about how they had changed, that I said: ‘That’s it, that is my mo­ment to go in and in­ter­ro­gate this sub­ject’,” Ncube re­called.

He said the most in­ter­est­ing time was when he and the men talked about man­hood and came up with a play ti­tled, Komeng, or ini­ti­a­tion school for men.

He re­called the emo­tional state the men were in when they talked about man­hood.

“In that room in 1998, the lot that we talked about, the pain that we had known, that we ex­pe­ri­enced, brought us to tears in that room…”

Young guys, re­spect your sperm

PIC­TURE: BOXER NG­WENYA

‘LIS­TEN UP’: Ac­tor Sello Maake ka Ncube said he em­braced the voice within and changed his ways.

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