What’s the place of a man in the 21st century? Societies in Africa are faced with turmoil, pain, poverty, high crime rates and unprecedented looting from our leaders. They truly are the scum of the earth. But our male species especially here in the continent have failed so far and so low we’d have to scrap them off the floor to find any masculinity in them. Our unwillingness to stand up and to fight for what is right has condemned our children and nation to complete and total poverty all in the name of not getting involved. Here is who didn’t get involved; When black South Africans were being abused by the apartheid system, many collaborators were found to help the white minority rule to destroy their Nation, they were weak, pathetic, cowardly men. When Martin Luther was busy fighting and agitating for the black man’s freedom, there were many sitting and in hushed tones saying how futile his work was, how it was a waste of time and why they wouldn’t get involved, their grandchildren are now murdered in the streets’ of America. They are prisoners in their own countries. When Patrice Lumumba sought to free his fellow countrymen from the tyranny of colonialism, a few of his compatriots sought ways to silence him and shame him for a few ‘silver’. Their children and grandchildren are suffering hand in hand with their poor countrymen at the worsening conditions in the Nation. When Frelimo sought to free Mozambique from the parasitic western influence their enemies shamelessly destroyed the country in the hope of benefiting personally. These hasn’t changed much since then. We have many who still seek to enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow men. The most shameful and regretful reality is that many if not all of those who actively destroyed their nation were men, but even more devastating was that other men stood by and did nothing. A thriving society has men fully involved and concerned about their country. Men who aren’t afraid to ask questions, elders who are strong and unafraid of standing for truth, but with the
Other than the reality of living separately as parents and raising children, the social stratus of society checks in and also begins to play a key and vital role of influence. Raising children is hard, it takes commitment and constant presence, and due to our busy schedules, we at times find ourselves stuck at keeping a balance as apparent but also as a friend and strong pillar in the children(s) life. Sons are the most challenging to bring up, they challenge and just about question everything. Having them honour both mother and father while ensuring they grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually is of utmost importance. Maintaining a mutual relationship with your spouse in the journey of bringing up children should be a priority for both parents, while differences may arise between the two parents some things should be known to remain true. And ensuring that the children know this and understand it is key. Below are two keys areas on how to ensure you are doing your best in bringing up responsible, disciplined young adults. DISCIPLINE While the idea of how to discipline varies from family to family and parent to parent there must be some non-negotiables between the two parents. It should be clear to the children that there are areas where it doesn’t matter whether mom and dad are talking or not, this will not fly. As the parents agree on what that is; what are the areas we agree on in regards to the upbringing of our children. What are the non-negotiables? If you are too honest with yourself, you’ll agree that your children are the most manipulative beings you know. They know the buttons to push, what to ask for, how, when and where. In the area of young men, ensure they understand that respect and honour to both parents are non-negotiable. If you invite the children into your battleground, you guarantee devastating failure, pain and baggage for yourself and them for generations to come. Though at the point of winning them over to your side is sweet, the fruits it bears will be painful and long. Simply, DO NOT INVOLVE THEM Character development isn’t an overnight exercise. It takes time and commitment. What you do today will either negatively affect them or positively build them up. Agree on the non-negotiable areas; speech, character, responsibilities etc and try as much as possible to not excuse them from holding up their end. RELATIONSHIPS/SEXUALITY Chances are that your son knows more about sexual engagements than you do. Now that that is out of the way, LET’S BEGIN. Walk-in like a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you NEVER KNEW. When engaging with him especially as a father, be open and honest. Do not try to be overbearing, or a know-it-all because he will know you know nothing. Take a let’s talk approach. Lead with questions, teenagers at that age hate it when their parents try to tell them stuff. So be humble, ask questions. Let him open up at his own time, but he won’t do so if he realizes that you are only trying to get info out of him. This is especially a tricky period, he may probably open up to one parent and not the other, though it is key to keep his confidence, ensure you are not withholding pertinent information from the other party. I advocate that you keep confidence within reason, understand the areas to withhold but ensure that you share on the matters that are important. Knowing that your child is sexually active without informing the other aren’t will only widen the valley between you two. I advise parents to ensure that they keep each other abreast on matters regarding the children, winning your child’s approval and confidence does not give you one over the other parent and children should not be used as glory badges or strategic positions over your partner. And this is a very sensitive area, and unless you are both riding on the same values, same beliefs it is easy for the child to know that they can manipulate the situation to their advantage. Let them know that you are a team in this specific area. That mom’s position is the same as dads. They need to not only know that they need to believe it, and that can only happen when you show a united front in such. I advise having the father have the initial sex discussion if he is present and willing for both the daughter and son. However uncomfortable there is a need to ensure the initial discussion is done within the confines of a family unit. The best age to have the initial discussion is when the children are 9 years, by this time you have discussed with them about the Bees and B of protecting oneself, so this is different. This is about them exploring or being pressured into kissing, touching or having sex with anyone. At this point they have heard or seen some sexually explicit materials (PORN), so don’t lie or talk about pencils, pens and books. They know. And that is why in this specific area it is paramount that both parents read and speak the same language. Work together as one. Be one on this. To win in this area you’ll need to also watch out for the company they keep especially beginning ages 12 onwards. Watch out for what they spend most of their time doing, watching, listening to and reading. COMPANY THEY KEEP Every parent is concerned with the company their kids keep, especially boys. The male species is always attracted to the wild, carefree side of life. Be careful to look out for your son.
What’s the number one challenge in Africa today? LEADERSHIP We have had turmoil, war and famines all over the continent since inception (gaining independence); there are definitely a lot of positive things that are happening and continue to happen, but more needs to be done. In every conflict, the key perpetrators are young men, boys without a proper positive influence in their lives. They are influenced alright, but with negative, hateful and spiteful men. They are indoctrinated into crime, violence and drugs every day by men keen on seeing not only the continent but the world imploding on itself. Carpe Diem Consultancy seeks to seek out and mentor the boy child, empower him as an individual and prepare him for the role he’ll play as a man in our time. We need MEN to stand up and be counted, MEN ready to fight for what is good and pure. To do this we have to not only work twice as hard as the imposters destroying the lives of young men but go further to seek, mentor and empower the boy child. In the last 50 years, all 58 African Nations have experienced some form of conflict within their borders, some catastrophic event that captured the world’s attention; violence meted out in unbelievable proportions, but the ones that have gone unnoticed are the ones we ought to be worried about. And here is the clincher; all violence, small or great, catastrophic or managed was and is DRIVEN BY MEN, mostly boys taken on as child soldiers, trained, brainwashed, intimidated and pushed to do and become ‘things’ no human should ever become. The silent war being waged today is for the souls for the young men in Africa; radicalization is a reality we live with, crime, drugs and militarization of the boy child occurs with every passing minute. Why? Because the boy child forms the foundations and pillars upon which society grows. “Wherever the Man goes, society follows”. We have a sworn duty to raise Responsible, Strong and Entrepreneurial Leaders for the coming generation; we do this through experiential activities, project based learning, camps and school programs.