By Staff Reporter
This year’s annual Uyinene Mrwetyana lecture at Kingswood College in Makhanda has called on society to ensure that young boys do not grow up to be violent men.
Mrwetyana was a pupil at Kingswood until 2018. She matriculated and moved to Cape Town to study at the University of Cape Town and was tragically murdered in 2019.
The lecture was delivered at Kingswood on 3 April by clinical psychologist Anele Siswana. He said he wished he had been raised to practice self-love, gentleness, kindness, compassion, and empathy. Siswana added that young men and boys must be educated that “being a man” is not related to using physical strength or male gender privilege to dominate.
Educators, pupils, and the wider community must rethink how boys are taught to ‘be boys’ and must move away from outdated and harmful practices towards creating spaces where it is okay for a boy or young man to be vulnerable, he said.
It is vitally important that society creates “additional and particularly progressive models of masculinity,” Siswana said.
“We need a holistic and systemic framework of liberating masculinities. For us to fight against gender-based violence, we need to work with the psyche of men. We need restoration and rehabilitation of the mind,” he added.
The Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation set up after Uyinene’s death by her mother Nomangwane Mrwetyana, who has recently retired as Rhodes University’s Director of Student Affairs, will spend 2023 focussing on how to involve young men in the struggle against gender-based violence (GBV).