On the 11th of August, the Madibaz Radio team hosted a Men’s Forum. The event saw the likes of Siya Beyile, Phiwe “Pastor” Nozewu, Lex “Dr Smile” Leo and Kojo Baffoe descend upon the shores of the windy city, on a sleepy Saturday afternoon.
I know right? A men’s forum…in women’s month? Counterintuitive much?
Actually, it is quite the contrary.
While insights were gleaned during the first half of the event, as the distinguished guests weighed in on their careers and respective journeys. Baffoe advised, “Take competition out of it,” when considering success. Leo said, for him a career is a “natural progression of what he loves to do.”
The main thrust of the affair was its second half, which considered the role women played in each of their trajectories. Beyile recounted a harrowing tale of domestic abuse and expressed admiration for his mother’s strength, especially her overcoming the ordeal and coming to forgive his father all in the name of healing. The footprint of women is also evident in his company, The Threaded Man, where the CEO is a black woman, as well as its general staff demographic.
Nozewu spoke about the impact that his mother and grandmother had on his parenting, allowing him to be more of a ‘mother’ to his own children.
To witness prominent men throw off their cool and speak honestly, about their careers, issues of gender, violence and the women in their lives was truly remarkable. Especially in an age, where masculine culture, as advocated by ‘lad mags’, depict a detached mode of manhood and success, determined by acquisition rather than being.
With this event Madibaz Radio subtly subverted norms, by making a space seen as designated for men, an intersectional space of engagement. A much needed balm after the tenseness of this year.