UNIZULU Hosts Imbizo for Male Students

UNIZULU Hosts Imbizo for Male Students

The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) recently hosted a Men’s Imbizo Seminar at the King Bhekuzulu Hall, KwaDlangezwa Campus. The purpose of the seminar was to educate male students on male behavior, mental health, black male empowerment, and substance abuse. 

Bishop Monument Makhaya, the care manager in the Pastoral Care Unit at the Vice-Chancellor’s Office gave a warm welcome to the attendees at the first Men’s Imbizo. The attendees were both from the KwaDlangezwa and Richards Bay campuses.

The first speaker of the event, Dr Sphamandla Gumede, encouraged men to become better men and protect women. He emphasised that men have changed, adding that the fact that women do not feel safe around men anymore was the evidence of this. “Men are supposed to protect, but nowadays it is the opposite. Women and children do not feel safe because of men. UNIZULU stats of women abused has risen,” he said. Dr Gumede feels that women do not need to be protected from men, men must stop doing bad towards women and that women should feel safe in general. He concluded by advising men to start taking decisions with stable minds and not decisions that they will regret later.

Sbonelo Ntombela, a Student Representative Council member, spoke about gender-based violence in relationships and how men must intervene in abusive relationships since women are dying in the hands of our men. They must intervene in GBV whether it be friends, neighbours, or family members because if men carry on watching this act, women will carry on dying.  Ntombela urged men to stop abusing women because they (men) feel as if they are more masculine.

Buhlebemvelo Dube, Chairperson of the Housing Committee, spoke about how substance abuse affects culture in the residences. Dube believes that there are a lot of expectations set for men which lead them to abuse substances, therefore he encouraged them to have standards. If men do not set standards for themselves, it leads to a lack of confidence. He further stated that being in bad friendships in university can also cause students to have peer pressure and end up using drugs. “Substances may bring temporary relief, but they do not bring happiness,” he said. He concluded by stating that the abuse of substances also has an effect in men abusing women.

Sbonelo Mavundla, the chairperson of mkhandlo wezenkolo at UNIZULU closed the event by thanking the platform that they were given as the event was informative. He touched on substance abuse. “Risky behavior begins when you associate yourself with things that put your life in danger. Most men at the University do not use condoms,” said the chairperson. To paint a clearer picture, he said that risky behavior may lead to excessive substance abuse, which in turn may lead to one contracting HIV and thereafter more substance abuse as a result of distress. He further encouraged male students to take care of their sexual health.

– Sinenhlanhla Ngcongo

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