As long as society doesn’t redefine masculinity and a man’s role in it, men’s moral denigration and demise will continue unabated.
This is the view of Dr Ntlopi Mogoru, who is calling for the fall of chains shackling men and deterring them from playing upstanding role in society. Speaking at a Men2Men Chat, hosted by inspirational speaker David Tshiporo at Woodmead World of Golf last Friday, Mogoru, a sports physician and a medicolegal practitioner, challenged men to rise to the occasion in addressing things that bother them.
“One of our biggest problems as men is that we don’t talk,” said Mogoru, a former Bafana Bafana team doctor. “We have a lot of issues but society doesn’t expect us to voice out our frustrations. We were brought up to not complain and this has led to the biggest psychological problems that have such as depression, suicide, femicide and other things.”
In most African cultures, many a man have been raised to believe that moaning or talking about things that perturb them is unmanly. Mogoru points a finger at such notions for leading to a lot of men suffering and losing their lives to preventable diseases.
“Men don’t have time to worry about their health. All they want to do is go to work and pay the bills. Men by nature don’t even go to doctors. They only go to doctors when they are really in pain whereas the problem has been going on for a very long time. Some of the things are preventable but they leave problems till is late. Doctors will tell you that 90% of their patients are women. It’s worse these days because you can go to a pharmacy and buy medication for yourself. We have turned ourselves into doctors through google,” said Mogoru.
Heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, infertility, depression and suicide are some of the health hazards threatening men’s livelihood. Mogoru says these have massive impact on men.
“We live in a society that is very judgmental. A man gets raped and goes to police to open a case and he gets ridiculed. Men have got financial problems and marital problems but society will view you as a coward if you complain. The silence leads to depression. Some men commit fraud, get investigated, and lose their jobs, cars, houses and a lot because of financial problems. Then the only way out, they see, is to kill themselves because there are no platforms created for men to address their issues. It shouldn’t be that way,” said Mogoru.
“It’s important to look out for fellow men. Once you see signs, you must know that he needs help. If he withdraws, doesn’t answer calls, starts drinking, know that they are in trouble and reach out.”
For men to live longer and better, they ought to preserve their health. Mogoru calls for a change in lifestyle.
“There’s a need for change. As men we have to change our attitude towards our health. We have to do regular checks on health things affecting us. We have to avoid things that harm our bodies like smoking, watch what we eat, engage more in physical activities and look after our mental health,” said the physician.