In a quest to mobilise men to regain their dignity and role model reputation through doing well within our society, Thabang Mabuza and Bongani Mgayo launched the inaugural Conversation with Men at The Venue in Kwa-Thema on Sunday, 13 September 2015.
The Conversation with Men idea was inspired by the ongoing perception that men’s barbaric tendencies are due to weakened family values and communities are increasingly getting scared of the monsters that men have become.
‘The Networking powerful men who want to make a difference’, themed Master of Ceremony was Cape Town based motivational speaker, entrepreneur and co-founder of Conversation with Men seminars, Bongani Mgayo. The event content addressed issues such as economic participation, ways of not just surviving but thriving in business, importance of a healthy lifestyle, how politics affect men’s daily lives and mastering spiritual ways of managing life as men.
List of speakers was made up of business captains, religious leaders, relationship experts and different esteemed leaders from different spheres of society. Other speakers include Pastor Motlhodi Montle, Durban based young millionaire, motivational speaker, businessman and technical trader, Jabulani Cashflow Ngcobo, flamboyant socialite and gender activist, Mveleli Qwede, who is commonly known as Dr Love and Dr Callisto Sello as well as the CEO SAA Technical, Musa Zwane just to mention the few.
Gauteng 2013 Activator, entrepreneur, Power of 40 and Conversation with Men founder, Thabang Mabuza said the seminars’ aim is not just to empower men to positively participate in their communities but to also create a network of responsible revered role platform for male social change drivers. “It is critical for us as men to play our role in our own communities and family environment. If we are seen as heads, we then need to begin to take charge of that position and be role models to both women, children and fellow men who look up to us. I believe as men we can progress from poverty to prosperity provided we are prepared to pay the price”, said Mabuza.
Newly appointed North West Connector and University of Free State Politics student, Bongani Uhuru Hlatshwayo said the event came at a perfect time to teach good empowering life tools. “The event created a good platform for us as men to be acknowledged but most importantly a space where we can have an open discussion about our challenges in life and on how to overcome them”.
Hlatshwayo went on to say that the event reinforced his belief that modern men have to move on with times and find alternative ways of not just coexisting with women but also lead inspiring positive change to their immediate family, community and the world. “Society has evolved so much into the emancipation of women and yet forgot about good men who still exist in the society and who are doing well not just for themselves but for their families and the societies at large. We need to change the status quo and celebrate the good deeds that are done by men out there”, said Hlatsawayo.
One of the attendees, Calvin Xolani Buthelezi applauded the event organisers for their brave decision to launch such an event that will heal South African young men’s’ deep emotional wounds and inspire them to always strive for excellence. “I would like to thank you for all your time spent to gather an event of this kind in such a sphere where men are dimmed off their value in the community, this shouldn’t end here actually it should be a club or committee so we can rub shoulders as we all need each as a troop to live a fruitful life”, said Buthelezi.
Organising team members, Sandile Vilakazi said the ongoing public feedback has been overwhelming and has already given them idea of what to improve on next time. “This was a successful launch. Many people now want to be part of this moving train. Moving forward, we will make sure that we intensify our marketing strategy. In a short space of time we managed to get two well-known national radio stations (Metro FM & SAFM) and local radio station (eKasi FM). This is a sign that we have a potential to partner with various media houses for communication and marketing purposes”, said Vilakazi.
Conversation with Men programs will soon be rolled out in all provinces in South Africa. Organising team has not yet confirmed the dates, venue and other logistical issues for future events in other provinces. All they were willing to confirm is that the following Conversation with Men will be held in Free State.