It’s sad how our fathers have killed us and will never took the blame. They will never realize just how deep they have dug our graves and all we can do about it is take responsibility for it and apologize for “our” misfortune.
World Health Organizations latest stats claim that majority suicide cases recorded in Namibia are by men. This is quite alarming and contrary to popular belief. In Namibia and I guess I could say generally all over the world, it is believed that women are overly emotional and sensitive. But with the stats provided by the World Health Organization, it totally contradicts that.
As an African man whether Coloured, Wambo, Herero or what have you, we were all raised a certain way. We were raised with certain principles and different custom. But what I’m almost 100% sure of is that we all have one thing in common as men and that is the lack of “it”! EMOTIONS! Depression or any mental discrepancy is a taboo in vast areas and tribes in our country! All over Africa to be frank.
Growing up our uncles, fathers, brothers and cousins have taught us all one thing and that is to suppress our emotions. The way I’m actually stating it right now is actually way too subtle, but it’s a statement none the less. “Men don’t cry!” “Wipe your tears boy, only girls cry!” “Don’t be a p****, suck it up and take it like a man!” Wise words from our elders right?
With our hyper masculine style of raising little boys, we have created emotionless human beings. We have been raised to believe that it is a sign of weakness for a man to show just a little vulnerability. Instead of teaching our boys to deal with their emotions and depression we force them to suppress their feelings and mental disturbance.
I get it – men are supposed to be the head of the house; they are supposed to carry their families and protect them. What a weak a** man will be respected in his house if he cries in front of his children? What woman will respect her husband if he comes home defeated after a long days work?
Back to the stats availed to us. It is obvious to see that our men are struggling emotionally, and the community simply has turned a blind eye.
A lot of our men come to the city for a good life, “We are going to make it and provide for our families on the other side”. That is the motto but if we the original city boys are struggling to keep our heads above water, how much more of a struggle would it be for people who grew up and are used to the simple life? Our boys come to the city, try to make a living and end up just living to make ends meet. But then reality hits us, we can’t send money to our family, we are failing our subjects and we have not had a decent meal in days.
Our girlfriends want to call it quits, life feels like its ending and every thing is turning on you. But as a man you have to suck it in, do not even think of calling your uncle for help, because “men don’t have emotions.”
The sad ending to that is, we turn to alcoholism or worse hard drugs; and once we realize that is not going to sort out our problems we turn to the last resort ending our lives.
Now how can a man who is raised to “be a man” not go back to the family after life treats us bad without feeling that we failed our families, our father and our uncles? We tend to invest our lives in our women, I guess occasionally men too but that’s a column for another time. We base on the belief, “let them be the emotional being for me and I’ll do the rest”. You can’t turn to your families because “son you must be a man” “leave feelings for the women, men don’t have time for these things.”
We might call women emotional and overwhelmingly vulnerable at times, but I commend them for that. Most women I know have reached out in times of despair and majority of the time received the proper help and guidance.
As a man we would literally die first than have someone judge us for our emotional instability.
Fathers respect your sons, treat them with love and don’t be afraid to teach them about emotions. Show them that men experience emotions too and show them how to handle their emotions and not suppress them. Teach them that crying is okay, its healthy for the soul. I promise you there are some men that read the stats mentioned before and thought “what a bunch of p*****s”, unaware that it is their brothers who are suffering in silence.