Local celebrities are lending their support to Men’s Health nationwide Voluntary Male Circumcision Campaign (VMMC) this month.
The stars have joined hands with Community Media Trust (CMT) – a not-for-profit company that specialises in communication in the fields of health, human rights and gender based violence – in an effort to boost the campaign.
Lucilla Blankenberg, a co-director of CMT, says most of the celebrities involved in the campaign support male circumcision as a way to offer additional protection against HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other life-threatening health conditions that face men, such as penile and prostate cancer.
“Men are not immune to these diseases. About 7 million people are living with HIV in our country, and prostate cancer is the most common cancer among South African men. Medical male circumcision has been proven to offer men many protective benefits and there really shouldn’t be any hesitation to undergo the procedure,” remarks Blankenberg.
The local stars have all come on board as ambassadors for CMT’s “Man Up” campaign because they believe in its message.
The ambassadors include Khaya Mthethwa (musician/composer, Chad Saaiman (singer), Christian Bennet (actor), Lemogang Tsipa (actor), Brighton Ngoma (actor), Katleho Sinivasin (actor and presenter), Wandile Molebatsi (actor), Obed Baloyi (actor and director), Sekoati Tsubane (actor), Matli Mohapeloa (actor), and Luthuli Dlamini (actor).
Male celebs for VMMC. Picture: Supplied
Mthethwa says, “Life is not just about taking care of ourselves. It’s about looking out for our families and others as well. HIV is a major health concern in SA and I simply cannot idly stand by and do nothing. A proactive approach by all is what is going to put an end to the disease,” he says.
Dlamini concurs, “It’s a great cause and it promotes health and safety for all. Circumcision reduces the chances of HIV and reduces the risk of women getting cervical cancer.”
Blankenberg says they intend to reach millions of people, who are deemed more at risk of contracting HIV, through this campaign.
She adds, “Medical male circumcision has been shown to reduce a man’s lifetime risk of contracting HIV by 60% and is therefore considered an important prevention measure in the fight against the disease, which claimed the lives of over 150 000 South Africans in 2016.”
Molebatsi feels that VMMC is more than just a medical procedure.
He says,“We should talk more openly about the wide-ranging benefits of circumcision and debunk the myths that still exist around it. “Man Up” is a call to action for men to take responsibility!”
To protect yourself and your family, book a free circumcision by SMSing your full name to 35255 and a trained VMMC counsellor will call you back.