Johannesburg - A supporter of the Amatyma movement established and run by businessman Thato ‘TT’ Mbha is Sibusiso Leope known as DJ Sbu. The artist spoke extensively about the importance of men facing and dealing with their generational curses.
“I don’t think we’ve got a lot of great leaders in Africa right now and role-modelling is not trickling down the best way it can. A lot of the imagery displayed on social media doesn’t seem to support the family unit or push that more boldly. We need Amatyma (fathers) in our lives because they are the heads of our families and they are meant to hold a family together. Amatyma are meant to provide leadership in the family. If you look at South African history and look at where we come from, the significance of a father being there for their family is what has kept most families’ legacies alive for many generations. I understand what TT Mbha is trying to achieve with this movement. I am so inspired by the fact that there is a young black brother like him who has started a movement like this which is why I am in support of it,” he said.
Being a father himself to his five-year-old daughter, Waratwa Leope, he said it is important for men to take care of their mental health, especially in a country where the fathers of the old generation are known to be absent or violent and abusive.
“When we evolved from 1994, we simply expected the black man to keep it moving as though there is no work that has to go into his mental and emotional healing. We simply expected him to adjust to this notion of the rainbow nation that we have all been exposed to since 1994. We as black men never got to revisit the amount of trauma we endured during apartheid – the black man’s manhood was defeated in front of his woman and his children. He was made to be a slave to another man and he couldn’t properly be the leader that he strived to be,” said DJ Sbu.
Fatherhood shouldn’t look any other way other than a father being there for their family, especially their children, said DJ Sbu.
“When you are there for your children, physically, that is the most important thing. And that is what TT is about – he is about sharing his life, marriage and children with the world and it’s great to see more dads doing that – proudly sharing their experiences of fatherhood,” he said.
He stressed that men from the townships need to be empowered economically so they can make a difference, not only in their lives, but in their families' lives.
“Our fathers never had time to heal. Our mental health is extremely important. If we are healthy, mentally, then we can approach every single person in our lives with the care and sensitivity it needs without using violence and abuse, or exerting our masculinity negatively. There are a lot of intelligent guys who are in our townships who aren’t economically empowered – not because they are not smart, but because they are disadvantaged. A lot of our men are suffering from generational curses. So this movement is a step in the right direction. We are putting in the work to uplift Amatyma,” he said.
For more information, the Amatyma movement carries the Amatyma Wellness Check-in conversations every Tuesday on the Amatyma Instagram page.