The Asaman campaign seeks to inspire, create mentorship opportunities, and create a safe and constructive space to engage, for the younger generation. Asaman sits down with 21 year old Tshepo ‘Crocky’ Modiri, a BSc student, social activist & vocalist, to gain insight on the thoughts of the younger, upcoming generation of men.
Who is the one man, whether you have met or not, that you find inspires you most? And how?
Jesus Christ. There are many reasons why Jesus inspires me. His ideologies, how he related with other people etc. But, the one reason He really inspires me was His perseverance. We live in a world where it is extremely difficult to be who you really are and to say what you really want say. Jesus was ostracized for His views, and how He kept true to Himself amongst so many adversities is the one thing that stuck with me the most from His story, and it is the one I try apply in my life.
Do you believe guys in your age group consider good value systems as something to consider in their daily living? Why or why not?
I think definitely yes. I think the reason it sometimes does not seem that way is due to the fact that most guys in my age group are at a stage in their life where they are still finding and creating their value systems. Early twenties are the years in which you find and settle into yourself, that includes choosing the value systems you want to live by, and applying them to your daily living.
What are you currently studying and are you happy with your choice or do you have different prospects?
I am currently studying a Bachelors in Science degree. I would say I am happy, but having said that I definitely do not think that this is where my passions lie. I’m yet to know for sure where my passions lie, but I am excited to find out. Right now I am going through the motions, learning and making the most of every opportunity awarded to me.
Do you ever feel pressured to behave a certain way or make certain decision in an attempt to become what someone else believes is a ‘man’ and how?
Yes, everyday. This, in my opinion speaks to a bigger societal problem and that is the problem of socially pressured gender roles/stereotypes. Too often have men been told that they should not show vulnerability, that they shouldn’t cry etc, and this type of thinking can lead to a lot of internal distraught. This thinking is dangerous as it presents a blanket definition for manhood and any deviation towards self actualisation is stigmatised. Men need to recognise this problem, and consciously tell themselves that they are the masters of their manhood. They decide what what they manhood means to them, that way they shall lead fulfilling lives.
You are very passionate about music,why is this?
I grew up in a very musical family. All the members in my family sing, two even play musical instruments, so music is something that’s always been in my life,and I think that’s where it comes from. Also one thing I love about music is that it brings people together, irregardless of background, culture and race.
Your social media page seems to suggest that you are very up to date in terms of modern trends. Is this something you actually pay attention to, and why or why not?
I think yes it is something I pay attention to. I pride myself in being a global citizen. I enjoy knowing what’s happening around me as I do not think its healthy to live in an isolated bubble, as you don’t grow as much if you do. That by the way does not mean I subscribe to all the trends out there, it simply means that I am aware of them.
What are your thoughts on girls, women and the notion of marriage?
As a Christian, I fully support the notion of marriage as this is something my religion has taught me, but even outside of Christianity I believe its a beautiful thing to have a life partner. This life is not an easy one, and having someone with you through all the difficult and pleasant motions is lovely, and it is the type of bond that would be difficult to find elsewhere. I really do believe that modern day marriages can last. Having said that, it isn’t easy… relationships are hard work.
The men you see around you today, do you feel they are doing enough to inspire you to be a better person?
Yes, they do. I purposefully surround myself and stay in contact with people, in this case men, that I can learn from as I feel that this is what friendships and relationships should be about. Seeing the men in my life chase their dreams inspires me to do the same.
Do you think the Asaman campaign will achieve the desired effect of inspiring men both old and young now that you have taken part and know what it is about?
Yes I do. Mainly because this type of discourse on masculinity and manhood is one that does not happen enough, and many men, young and old, rely on gender stereotypes for guidance on their manhood. Many men will read these stories, and have the courage to narrate their own.
What is the one perception people have of you that you are uncomfortable with?
One perception that I’m uncomfortable with would be some people thinking that I am quite arrogant. Think the reason for this misperception is that I generally am shy and introverted in nature, and because of this I tend to keep to myself, this behaviour then gets misinterpreted. Oh well 🙂
I had an interesting conversation with Tshepo that inspired my last question. Perceptions. A lot of ideas and behaviours are influenced by perceptions. Unfortunately, one’s perception may not always be true or even come close to the reality of what or whom they are observing. I now hope that Asaman helps break down this system of perception and allows men and woman to engage openly and honestly thus truly learning from each other.
It is important to remain humble and modest. Remember though, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s simply thinking of yourself less.
Photography by Aaron & Hur