A Good Goodbye

I desperately want to close this chapter of my life. As a matter of fact I have to. In doing so I am required to make a couple of changes.

I am saying goodbye to my blog.

Before anything else, THANK YOU.

My readers, friends, supporters, and yes the judgy Judy’s too; thank you for allowing me to share my heart. That you for allowing me to split open and spill generously. My personal life, work, lifestyle, thoughts, ideals and so much more has been splattered all over this WordPress medium and I have found much pleasure in discovering that like you I am simply human.

I’d like to create a more professional blog for my personal brand and my lifestyle blog. This will become available with the next http://www.mathunzi.com website update. I also wished to be booked for more professional writing work in various spaces, so rather that be my resume of all things “vocab”. The opportunity to study further has me taking advantage of the chance to better my technical writing technique. Allow me to grow and prepare to do better by my audience in future.

I will spend what is left of 2018 catching up. I have promised you so much and I will deliver as far as my being and time permits. I will then only manage comments and communication on this page and leave it open simple as a reminder of where I have come from.

The book

Turns out it isn’t as simple as one would assume or prefer. As much as “best selling author” is seemingly a popular title of late, putting actual pen to paper is not as breezy as a Sunday morning.

This how ever is a story that I must tell and I will tell it. On my own terms! This is where I will shift the pieces of both the making and the breaking of my heart to. I pray that someday someone picks up a copy and says “God must be real”.

Please do not categorise my work amongst the memoirs of victims. I am not here for that. I have ingested enough pity, mostly from self, to drown me for decades. Take me as I am. She who loved even after loves wrote her multiple goodbyes. She who said yes, again.

2018

Less than 90 days of this indescribably turbulent year. Stay with me if you dare as we say goodbye to that which was and can no longer be.

DM me for lunch dates. Email me for collaborations. Invite me to talks, campaigns, NGO’s and events. Let’s have those conversations

Mathunzi MacDonald

Tshepo ‘Crocky’ Modiri  – Asaman 

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.


Authenticity. Honesty.

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 pleasan
t 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 happ
en 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  

Thando Vokwana – Asaman 

Asaman sits down with 29 year old Thando Vokwana. A Forex & Fixed Income Trader and an avid fitness enthusiast. Here is his story  

Define manhood in a short paragraph

Our lack of proper education on manhood and credible role models has led to the deterioration of manhood. Which has created a deluded image in our modern youth of what a “real man” should be; “Always be strong. Never cry.” It’s as simple as this for me.

Taking responsibility for everything in your life. That’s what it is, that’s all it is. Taking responsibility for where you are, good or bad.

Tell us a bit about your childhood

 I was born in PE, in a single parent home for the majority of my life and had the experience of an absent father – who passed away when I was 7. My mother is and was truly my everything. She fulfilled the role of mother and father quite admirably – sacrificing a lot on her part to groom me into the person I am today. Unfortunately she passed away in my teen years. I’ve always been very active and highly competitive and my mom gently nudged me into playing a lot of sport. This is where I met my best friend who has become my brother. His parents ended up adopting me when my mom past away and in some way my life has come full circle in knowing what the normality of a home where a mother and father are present and very involved feels like.

Who are the men that most influenced you and continue to do so? Please share how they have groomed you

As I mentioned earlier that I never really had a male role model till the later years of my life where my adopted father has had the biggest influence. Coming from being an extremely angry young man he has really guided me in finding peace within myself. He has really sacrificed a lot for me – taking me in as one of his own children and loving me as his own child, enhancing my spiritual journey. He has also taught me to see beyond colour and find value in people. Coming from a black home and moving into a white family was a difficult adjust but one I’m glad we got to experience as a family but that’s a story for another day.

You recently made the choice to get married,could you share what such a commitment means to you and what it would mean for your family structure if you chose to have children.

I find that commitment is something that’s lacking in modern society- we’re quick to call it quits when things get rough, look at the high divorce rates. Commitment for me is even more profound having the background that I have, growing up without a father and knowing the struggles my mother had to go through . It was an easy process for me to commit knowing that I genuinely found someone who’s happiness mattered more than mine, someone who you can see yourself growing as a person with and someone who’s not afraid to call you out even under the toughest circumstances. Being committed means being able to sacrifice – whatever my family needs – putting their needs ahead of mine. I hope one day to be able to pass this knowledge onto our kids.

How is fitness integrated in your life,and what does it mean to you?

I work under very stressful circumstances and I find it very difficult to switch off since my mind is always at work. Crossfit, the gym and instructing Movement X classes are where I find I can turn off and finally forget about. It’s a stress reliever for me. I’ve always been an active person – played tons of sport – so it’s been a seamless transition and it helps keep me young (healthy mind – healthy bond). I also embarked on competing in fitness & bodybuilding shows for the first time this year.

Professionally you are, in a more simpler term,a trader. What does your job entail?

A lot of stress, sleepless nights and more stress (just kidding). Most people think that trading is like playing roulette. You’d be very surprised. Any trade I put on my trading book involves a lot of analysis – understanding market trends, factors or news stories that could possibly sway market direction and knowing exactly where to cut your losses. I love the fact that my job gives me worldly knowledge, has taught me to be more disciplined in other areas of my life and challenges me everyday.

Is what you do professionally what you always wanted to do or are there other prospects you would have liked to explore?

I always thought I’d be a doctor growing up until I discovered how squeamish I was in my first year at university. So the plan changed and I explored the world of finance. As a black man I’ve always had a dream of opening up our community’s eyes to the world of finance – giving ugogo ePeddi access to hedge funds and educating her in the process. I plan on opening a hedge fund in the next couple of years that will focus on utilising resources in the lower to middle income classes.

Morality wears thin in today’s society, what do you feel could be done to remedy this? 

Mindset is everything. I liken it to the competitive world of sports where you can do anything if you win. The same thinking can be applied to someone who thinks they’re winning in general and tell themselves, “You know that girl? She’s my trophy. I deserve that girl. In fact, she doesn’t even want to be with me, but I don’t care. I’m going to take it.” That type of mindset should never ever be tolerated. I guess in some way it’s about being mindful of others, respecting yourself and those around you. It requires a lot of introspection and really discovering who you are – something that we’ve become unaccustomed to doing as a soceity – since a person’s worth is more closely defined by their material possesions and the amount of bravado they exhibit.

How was your experience with the Asaman campaign?

It was an unusual experience being in front of the camera but the campaign as a whole is refreshing as it gives a platform for young men to share their thoughts and ideas and inspire the next generation of young men.


Thando’s fiance is a good friend of mine, this is how we met. There is a simple lesson Iv learned in the time Iv spent with him; Never judge a book by its cover. And the application of this simple proverb would do us much good. We we learn so much more about not only others but ourselves. 

Another story that speaks to the insignificance of circumstance at the face of determination and will. 

 In today’s fast paced lifestyle where instantaneous gratification is the norm, endurance no longer exists. Endurance to stomach the rough patches we go through in our personal relationships and everyday life in general. 

Photography by Aaron & Hur  

Chad Alexander – Asaman

31 year old musician and music director Chadwin Alexander sits down with the Asaman team and shares his story 

Could you share your definition of what a man is in a short paragraph 

A man is someone who keeps his word, at all costs…even though it hurts. Who makes it up to someone he involuntarily disappoints. Some one who takes pride in his work and always looks for solutions instead of focusing on the problems, no matter how tough they may seem. I was taught never to leave the house looking like you just woke up, so I think a man should always smell good, look good, and be courteous and polite and be gentleman like at all times. A man is someone who never gives up on a dream, despite what the world says and what society deems viable and safe, even if his family is included in that society. A man always puts the well being of someone else before himself. Contrary to popular belief, I believe a real man is one who is not ashamed or afraid to cry, not for the odd “rom com” but when its necessary to cry. A man is one who should be meek and humble enough to say “Im Sorry” when he has to, gentle enough to pay attention to the little things in life that count and strong enough to stand up for what is right in the face of adversity, and no matter what people may say or gossip about. A real man is not afraid to cry for help, on his knees in prayer.

Do you feel you were exposed to such men in your life growing up, if so kindly share who they were and their impact on your life


If there was one man that always had my attention, that man was Rocky BalBoa (Sylvester Stallone’s character in a boxing movie for those unfortunate ones who have no clue of that movie!!!?!?!?!) Jokes aside though, my grandfather was that man… IS that man!! A man who always reminds
me of how important God is, and that knowledge is power. I later deduced that knowledge is only power in the hands that understand how to turn that knowledge into Wisdom Power. My grandfather was the consummate gentleman, the benchmark of style and etiquette and one of the most Godly, God fearing men I’ve ever come across. He is definitely responsible in defining and grooming me into the man you see today.

Kindly share what you do on a professional level on a day to day basis


Before, when asked this question, I used to get befuddled at how to answer this question, but as time passed, I found that the easiest answer was to say that I am a musician, in its entirety. To simplify it, I am a professional pianist, what I do the most and what I am now, amongst many other things, is a Musical Director for a few South African artists and television shows and the occasional gospel show/concert
.

Does music integrate into your personal space as much as we see it impact you in professional spaces?


Most definitely!!! I am practically immobile at home if I don’t have music playing in the background. When I wash the dishes there’s music, when I shower/bath there’s music, when I do the washing there’s music, when I fall asleep there’s music, when I’m driving
, there’s music. I hope that answers your question.

Do you feel a religious outlook influences morality and what are your own moral convictions?


I do believe that any religious outlook can influence ones moral compass in both good and bad ways, hence the Wisdom Power I spoke of earlier. It is my strong belief that an individual needs to make up his or her own mind on what is morally and ethically right and wrong, no matter what religious background may be brought forward. This is actually in my opinion a very serious discussion you are raising here… there are so many facets to this question, maybe that’s for another blog hehehe (⏎ am I allowed to do that??) Coming back to the final part of your question, my moral convictions might appear to be simple and archaic, but I believe that when you can truly put another before yourself and truly apply the thirteenth chapter from a book I like to read called 1Corinthians; (a chapter in the Bible which depicts Gods way to love people), to every culture, every creed, no matter your religious standing and ethnicity, so much right can be done and so much wrong can be averted.

They say  ‘when you look good you feel good.’ We know you to be conscious of your appearance; does it affect how you feel about yourself?


An emphatic YES!!! I must start off by saying that I’m quite new to the fashion movement. I’ve always been known to possess my own sense of style, and thank goodness its evolved over time, cause when I look back, I just laugh at my fashion sensibility. I just wear what I’m comfortable in and
what feels right for that day. I think you dress the way you feel, and vice versa. I look at it as my social right, my humanitarian responsibility to look presentable at all times, for all occasions, whether I’m playing tennis, golf, squash, or cycling or even when I’m going for a walk in a park. I was raised to always look the part, even if you’re an amateur hahahahaha (⏎oops I did it again!?!?)

Do you wish to be a father someday and what would you want to teach your children?

This is a sensitive topic for me, but to hit straight to the question I would say YES. I would like to be a father, but more importantly I would love to be a great dad someday.

I see you said “children” I think lets start with ONE first and then take it slow from there hey!!?? So, what I would teach my “child” is to dream big just like daddy, cause I think having ONE wife and ONE child IS DREAMING BIG, let alone children and a few other wives!!! I digress, my child would know and understand that God and family and friends are important. I honestly think the only way to teach my child or pass on any good values I’ve learned, and warn them about the negatives and the “not so good” tendencies I was subjected to as I grew up, would be to show him/her how to love, and for me to LEAD by example. I do not want to be the parent who says “Do As I Say, Not As I Do”…I want to instill in them to “Do As God Says, And Practice As He Has”
In terms of roles in society, where would you place women? And how do you feel women should be treated in respect to this?



I would place women right beside all men in every way and in every sphere. I have a high regard for women in society, this respect I have gained for all women, was by seeing my mother and grandmother raise their children in times of great adversity and circumstance. I come from a broken home, so I know the pain and struggles I see in so many young people I come across today. That certainly did not stop my mother and grandmother from raising their children the best way they knew how. Yes they made mistakes, who doesn’t, but such strength I have seen in them that we all see -or may not see- in all women around the world, fighting and praying for their children and clawing and struggling
in the face of great adversity and insurmountable circumstances. I am proof that those seemingly insurmountable circumstances were NOT insurmountable AT ALL… and only through a mothers sheer will and faith in God, raised a man like me, and as a man, …“I will honour my mother and father so my days might be plentiful on this earth…”


Determination, coupled with a passion for what you do, seems to be essential when overcoming the negative effects of the unfortunate parts of your upbringing. Thus allowing you to fully explore your potential whilst creating a better foundation for the generation to come. 

  Circumstances and negativity can be a stone that breaks or builds. Iv chosen the latter. 

Photography by Aaron & Hur 

Simphiwe Kulla – Asaman 

Asaman meets with 27 year old musician and producer Simphiwe Kulla. A member of the fusion band The Muffinz. Here is what he had to share  

How would you define manhood?

 Manhood is a responsibility for all men who want to define themselves worthy of being man.

Has a career in the music industry always been your first choice or did you have different prospects?

I probably was the most confused kid around my peers. My grades were always sub-standard till about grade 9(std 7), and even then when my grades improved, I still didn’t know where I’d end up in life. I always dreamt of a lot of things, but felt some of my dreams and aspirations were influenced by my surroundings and society. A reality I battled with for three years in my varsity life. It hit me hard, so hard I sought counselling. Music was always there, a gift God gave me to keep me happy and sane. It just got to a point where it was a no brainier for me. So yes, I think music was my first choice. I just kept avoiding it because of how my surroundings were setup. Music wasn’t an encouraged form of income or career.             

How did your family, especially your father respond to your decision to pursue a music career 

Firstly, I think my parents didn’t do too bad with me. Actually, I think they did great, especially my dad. But I don’t think he understood how much of an impact he had on me as a person. He inspired me in ways he wasn’t aware of. It’s like uploading a video on YouTube and not realising how viral it might go. When it does go viral, you try your best to avoid the attention it comes with. I think that is how my dad raised me. He wasn’t for the whole music idea, society had successfully influenced him in thinking it wasn’t a proper and fruitful career. But yet, he bought me all the music I desired in the world. He supported me with my dreams and all my extra curricular activities as a kid. He bought me musical instruments. He flew me across the world to experience life in its totality. He didn’t know it, but he gave me a story to tell in my music. He helped stretched my influences and inspiration. He shaped me to have the mind for music production. Definitely a man worthy of the title father.            

Do you feel or believe children are well exposed to the Arts in this country? 

No not entirely. I feel like a lot more is done in selling sports, and economic benefits. It’s deemed better for you to represent your country in sports than in the arts. Funny thing this, ’cause Europeans and Americans are known more for their everlasting artwork. Even under colonisation, us Africans were taught more about the west’s art and its history as opposed to the random sportsman or sportswoman. It’s quite ridiculous actually. Back to the arts.  ‘Celebrity’ is more the focus than the actual art. Peoples skills are not being developed because the plastic world is what’s being sold to them. There is a huge gap. This is a matter that is very personal to me. Not enough is being done.   

Women tend to be objectified in the industry, what are your thoughts on this?

I think any real man who loves their lady dearly wouldn’t want her to be objectified… This topic is quite sad, in the sense that woman find a liking to being objectified. To be honest I even find myself liking it too. Sex sells, that’s the force, if you are not for it, you are considered conservative, therefore you are not progressive,hehe, ya ne! Self appreciation has been twisted. I don’t think I’ve also quite grasped my head around this topic. I’ll don’t think I have all the answers in life generally. I really don’t believe what society says is the end all and be all though. I can’t stand for something I don’t believe in. I fear for the day God blesses me with daughter.      

Do you think, with the values you currently live by, you could be what we term ‘a good father’, and how so?

Good father. I think only my future child can truly determine that. All I can do is try my best. But yes, I do believe I’m grounded enough to be a father. But nowadays that doesn’t seem to matter much, we focus too much on the expectation part of parenting forgetting  that this human we are raising is a person in their own right. All parents can do really is guide. Children will determine on their own where they want to place their beliefs. 

Rest assured, I’ll be going into fatherhood with the experience of being an uncle ;  the experience of being raised up by an amazing father ; and having the ever so good and faithful Lord by my side.  

 Do you participate in any social development programs for the younger generation and how do you feel about the Asaman campaign? 

I used to. I loved teaching others about music. Did it for about three years straight. I’ve stopped to concentrate on my career. As for the Asaman campaign, its needed. A lot of the wrongs in our society can be rectified by men who can take a stand and be progressive in the betterment of our current trying times. We need to drive ideas of a “good man” and not just an “ok man”.

Have your religious beliefs been compromised by the lifestyle adopted when pursuing such a career?

No my beliefs are still the same, from the foundations of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. My lifestyle isn’t lavish or plastic. It’s still similar to the days of my upbringing.    

Please share any other things you would like to pursue and how you feel they would benefit you and those around you? 

I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I’m still going to be pursuing other avenues of music and the industry. I’m still finding myself in this big and scary world of music, it’s going to be a beautiful journey ahead. I’m currently in school furthering my studies in my passion. Education is something necessary to us all. Knowledge is a treasure for me.  
The fear to pursue what we are passionate about is a common error, driven by possible ridicule. Ridicule of this nature usually comes from those closest to us, who have chosen to only believe what is true to them. Music also seems to be a popular topic in the Asaman space. I wonder why 

 I pay attention to every single detail in my life. Especially in my work and interactions with people. It helps me to be a step ahead and to appreciate the beauties of life 

Photography by Aaron & Hur  

Mpendulo Sibanyoni – Asaman

Asaman sits down with 27 year old Mpendulo Sibanyoni. A civil engineer by trade.A musician & vocal arranger. He tells his story 

 
 Tell us about where you were born and raised and the transition when moving permanently to South Africa.

I was born and raised in Swaziland, Manzini to be exact. I was the first child my parents were blessed with, and I spent about ten years of my childhood in Swaziland before we relocated to South Africa; so most of my fondest childhood memories involve life in Swaziland, surrounded by a lot of family and friends. Transitioning into South Africa was mostly fun (as it would be for any ten year old boy), but it did come with its challenges. I lost familiarity and had to adapt to a new school, people who had a different influence, new languages, a harsher climate and many other factors. But most of all I no longer had access to my extended family, who played a vital role in defining life for me back in Swaziland. Looking back, I can say that the move was good for me. At the time, South Africa offered more fertility and greater prospects for growth particularly in education and the arts (specifically music, which I had a keen interest towards). The social climate was diverse, and diversity almost always offers a platform for expanding views on the cultural systems that define a society. I appreciated that.

 You have a tight knit group of friends. Do you feel the values shared between you are positive and if so, kindly share a few

Indeed. The positivity of the value system shared between my friends and I is the one thing that has been responsible for keeping us together for so long. I met most of my close friends in high school and we have managed to sustain the friendships throughout different stages of life. That has been the case because we are each others’ keeper. None of us can suffer any misfortune whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually with each others’ support. We rely on each other for the growth and well-being of each other. We have our silly times, when we just become typical boys but it is all in good taste and within the boundaries of the law! 

What led to your decision to/of becoming civil engineer and are you happy with and in your chosen profession?

I’ve been through many stages of wanting to become many things in life! I think I have the capability to handle anything that I would’ve chosen to do, engineering was the lucky pick lol! But having a creative and scientifically keen mind, engineering was a good fit. I also liked it because of its dynamism. There are always new challenges presented by whatever situation requires an engineering approach, and its quite stimulating to be at the core of overcoming those challenges.

As a musician what are you most passionate about in the field?

Harmony! Harmony has always intrigued me. Particularly that offered by outfits such as Take 6, The Real Group, The singers Unlimted and many more. I’ve had a natural inclination to this type of sound from a very young age. I grew up listening to a lot of music, vocal music to be exact, and the church I belong to fosters the practice of vocal music. I reached a point where I longed to form my own path in arranging vocals, influenced by the kind of music I grew up listening to, and my love and appreciation for good harmony has led me to some interesting and worthy discoveries!

Do you feel or believe music is a medium that could be used for purposes of regeneration?

Indeed. The effects of music are vast. And when channeled into a progressive energy music can achieve what politicians and builders of society sometimes fail to achieve. More so, it can be used in collaboration to the afore-mentioned in order to drive the world in a certain direction. Music has the power to shape thoughts and ideas, if that positivity is reflected through the music that is consumed by society, a change is inevitable. 

What is the relationship between you and your father like? Is there a dynamic that you would rather avoid if you were given a chance at fatherhood?

 My dad and I have a very functional relationship! He is a quiet, reserved man, very realistic in thought (much like me). He has really done all that he could have done to ensure that my siblings and I are never at a lack, and his support has gone above and beyond monetary measures. I think he could’ve been more affectionate with us, although I understand why that wasn’t his inclination. He grew up in a time and place that didn’t encourage much affection between parents and children. That in no ways diminishes his abilities as a father, but that’s one thing I will strive to do differently when I’m given the opportunity to be a father. It’s amazing what physical and emotional affection can do for children

Certain behaviors tend to be justified by the notion that society has evolved and become more liberal. What are your thoughts on this theory and the possible effects of such systems.

 Society is expected to evolve and change; that change is driven by advancements in technology, scientific discoveries, the media, education and information, and other factors. It is true that these changes have had an influence on the mental state of society, but I do not think that these changes should affect our beliefs, the moral laws. Truth is absolute, it is the one thing that remains constant in a changing world. Humanity needs to remain grounded; the changes should be for our growth as opposed to our detriment. The danger is that this will have an effect on future generations and we will see certain undesirable traits being propagated and adopted as normal behavior. 

 Kindly share what 3 things you wish men and young boys knew and lived by

•The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom; seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added unto you. That’s the bible. and that should be the starting point for every man

•The state of manhood cannot be proved by display of physical power and dominance. Let your attitude towards the things you’ve been called to steward be a show of your manhood. Build mental muscle, progress comes better that way.

•Peer pressure isn’t a phenomenon that is only experienced by teenagers. It’ll last your entire life. Don’t buckle under the pressure, remember that you are running your won race so set your own pace and don’t become the byproduct of someone else’s choices. Forge your own way.


Intelect is appealing. Thought out comment and action in a time of poor and lazy thinking. Passion in an art designed to be a universal language with no limits to its reach. I have know Mpendulo for a while but I was unaware of just how deep these waters run. Never let the ‘quiet’ ones fool you 

 I am my brothers keeper. It is every man’s duty to build the next man in order to the social and moral image of men that has been tarnished by a lack of accountability amoungst many other things

Photography by Aaron & Hur 

Chris Zola Dube – Asaman 

Asaman meets with Chris Zola Dube. 27 year old IT Network Engineer and businessman. He shares his story 

 


Tell us a little bit about your childhood

I grew up in Joburg, having lost both my parents at a very young age,  I was thrown in this Independence thing at a very early stage of my life. My father passed away in a car accident when I was doing 5th grade, at that stage I had no male role model to look up to in my life. We were not really close, so it was easy for me to get over it. My mother had to play both roles and in 2003 she passed on from pneumonia and at that moment I never thought I will be where I am now. Because of the friends and family that God blessed me with, I am where I am because of their support.

Which men influenced you the most growing up and how so? 

As I mentioned earlier, I never really had a male role model in my teen years up until I met a family friend uncle who acquired his millions in his early 20’s. I aspired to be like him in every way, the only problem was that his ways around women were not something to look up to and his spiritual life was also not uplifting to anyone, but at that young stage of my life that didn’t matter, all I wanted was to be a successful young man at whatever cost. I started attending church at TESDA (Tshwane East SDA), there I met a lot of successful family men, the likes of Adv Mkhize, Mr Digkole etc, they showed me that you can be successful in your career and still hold the spiritual values and family values without compromising the image of a real man.

Do you think that in society today we have men who stand as good examples? 

Definitely, the only problem is that this world is full of so much evil, all we hear about is rape, women abuse, child abuse, murder, corruption, Nkandla…we wake up to this kind of news on a daily basis and the goodness of men is over shadowed by the ones who are just males rather than men. 

What do you do professionally and was it your ideal?

LOL… I ask myself that question every morning when I step inside the office. I have a lot of job titles in my organisation, I am a Project Manager, Technical Manager and a Senior Network Engineer (IT). I have also started a little business on the side, after realizing that you wake up every morning to make someone millions and millions of Rands while he is in bed, you come to appreciate the art of hard working and starting your own thing, not to be limited by a monthly pay check. So you can say I am the above mentioned and a business man.

Do you believe ones contentment in the workplace translates to the rest of their lives? And how so? 

I believe one should never be never content in their work space, that limits the ability for growth, you can be content as a CEO or COO of a organisation, but not anything lower, after a while you tend to start complaining about things you cant change in a work place and then you start being content about those thing and end up being miserable and the you translate all of that to your household which will have significant implications in your home. 

Do you wish to be a father some day and what would you ideally teach your children to better them as the next generation? 

I do wish to start a family one day and be a parent. One thing I would teach my children is that they should never be victims of their circumstances, every circumstance should build them to be better people. One of the biggest problems about black people is South Africa is that 20 years after democracy, they are still playing victim of apartheid, once you get a mindset of entitlement YOU WILL NEVER get up and find something that will work for you

What is the one thing you wished someone had taught you that you had to learn through making a mistake? 

That love isnt what it seems in the movies..LOL

Do you believe the younger generation of men as is, is equip with enough to create a healthy community of men? 

Yes, not all hope is lost. Once a young man grows up knowing the Lord, all principles and values of creating a healthy community will fall into place without him being taught by any other man, God reveals more that you can imagine.

As a modern man,what are your thoughts on appearance and how does your personal style influence your confidence ? 

The idea of appearance versus reality is seen in everyday life; including relationships, religion, and school studies. The concept makes me feel oblivious to the world and all the knowledge it contains. I don’t completely agree with knowledge coming from experience, for I believe that the possibility of innate knowledge exists. Appearance versus reality opens the mind to considering how things we see is not really as they seem. For example, the term “love blind” used in everyday life can be incorporated in this situation. The person one is in love with seems flawless because he/she is everything one thinks they want, but in reality, that might not be the case. We see the tip of the iceberg, but not everything about it. The first thing that you must do to improve confidence in your appearance is let go of self-doubt. Stop your negative thoughts about being too fat or not handsome enough. Then, if you’re receiving negative feedback from others, make sure you stop listening to it. The only way to gain self-confidence is to feel confident about yourself as you are. 


I am thankful that people like Chris exist, and even more grateful that he exists in my space. Self pity is such common practice and here’s a man who defied the norm, has risen above tragedy and circumstance whilst maintaining and sharing a demeanor of calm and kindness. Asaman takes great pleasure in engaging with men of chatacter. 

  Your destiny is to fulfill those things upon which you focus most intently. So choose to keep your focus on that which is truly magnificent, beautiful, uplifting and joyful. Your life is always moving towards something 

Photography by Aaron & Hur