by George Matsheke
posted in Editorial
I recall the day I met Marvin, in Greenside, Johannesburg. He was regular but there was a regal air about him. We share a common taste of laager. The conversation was sparked by complimenting his time-piece. By end of the day it was like we’d known each other forever. We spoke of everything under the sun. He gave replies to many questions I had as a young man at that time. He was unassuming, authentic, and smart and he delivered a lot of insight into the struggles of youth. In an instant, he played the role of the Father figure I’d wished for or what I imagine my late Dad would’ve become if he were still with us.
The challenges of Man are largely unspoken on these streets. Man-hood, seemingly, is deemed easier to handle through imbibing alcohol or by engaging in sex. Perhaps my generation is different. We have more information at our disposal and, we are exposed to more than what our parents did yet we struggle as much. My father was my hero. He had been there until the end. I know no other father besides him. I imagined that every household was the same as mine until I grew older and realized that mine was in the minority. The transition of becoming a Man is rocky as it’s interesting. For the longest time I believed I was perfect; I could do no wrong. Then I got into a relationship which exposed all of my insecurities. It felt lied to. Why didn’t society tell me that making money will never be enough? Why I was not informed that love comes with work and that it’s painful. Society doesn’t impart these truths early on. It also doesn’t tell you that the woman you dream of is light years ahead of you and that you are blind to her struggles only until you get into a relationship.
Then you begin to see the damage that Man has inflicted onto this world. That Man has designed this world for his success. You learn that you’ve been a part of this system all of your life and, now that you know, it’s your choice as an individual Man to make a difference. These are the difficulties that we discuss on Marvin. We try and understand Men better. We know that some of the conversations are not easy but they are necessary for growth. Marvin is not for Men only. We aim it to those who are close to Man, Women and children. It’s a long journey ahead. For Men, it always begins with a conversation but most importantly, a conversation with Marvin.