From the panel that attended 2020 men’s conference held by Citizen Tv at Sarova hotel, here are a few pointers that I was able to grasp.

  • Men are yearning to take back control in various aspects of their lives, if not all.
  • Men need a safe space where they can share their issues with like-minded people.
  • Some men believe that society would change if we all went back in time and assumed gender roles.
  • There’s a gap between the way older men think and what the younger generation subscribes to.

Do not get me wrong I believe that men need a safe space where they can feel accommodated and welcomed to share their secrets, pains whilst gaining advice from experienced older men.

But with the direction men’s conference is taking, it is cause for concern since some of the views shared could be reinforcing stereotypes more than developing men’s mental capacity or their position in the society.

First let’s look at what is men’s conference?

As the name suggests, the men’s conference is an annual gathering of men that takes place online or offline. It is a concept that came to being after a realization that the modern man goes through life struggles and pain but less knowledge is availed to him in terms of how he should cope.

While many have distorted it to become an avenue where men hide every valentine’s day, we cannot forget that significantly, the conference was started with an aim to refine men, by providing them with tips and ways on how to treat the women in their lives. That is prior to the awaited holiday – valentine’s day.

Men’s conference; Role of the modern man

Now, going back to the topic that is, the role of the modern man in the society; if it is tackled by believing that since man is the head he should dictate everything, then men’s conference is no solution to what is a confused generation.

By following the conversation, I admired how Wambutsi Mkada and  Dr, Wale Akinyemi merged spirituality, African culture and intelligence to address views that could’ve inspired toxic masculinity.

Backing them was Ahmed Asmali who highlighted that the views shared at men’s conference should be taken with a tinge of salt. That’s because not every home or relationship is the same.

In truth, we live in a different time and not all African traditions will translate in the modern society. It’s neither an issue of splitting the check nor is it an issue of who’s the head and who’s the neck.

Overall, very few people want to put in the effort to develop themselves into the people they’d want to spend their lives with.

Since the question of being a real man remains a grey area in today’s society, it begs the question; what qualities make a real man in the 21st century?