THE Maponapona Camp to tackle issues affecting men went well in the Drakensberg mountains of QwaQwa, Free State.
The three-day camp, held from 24 June to 26 June, was intended to create a platform for men to have a meaningful discussion about manhood.
The participants had the opportunity to discuss robustly issues such as low self-esteem, insecurities, personal healing, personal development, gender-based violence, responsible fatherhood, absent fathers and relationship challenges among other topics.
The event also aimed to bring about solutions.
Pastor Sipho Nkosi (43) an IT director of South African Leadership Gentleman’s Club, from Daleside in Gauteng was part of 15 men who hiked naked.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Nkosi said men had lost their position in society.
“I’m here to learn more about myself. I have experienced many things and going to Joburg, I will empower as many men as I can. We don’t judge each other based on big or small 4-5s. We are here to assist men to restore their positions in the families as leaders, anchors, providers and providers of direction.”
Thabiso Pebeila (20) from Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, said the Maponapona hike was a healing programme.
“It is not just about being naked. The aim is to reclaim our lost manhood. We are highly condemning the behaviour of being an absent father, irrespective of our financial challenges. Majority of dangerous criminals out there grew up without a father figure,” he said.
“We are here to break the chains of generational curses. To remove the wrong mentality that says men don’t cry. We want to make a humble plea to the fathers in our communities to assist all neglected children and lead them in the right direction,” said Pebeila.
According to event organiser Fana Lephakga, this year the hike was a bit different as it had a camp.
“There were activities where participants learnt new experiences. Among them is screaming therapy. We let them close their eyes and think about a gruesome incident, attach themselves to it and scream loudly. It helps to remove anger, disappointment, hatred and ignorance,” said Fana.
“And this is all about personal development as we are in the process of building brave men who will fight gender-based violence,” he said.
He said they were building a society that will enhance ubuntu.
The hike was part of celebrating World Naked Hiking Day, which was held on 21 June.