By Dumisani Hlatswayo
Life is challenging for many grown men right now for so many reasons. It is tough that most men resort to taking their own lives if not drowning their sorrows in alcohol and drugs. But things could have been different if some had a mentor at a younger age. For this reason, Mpumelelo Buthelezi decided to start a mentorship programme for boys in Tswelopelo, where he currently stays. Originally from KZN in a place called Ulundi, Shenge is a motivational speaker, mentor in his own right. He has the disposition and desire to develop young boys.
“Boys Mentorship program was born after my drug awareness campaign called My Story, Your Lesson that I was doing in schools around KZN; the campaign was about the danger of drugs, using my personal story that I was on drugs and live on the streets for two years before God gave me a second chance in life,” Buthelezi told The Olifants News.
Buthelezi said the Boys Mentorship South Africa targets young boys between 12 and 18. One of the challenges Buthelezi’s programme currently faces is the lack of positive role models for boys. “In our township, many boys come from fatherless homes,” he said.
On 21 November 2021, Buthelezi hosted his first Boys Seminar at Kasi-Colab, at the Mall of Thembisa. The event was attended by 58 boys of various age groups ranging from 12 to 18. Some of the parents participated in the seminar, too, and they appreciated what Boys Mentorship South Africa did in the community.
“ We wanted to show boys we love them, We appreciate them, and they are important. These are psychological needs for our boys,” said Buthelezi.
“My message to parents, families, and society is that we need to create a safe environment for our boys, where they will be treated equally and given the same opportunities as girls. I am talking about the environment at home, in society, and the house of God. The conversation within these places will build or destroy them; it will shape their belief system and define faith for them. The relationship with others will be defined by how they see their parents, teachers, and people around them interact with others,” he added.