Men As Partners: Nkonzo's Story





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Published on Mar 7, 2008

Nkonzo's father was alcoholic and abusive, and left when he was young. His mother died giving birth when Nkonzo was sixteen, and his elder brother died soon after of a gunshot wound. Nkonzo now cares for his younger brother, and has come to terms with his father, and the need for role models in children's lives.

South Africa faces two interconnected epidemics -- violence against women, and HIV. Spurred by the need for a response to these public health emergencies, and recognizing the centrality of working with young and adult men to making progress, EngenderHealth initiated the Men As Partners® (MAP) Program in 1998. Since then, dozens of organizations have joined to form the MAP Network and now work together in communities across the country.

In July 2005, the Center for Digital Storytelling's Silence Speaks project traveled to South Africa to conduct two digital storytelling workshops with activists from EngenderHealth's MAP Network. Participants in Johannesburg and Cape Town wrote and recorded first-person narratives about their lives; chose photos, still images, video clips, and music to illustrate their stories; and learned to edit these materials into the short digital videos presented here. These digital stories are being shown in trainings and public community screenings throughout South Africa, to promote the MAP Network's efforts to involve men in ending gender-based violence and preventing HIV and AIDS.

The stories address various themes that are core issues in MAP's efforts to transform South African society. Namely, MAP works to reduce gender-based violence and the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS. The MAP Network works with individuals and institutions to challenge traditional norms of masculinity and assist men in recognising their role in addressing HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. The stories challenge myths and stereotypes about how men can act and be, showing that men can be transformed to build a more just, gender equitable and healthy society.

For more information about Men As Partners, please visit http://www.engenderhealth.org/map/.


Copyright 2008 EngenderHealth. "Men As Partners" is a registered trademark of EngenderHealth.

Special thanks to Rees Shad at Sweetfish Music, and Tom Bellino at
Planet Arts Music, for their contribution of several original songs to the
soundtracks of many of these digital stories. Additional thanks to
Rees Shad and Axel Esquite for video postproduction work.


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