By Jethro Kwenani
My Father lost his father at the tender age of 12-years old and my late grandmother raised him and his siblings. Being the eldest was a lot of pressure, but he rose to the challenge. After school, he worked part-time to contribute to the household and help get his siblings through school. When I think back to when I was 12, I cannot even imagine having managed such a feat. That is just one of the reasons I call him Superman.
He never had anyone to show him the ropes or to take the premature weight off his shoulders, yet he and my mother raised five brilliant children. His bedtime stories took us on mythical, humorous and deeply emotional journeys. I still think he is the best storyteller around. His love for music rubbed off on all of us. I will never forget the image of him dancing to his favourite Soul Brothers track. Until this day, I turn up the volume whenever I hear his favourite songs playing.
As I reflect on the wonderful memories I have shared with my dad over the years, I am also encouraged to peep into the future and think about the many tough decisions that lie ahead of me. One day I will raise my own family, and fortunately, I will do this with the wisdom and courage that he has instilled in my brothers and I. Dad has also helped me live up to my name ‘Jethro’, which means to strive and succeed. I want to follow in my Superman’s footsteps.
I remember the rides home in the car after the parent-teacher meetings, where my mother and father would encourage me to find a balance between sports and schoolwork, “Stay focused on your education,” they would say. After graduating from school, I realised just how important this encouragement was. Even now at varsity, his ‘well done son’ still humbles me. During my studies in Europe, he called every Sunday to make sure I was working, warm and safe.
I broke down in tears when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He was a shell of the man. I kept asking the same questions over again, “What can I do? Why is this happening? Why aren’t the doctors doing enough? He is supposed to be ok, he is my Superman!” And, indeed he was, because dad beat prostate cancer.
My dad’s journey is an inspiration to me and to anyone who needs or desires to pursue the impossible. He gave everything to everyone, even when there was little to give. He is the humblest and most generous person I know, constantly assisting others. Even though transport is so difficult in the village where he has retired, he still attends every funeral and lends a hand to anyone that needs help, and does this with a smile no matter the hour.
Thanks to my dad, at 22, I have matured and I can walk on my own two feet. Although he is just a phone call away, I really miss him because there are still so many things I want to experience together with him, whether it be kicking balls with grandchildren or having interesting conversations with my girlfriend and I.
No matter how old I get, my dad will forever be Superman. Life has no guarantees, and he may not meet his grandchildren, but I will tell his story and live his legacy. I hope to grow into the father whose children call him “Superman.”
- Jethro Kwenani is a student at the Polytechnic of Namibia. This tribute is part of the GL News Service special series celebrating phenomenal fathers, offering fresh views on everyday news.
- African Men for Sexual Health and RightsPlease note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.Opportunity closing date:Saturday, December 10, 2011Opportunity type:Employment
AMSHeR seeks to appoint a Head of Communications and Development, based in Johannesburg.
S/he will be responsible for the development and production of communications materials for all AMSHeR initiatives. In this capacity, s/he will work closely with members of the Law and Human rights Unit, the Health Unit and the Francophone programme to edit, proofread and publish AMSHeR publications, including reports, booklets, info sheet, press releases, newsletters, brochures, media advisories and Briefing papers.
- Edits and prepares manuscripts;
- Copy editing (employing skills that assure consistency and accuracy within a manuscript regarding grammar, punctuation, syntax, and acceptable institution style);
- Substantive editing, requiring critical sense and intuitive evaluation of factual accuracy and consistency of information - chronology of events, overall consistency of subject matter; verification of facts, rearrangement or deletion of material, analysis of data, and evaluation of documentation as to accuracy and thoroughness;
- Coordinate AMSHeR’s “The Voices” Project, a project that aims at increasing knowledge on same-sex sexuaity through the development and dissemination of digital material and facilitation of research and writing on same-sex sexuality in Africa.
- Bachelor or Master’s degree in communications, social sciences or any related field of study;
- Commitment to social justice and AMSHeR values;
- Knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of oral and written communications and interpersonal relations skills;
- Professional level skills in proposal and publications development, correspondence management with writing and editing experience preferable for a non-profit organisation;
- Skills in writing and editing news/feature articles and in a variety of styles for a variety of audiences;
- Ability to translate complex technical language and ideas into language easily comprehensible to non-specialists;
- Editing and proofreading skills;
- Interpersonal skills to facilitate work with a wide range of individuals and people from culturally diverse groups;
- Ability to use a variety of personal computer software applications, including desktop publishing;
- Knowledge of English and French.
To apply, submit a CV, motivation letter and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
No enquiry will be accepted.
For more about the African Men for Sexual Health and Rights, refer to www.amsher.net.
For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.
Support the work of SANGONeT and four other NGOs at the forefront of development and community involvement in South Africa, including the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Starfish Greathearts Foundation and SCORE. Please make a donation to the 2011 SANGONeT "No Pain No Gain" fundraising campaign before 30 November 2011, and encourage others to do the same. Refer to www.ngopulse.org/npng.
- International human rights groups are reporting increases in hate crimes against gays and lesbians across Africa.
Denis Nzioka, one of East Africa’s most prominent gay rights activists, points out that, “We have seen an upsurge of violence, of discrimination.… You’ve got guys in Cameroon being arrested; you’ve got guys in Nigeria being killed for being gay. It’s happening all over Africa.”
In South Africa, according to Natasha Vally of Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, a particularly worrying phenomenon in Africa is, “Police homophobia.… Police are increasingly using arrest itself as a means of punishment. So we’ve seen in lots of these cases it doesn’t appear that the police have the intention to prosecute at all.”
To read the article titled, "Africa’s gays say they’re ‘under siege," click here.Source:VOA News
- The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) says it is not surprised more young women are being lured from their rural homes to work as sex workers in big cities.
SWEAT director, Eric Harper, points out that, “Criminals do go and prey upon poor people in rural areas and make false promises.”
The comment cames after Cape Town’s vice squad said females from Prieska in the Northern Cape, some of whom are only 17-years-old, are being forced to become prostitutes.
To read the article titled, “More women lured to cities for sex work,” click here.Source:Eye Witness News
- The Sonke Gender Justice Network intends applying for a court order against African National Congress Youth League president, Julius Malema, for neither filing appeal papers relating to the hate speech ruling against him nor paying the R50 000 fine ordered by the court.
The organisation’s government and media relations manager, Mbuyiselo Botha, points out that Malema’s legal team missed dates to file papers for appeal and have also failed to apply for condonation.
Botha and the network took Malema to the Equality Court for saying the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape had asked for food and taxi money after having a ‘nice time’.
To read the article titled, “Group to apply for order against Malema,” click here.Source:News24
- Aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has reported that more than 30 women were raped in a coordinated attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on new year's day.
In a press statement, Annemarie Loof, an official with the medical aid organisation, points out that, “Women had been restrained with ropes or beaten unconscious with the butt of a gun before being attacked, some in front of their children."
Loof further says that up to four armed men were involved at a time and homes and shops were looted, adding that MSF teams treated 14 women at the hospital in Fizi on 3 January, and 19 the next day.
"People are fleeing the area fearing further violent attacks," explains Loof.
To read the article titled, “More than 30 women raped and beaten in DRC attack,” click here.Source:Mail&Guardian
- Human rights activists say gay people across Africa are facing an unprecedented wave of persecution powered by fundamentalist religion.
Africa coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Monica Mbaru, points out that, "It has never been harder for gays and lesbians on the continent."
In Uganda, a pending bill would execute repeat ‘offenders’ in same-sex relations and imprison others for life. People who fail to report a homosexual, even parents and teachers, would face three years in jail, and those who "promote" homosexuality five to seven years.
To read the article titled, “Anti-gay attacks soaring in Africa,” click here.Source:UPI.com
- Gender Links has called on government to declare a state of emergency in the fight to end gender-based violence GBV).
The organisation says countless research studies now show that the problem is overwhelming and the response is insufficient, especially when measured against the target of halving gender violence by 2015 in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.
Contrary to government’s view that this year’s 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children campaign was a success, Gender Links Gender and Violence specialist, Loveness Jambaya, thinks that political leaders from various political parties have not taken the campaign to heart.
To read the article titled, “Gender Links calls for state of emergency against gender violence,” click here.Source:SABC News
- The Eastern Cape department of education says school children must be supported in their right to a preferred sexual orientation.
The department’s superintendent general, Modidima Mannya, points out that, "There is an urgent need to advance a transformation agenda that addresses all matters of common social and cultural understanding.”
The comments by Mannya, who argues that the Constitution is the supreme guiding document, follows a newspaper report of a transgender pupil at Cambridge High School in East London, who was forced to leave the school because he was not allowed to wear trousers.
To read the article titled, “Support for transgender pupil,” click here.Source:News24
- According to the United Nations (UN), recent elections in East and Southern Africa have left fewer women in politics, placing countries at risk of not meeting equality targets.
Speaking at a women conference in Johannesburg, UN Development Programme director, Bo Asplund, pointed out that, "Elections in the region have shown regression with regard to women's representation in parliament."
Asplund said research has shown that when you have progress on the millennium development goal (MDG) of gender equity, there is automatic progress on two of the other MDGs -- poverty and maternal health.
To read the article titled, “African elections put fewer women in Parliament,” click here.Source:Mail&Guardian