In South Africa, the patriarchal system remains deeply entrenched within the fabric of our society and is a significant risk factor behind intimate gender-based partner violence and family disintegration. Globally, one in three women experiences violence at the hands of a male partner in her lifetime — a statistic so staggering that the World Health Organization deems it an epidemic. The South African experience certainly mirrors this.
The Department of Social Development argues that among the forces that have weakened family life are absent fathers, HIV&AIDS, high levels of poverty and inequality, gender inequalities, unwanted pregnancies, and high numbers of orphaned children. It is therefore imperative that we find ways to enable our South African fathers (also known as AMATYMA)to feel challenged, rather than condemned, and open to redefining the current negative reputation of the “absent father” and engaging in transforming gender relations and positive parenting.
To redefine masculinity through fatherhood and the fatherhood narrative Old Mutual and the newly launched ‘ AMATYMA’ – a fatherhood support network and social movement’ are hosting a unique conference targeted specifically at fathers to unpack the topics of masculinity, fatherhood, and financial wellness. The conference will have a particular focus on how financial pressures and challenges can be a contributing factor to the unfortunate reputation and wellbeing of the patriarchal figureheads in our communities.
The conference, scheduled for November 20 in Johannesburg, is the brainchild of real estate entrepreneur TT Mbha. TT is a dedicated and inspired father fuelled by the passion and need to make a difference by stimulating solution-based discussions and engagements and having the much-needed tough conversations to address and resolve the many challenges confronting the fathers of today.
Along with his co-host, Head of Financial Education at Old Mutual, John Manyike they will be joined by Dr. David Molapo, a management consultant and speaker, and DJ Sbu, the well-known musician, TV presenter, and entrepreneur as well as one of Old Mutuals learning leaders, Mahlomola Mashoeng.
The need for this important engagement is supported by recent statistics found in the Old Mutual Savings & Investment monitor published in August 2021. In this research, it is clear that financial matters certainly have an impact on families and our next generations when the father is unable or unwilling to contribute financially towards the future.
The statistics showed that amongst working metropolitan households across South Africa:
- 44% of the moms surveyed regard themselves as single parents.
- Nearly half of the women also said they are sole breadwinners and receive no financial assistance at all.
- 28% of the fathers of children who contribute financially – contribute regularly.
- 25% contribute but only now and then
- and a staggering 47% of fathers don’t contribute at all financially towards their children.
“It is with pride that we can work together with the likes of TT Mbha and our esteemed panelists and ‘ AMATYMA ‘ to enable and empower and improve the wellbeing and futures not only of men but our broader society. Conferences like this give us the opportunity to share the knowledge, impart our wisdom and insights, coach, guide and support those that wish to amplify their financial futures and become invaluable positive contributors to the future” stated Manyike
TT Mbha added, “It is encouraging for me as the founder to witness so many TYMAS opening up and talking about their challenges, and it is more encouraging to see corporates such as Old Mutual rally behind the AMATYMA network to bridge the financial wellness gap through financial education”.