I ATTENDED the "You Can Count On Me" male conference at Emperors Palace and came back with a positive sense that there are honourable men who are prepared to uplift our people.
These are men who have taken a decision to be different from the lunatics.
Under the leadership of Kagiso TV and Communications, these ordinary South African men have dedicated themselves to ensuring that our people - the sick and the healthy, the rich and the poor, the urban and the rural initiate - and sustain meaningful dialogue on sexuality, gender equity, positive living with HIV and violence against the most vulnerable remains on the national agenda.
In most of the private deliberations I engaged in with these men, I realised that fear continues to be one of the inhibiting factors that perpetuates the stigma that is now attached to being male. This fear manifests itself in different ways. Generally, those men who are living with HIV are afraid to face up to the fatal consequences of their sexual indiscretions as some of the 120 men, including myself, have done.
It was a liberating experience, therefore, that there are some among our beleaguered group that are prepared to face the truth of the indelible stains that we have implanted in this world. Therefore, I wish some of those cruel child molesters and the conscienceless rapists and the oppressors of our womenfolk can realise that fear, unlike HIV-Aids, is a curable disease.
I am reading a book called Conversations with God, volume one, by Neale Donald Walsch. It is imperative for me to mention that I am going through it for the third time and this is what it says about fear: "Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we accumulated away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. When you choose the action love sponsors, then you will do more than survive, then you do more than win, then you will do more than succeed. Then you will experience the full glory of who you really are and what you can be."