Zimbabwe on Saturday joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Men’s Day amid concerns at the rising cases of abuse against boys.
The commemorations were held at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza under the theme Giving The Boy Child The Best Possible Start In Life.
Fred Misi, the chairman of Men’s Forum — Varume Svinurai/Vhukhani — said the commemorations came at a time when attention was being given to the girl child at the expense of boys.
“Whilst it is important to focus on the specific needs of the girl child, we are creating a crisis by ignoring the specific needs of the boy child,” Misi said.
He said many boys were dropping out of school and were hooked on hard drugs as well as abusing alcohol, while a significant number of those who were completed secondary and tertiary education were roaming the streets because of unemployment.
“Most fathers have become absentee fathers having little, if any, time with their sons.
“We are about to face a generation of men who are to be leaders yet have not been led in their lives, fathers who have not been taught about the right to fatherhood, men who stay at home whilst their wives go to work earning themselves the derogatory nickname ‘couch potatoes’,” he said.
“Our boys as young as four years are being raped.
“A study on adolescent sexual reproductive health commissioned by SafAids established that more Zimbabwean high school boys than girls are reportedly engaging in sexual activities with their teachers in exchange for favours.”
Misi said the government and Zimbabweans should act now to save the boy child.