Taught by his grandfather to obey traditional culture, Fezile grew up tending cattle and sheep, and spending all day on the veld. Now a young adult, he realizes that a man is defined by the responsibilities he takes on in life, and he challenges strict gender roles by cooking and washing dishes for his family. Though his grandfather expresses disappointment, Fezile knows that he is becoming the man he wants to be.
Key points to consider in viewing Fezile’s story
When it comes to the duties of a man or a woman, many young people have different opinions from their elders. Some young people are under enormous pressure to choose what type of adult they will become. In viewing Feziles story, think about how parental pressures have a real impact on whether young people conform to traditional behaviours or create more balanced gender identities.
Sonke works with many communities to use storytelling and digital media to help people tell their own stories around gender, violence, HIV and AIDS and related issues.
Sonke partnered with Silence Speaks to enable young people and adults affected by violence and HIV and AIDS to share their stories. Other digital stories have been produced with former prisoners who experienced sexual violence in jail. And the MenEngage African Youth Alliance and Sonke partnered with UNFPA to produce “Youth Stories of Change” along with a discussion guide and other resources.
Through intensive, participatory video production workshops, Sonke is bringing rarely-heard voices and images into the civic arena. Our hope is that by highlighting everyday stories, we will deepen existing conversations about gender norms and health issues, as well as empower the storytellers and their communities.
Click here to download a facilitator’s guide, discussion guides and other Digital Stories resources to assist in the use of these tools in your community.