In partnership with Brothers for Life, SABC Education is currently broadcasting a 26-part interactive talk show series dealing with the advancement of family health. Using the Brothers for Life messaging and positive approach, the show focuses on men’s health and men’s responsibilities in improving their family’s health. The show is part of the multi platform Brothers For Life campaign launched two years ago and it airs on eleven stations in ten languages.
The main focus areas of the talk show are:
- Men and relationships
- Men and health
- Sexual health (including the promotion of male circumcision)
- Men as parents
- Reproductive health
- Men and violence
The topics of the show are selected carefully to address the underlying drivers of the HIV epidemic and other lifestyle choices that affect the health of the family. The shows are scripted positively to encourage learning and engagement from listeners, and experts are invited to the studios to participate in discussion on the shows and answer questions from listeners who call in. These experts are drawn from communities that best represent the demographics of each station.
Brothers for Life
Brothers for Life is a men’s health and wellness campaign primarily targeting men aged 30 and over. Secondary audiences include younger men, women, community leaders and men’s structures. The campaign uses a positive normative approach that uses positive messages relating to male behaviours, norms and attitudes and social modelling through drawing upon positive male role models to promote the norms and values of the campaign. Issues addressed through the campaign include behavioural HIV prevention, men’s sexual and reproductive health including medical male circumcision, male involvement in pregnancy, child birth and fatherhood, promotion of health services for men and health seeking behaviours in general.
The campaign is a collaborative effort led by South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Department of Health, USAID/PEPFAR, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Sonke Gender Justice, UNICEF, The Interdepartmental Team on Gender Based Violence (of which SABC is an active member), UNICEF and civil society partners working in HIV prevention and health.
Man of the Month
A major focus of the radio component of the campaign is the Man of the Month competition, where listeners are invited to identify a man in their community who espouses positive values, who lives and leads by example. Listeners participate in the process first by nominating and then voting for one Man of the Month per station per month. This will culminate in a national event to honour these ordinary men who do extraordinary things. It is estimated that about 50 men drawn in total will be part of this event. Plans are afoot to have this event hosted by a prominent government leader.
The show has gone very well and has succeeded in raising key health issues, some of which are regarded by certain communities as utterly taboo. It has also managed to work in tandem with a number of community activities. There has been widespread participation from both ordinary men and women and high-profile individuals including the MEC for Health in KwaZulu Natal, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo. The show has been widely promoted through other Brothers For Life platforms which include two Facebook pages, SABC and Brothers For Life websites and the Daily Sun. Some of the stations running the show, such as Ukhozi FM, have even gone beyond working with Brothers For Life on the talk show, and have partnered with the campaign in engaging men through other activities like marches and men’s dialogues. Check www.brothersforlife.org for further information on the show.