Jefferson Bosela, Musician and Politics Student
Being a black man is not just a physical manifestation but also a lifestyle. I base lifestyle on three different but interconnected elements, LOVE, POWER and STRUGGLE. I say this because as young, black men we must learn to love. Not the westernised idea of love that we are taught in the media, education and society but the natural love that arouses from our soul, from an intimate connection with the motherland. That connection will lead us to learn our true history and then enable us to love our friends, our family, our world, our God and, most importantly ourselves. Without that pure, selfless and delicate love we are nothing. This LOVE element will lead us on to the second element, POWER. Love will empower us and give us strength. We live in a world where even the oppressed races oppress black people so it seems as if our race and especially our men are powerless. It seems like we have nothing to gain and nothing to lose. But with power we can keep on going, to help us fight the final element, the STRUGGLE. Things seem to be getting better but we are fooling ourselves. The struggle continues and we must fight, as a race, led by powerful, educated and loving black men who will change history. LOVE will give us the POWER to fight the STRUGGLE. But it all starts with LOVE.
Samuel Ilelaboye, Founder of Gamma Gents
What is a man? A man is someone who understands the social differences and responsibilities between a Woman, a Boy and Himself. To be a man is to know when to walk away from a fight and when to protect the ones you love. How to provide for oneself, and for the others he is accountable for. A man treads the fine line between confidence and humbleness and in doing so arrives at peace and wisdom without a sweat. A man holds the correct values of life and nurtures them until he can pass them on to the next generation successful. He may not know everything or even be perfect, but he encourage those around him to raise the bar and improve with each passing day.
Bayo Akinmejiwa, Founder of WAM
I personally think that as a young male adult you’re constantly looking for things to validate your manhood. I’m not sure whether that is out of insecurity or if it’s just a process of self discovery but I know for sure that rings true with me. Most of the rhetoric we are sold a lot is very rigid, so on one side we are sold, the more women you bed the more manly you are or the higher education you have the more manly you are or you must have a mortgage, car and family to finally be a man. As I grow, it continues to change but to me at this moment, a man is somebody who understands his values and sticks to them no matter the consequences that may follow. Integrity as a character trait is the basis of a Man. Built on that I believe is financial independence and the ability to give without constraint. I feel that especially in societies that are very much capitalist, the position of economic empowerment is key as it doesn’t force you to compromise you values just to survive. Then beyond that is our legacy. Building something and having the ability for the next generation is a must and is the final stage in the development of a man.