In the Zimbabwean culture, men are seen as more important than women. They are considered to be more powerful than women. Through most Zimbabwean parenting styles males grow up being taught that they have more value and power over women, and they also observe their parents practising such behaviours.
Judah Mateza (43) of Ward 4 Nyanga is a man whose life and family were transformed by SASA Together. His home was changed from being a miserable home of fear to a happy home.
“I was very ruthless like a beast before the SASA! program. I used to use a lot of power over my wife and through the inheritance of patriarchal systems I did not see anything bad about using a lot of power over my wife and I thought it was a sign of being a real man. To show that I was more powerful than my wife I would beat her if she made any mistake. Every discussion would end up in a fight. Every day when I came from the beer hall my children would run away and hide in their rooms which made me feel that I was a powerful hero. I used to spend much of my time in beerhalls drinking and smoking as a way of trying to forget my problems,” said Judah.
Judah added: “SASA! has changed me and some of my fellow men. Since I started attending SASA! sessions I realised that I was destroying my own family through my behaviour. I now value my wife and help her with household chores so that she is not burdened by more work. SASA! is now our aunty, we now have an aunty in our home who helps us to live peacefully and solve our family problems. I have noticed that when you share power with your wife and children then they will love and respect you more and there is a bond that is created.”
In Nyanga, people are now getting counsel and information from SASA sessions and deeper discussions. People have learnt how to communicate and resolve their issues peacefully. This is seen through a lot of people choosing to consult SASA! Champions and Leaders.
SASA! Together, many males now understand the importance of balancing power as well as valuing their wives. Men now encourage other males to attend SASA! meetings.