Sessions help men to address sexual health

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THE Saint Boniface Anglican Church Christian Brotherhood’s usually uneventful Saturday afternoon sessions were enlivened by a unique, potentially life-saving sexual health awareness workshop at the weekend.

The brotherhood of the 50-year-old church in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, was formed four years ago when senior congregants realised that men normally bottled up their feelings while suffering stress and depression.

“This also adversely affected their performances and effectiveness in their homes, workplaces and the church,” said senior brotherhood official Zolile Thalazo Msimang.

“The last straw was the death of one of our fellow congregants from an apparent suicide recently.”

Msimang said after the congregant’s death, the brotherhood met regularly to discuss various social issues.

Most of the workshops were addressed by experts, Msimang said.

“We have seen many benefits from these workshops. Chief among these was the openness with which congregants were interacting,” he said.

“We thank God for giving the men the courage to open up.

“We have even opened the sessions to local men, irrespective of their denomination.”

But last Saturday was slightly different and vibrant because the guest speaker was the brave Lindi Dlamini.

Dlamini, a local medical practitioner, who challenged the men to start taking better care of their sexual health to avoid sexual dysfunction and diseases, including prostate cancer.

Dlamini challenged the men to also inspect themselves the same way women did to detect breast cancer symptoms and other ailments.

The medical practitioner even took the men through a series of related exercises.

Afterwards, three brotherhood members told Sowetan how grateful they were for the sessions, particularly the latest, frank discussion with Dlamini.

“I have come to appreciate being open with my family, fellow congregants and other men in our church,” said congregant Solomon Hlongwane.

“I have also learnt that keeping healthy, following a thorough cleanliness regime is most vital.

“We men tend to die inside, mostly out of empty pride, and that is dangerous.”

Congregant Charles Zwane added: “When we share our fears, doubts and ideas with others, it is always half the journey travelled towards lasting solutions.”

Brotherhood chairman Carl Thobejane said: “Bottling up our emotions was previously a big problem.

“Today we cracked another difficult topic – that’s men’s shyness and fear of being open about their sexual health problems.”

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