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Masculinity in Contemporary Africa - Workshop

  • University of Amsterdam, REC Building Room C5.00 166 Nieuwe Achtergracht Amsterdam, NH, 1018 WV Netherlands (map)

14:00 Welcome and Opening, Dr. Eileen Moyer

14:15 Hlonipha Mokoena

Spectres of the Zulu Policeman - 'The Loyal Fingo' and the Portrature of Frontier Masculinity

The conventional wisdom is that southern Africa's indigenous people wore, purchased and made clothers as part of the process of Westernization and embourgeoisment. The main objective of this paper is to present some preliminary thoughts and speculations about how the extensive archive of 'Zulu Native Policeman' photographs can open up multiple avenues of interpreting and understanding the experience of Africans serving in colonial police and military units. Specifically, the paper will interpret the painting titled 'The Loyal Fingo' by Thomas Baines as the inaugural moment when the body / bodies of Zulu men become synonymous with war and frontier masculinity.

14:45 Discussion

15:00 Chimaraoke Izugbara

Life is Not Designed to be Easy for Men: Masculinity and poverty among urban marginalized Kenyan Men

Current analyses of poverty and economic marginality in relation to masculinity continue to ignore the direct perspectives of men whose lives form the crux of such investigations. I draw on interview and ethnographic data from two slums in Nairobi, Kenya's capital city to address poor men's constructions and performance of manliness in relation to poverty. Men acknowledged economic adversity as both a major constraint to their masculinity and a significant dynamic in their own evolution and development into 'proper' men. In striving for locally-valued masculine identities, particularly breadwinnerhood, Nairobi's poor men advanced new values, narratives and strategies that both projected them as socially respectable men and reconstituted their normatively 'unmasculine' actions as macho.

15:30 Discussion

15:45 Tea Break

16:15 Joyce Nyoni

The Invisibility of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

Sex between men in Tanzania is stigmatized, criminalized and hidden. Consensual "carnal knowledge" is punishable by a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in prison. As a result, there has been denial of the existence of the practice resulting to very limited HIV/AIDS interventions targeting men who have sex with men (MSM). The paper presents findings from 3 studies done over a period of 6 years that have contributed significantly to the changing landscape of HIV/AIDS interventions among MSM in Tanzania. The government and Non-Governmental Organization are now actively engaged in trying to develop ways to better reach MSM.

16:45 Discussion

17:00 Drinks at Crea Café

About the speakers

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Hlonipha Mokoena received her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town in 2005. She is currently an associate professor and researcher at WiSER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her articles have been published in: Journal of Natal and Zulu History; Journal of Religion in Africa; Journal of Southern African Studies; Scrutiny2: Issues in English Studies in Southern Africa and Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing. She has contributed opinion pieces and book reviews to: African Studies Review; History & Theory; The Politics of Jacob Zuma, ACAS Bulletin No. 84; the blog “Africa is a Country” and the exhibition “PASS-AGES: References & Footnotes”. 

Her first book is on Magema M. Fuze, author of the Abantu Abamnyama Lapa Bavela Ngakona (1922) / The Black People and Whence They Came (1979). The book is titled Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual. The basic argument she presents in the book is that as an author and an aspirant historian Fuze represents a set of questions about the emergence and arrested development of a black intelligentsia and literati in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century South Africa. His life and writings reveal both his singular attempt to create, under adverse cultural, political and social conditions, a literary career and a body of knowledge while also participating in the constitution of a discourse community or a public sphere of Zulu-speaking intellectuals.

Chimaraoke Izugbara, director, Research Capacity Strengthening Division (which houses CARTA), and head, Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health research program at  the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), holds two PhDs - in social anthropology and social work from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.  He has taught in universities in the US, Europe, and Africa. An honorary professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and lecturer-at-large at the University of Uyo, Nigeria, Chimaraoke has authored over a hundred peer-reviewed scholarly papers in leading social science and public health journals. Chimaraoke’s research interests are in sexuality, gender, and health. His recent book, Women’s Health in Africa: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities (2015), is published by Routledge, London.

Dr. Joyce Nyoni is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at the University of Dar es Salaam. For the past ten years she has been working in the field of HIV prevention. Her work in the field has ranged from HIV communication intervention, to PMTCT and childhood transmission of HIV, to working with hidden populations such as men who have sex with men and female sex workers. Dr. Nyoni has also worked on research on strengthening community health systems for HIV treatment, support and care. She is currently working on a project that has developed a model (SPEND) to ease access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care among men who have sex with men in Tanzania. 

Sponsor: Becoming Men Research Group, and The African Studies Seminar