COACH MASUKU: When a business deal collapsed and my father felt like he could no longer take care of us, he took a pistol and blew his brains out.
(The room goes silent.)
COACH MASUKU: He never said a word to anyone. He simply waited for my mother to take us to school one morning and pulled the trigger. Imagine that? One minute your dad is tickling you and tucking you into bed; next minute you’re standing beside his coffin.
COACH MASUKU: My point, gents, is that the world is changing, and if we don’t evolve, if we don’t learn to deal with that change, we are in big trouble. Women now earn significantly more than their partners. Deal with it! Hell, in some cases, women are the breadwinners!
KEVIN: True dat!
COACH MASUKU: For many men out there, there is a sense of a constant shifting of the goalposts. Your word is no longer law in the home. Children are no longer satisfied with the because-I-said-so response. Bottling our emotions doesn’t constitute as a coping mechanism. (pauses to look around the room)
(Some nod in agreement.)
COACH MASUKU: Family members who told your wife “please forgive him for the sake of the marriage, your children; you know what men are like” are part of the problem!
THABO: Ja neh…
COACH MASUKU: The question we must keep returning to is: am I my brother’s keeper? Put your religious interpretations aside for a minute. Take off die oorklap and practically and fundamentally answer that one question: am I my brother’s keeper?
MAKGATHO: Bua man!
COACH MASUKU: When my neighbour is screaming, in distress, in the middle of the night…am I my brother’s keeper?
COACH MASUKU: When I’m in a club, or at KONKA, with the boys, and a friend starts catcalling a woman, or starts advocating for our conjugal rights on the basis of paying lobola, ask yourself that question: am I my brother’s keeper?
MAKGATHO: Sho, coach!
COACH MASUKU: When a friend, your sister, or neighbour is struggling to raise her sons because their father has been AWOL since their birth, and they are perhaps hanging around bad company, and you know you can help in some or other way, step up. Why? Because tomorrow, one of those boys may hijack you, or you (pointing to random individuals in the room), and become a menace to society.
MZWANDILE: Ke waar.
COACH MASUKU: Step up because we are in short supply of good role models, and in the old spirit of ubuntu, botho, they are your children too. Their mistakes are a reflection on all of us!
KEVIN: (nodding slowly) So true.
COACH MASUKU: (looks around the room) Patriarchy is a poisoned well and we will all die and fade into obscurity if we don’t adapt and redefine our roles in the home, and in society at large. The road towards an evolved South African man is long, hard and tricky, but when in doubt, ask yourself: am I my brother’s keeper?
MEN: (a few respond in unison) Yes we are!
COACH MASUKU: The irrefutable fact is that we are all born of women. When any one of us goes astray, we must return to this question. When any one of us is in distress, not coping, and in a downward spiral, it doesn’t just affect the individual, it affects the home, the community, and so we must ask and respond to the question: am I my brother’s keeper?
MEN: (in unison) Yes we are!
Tell us: What do you think of the play?