Who is your REAL MAN?

Who is your REAL MAN?

What is a real man?

REAL MAN /rɪəl/ /mæn/ (plural men): a true and not pretended, not false, used to emphasize the noun…adult male human.

That’s what a dictionary would say but, if we think about it, we all have a different definition of a real man. A real man can grow a mo in a month. He drives something he’s proud of. He could Jujitsu his way out of a fight. And he knows the difference between a beer and a pale ale at twenty paces.

Or is it more than that? In our broken world, surely the real man in the room is not just the one who wraps up the fight, but the one who prevents it or picks up the bleeding victims, binds up their wounds and takes them home? Real manhood has an expectation of protection – and not only for each guy’s ego, but of the weak and vulnerable around him.

But it seems that nowadays these men are few and far in between.

When and how did our nation’s everyday hero lose his place?

We blame men for not standing up and being the ‘real men’ we hope them to be. We blame men for not being a courageous mirror of their fathers, but unlike many of the real man heroes we’re thinking of, most men in our nation had no father to mirror. South Africa ranks almost highest in the world for absent fathers (divorce, migrant labour, high lobola and unemployment are all factors) – this has created an epidemic of fatherlessness which left many men and boys with an empty hole where a father should be.

Why, then, are we baffled that South African men overstep their manliness and tip into violence and rape? Men throughout South Africa simply don’t have anything to live up to. For most South African boys no dad ever arrived on a horse to win their hearts.


So this month, I along with Common Good are calling on you to back a countrywide Campaign called REAL MAN. This online Campaign’s aim is to celebrate the real men in our midst: the old Granddad who offers wisdom and mentors young businessmen; the husband who’s nursed a sick wife for years; the young teen father who stays committed despite his culture that tells him to go.

It’s a campaign that is passionate about shining a light on the everyday real man heroes.

Chances are that you know more than a handful of REAL MAN, right? By recognising these men publicly, it helps us remember what a real hero looks like. By recognising the REAL MAN publicly it helps us send the message ‘he’s done it, so can you’ to all men in our nation.

Celebrating, honouring and recognising a REAL MAN is as easy as one, two, three:

  1. Think of one or two or a handful of men you would like to recognise: Post a photo of them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Caption the photo with: ‘I recognise (your friend/husband/father etc) as a REAL MAN because he… <insert reasons reason you feel he stands out as a REAL MAN>.
  2. Challenge two, three or more Facebook friends to follow your example and do it too.
  3. Add in #REALMAN. Now, tweet, Like, share and comment. (A selection of pics and stories will be posted on the website.)


See, easy!

To read some inspirational #REALMAN nominations out there, click here. 


The REAL MAN campaign is in aid of by Beth Uriel, a youth project and family home that’s been raising REAL MEN for 28 years. While the home is at an all-time high in terms of the guy’s success, leadership and family happiness, the house’s finances are at an all-time low. If you’d like to help them continue their good work and want support them financially please click here.

This post was written by
Claire is married to REAL MAN Merrick. She's a freelance copywriter who loves to get involved in crafting branding and media for NGO's. She's also a qualified life coach with a passion for careers, so Beth Uriel and NETwork are places she loves to volunteer. She is a member of the Common Ground Wynberg Congregation.

1 Comment on "Who is your REAL MAN?"

  • Roger Wood says

    Where have all the real men gone? There still there and in reality they are the ones who often slip into the background perhaps preferring not to be noticed. Therefore, I’m not sure they would like the recognition of having their photos on Facebook or being praised for what they do.
    When my children were young they used to like the Mr. Men books and Little Miss stories. I think one reason is the fact that they were stories that appealed to me. They were stories about people who I could recognize. People like:
    Mr. Muddle who messed up on the simplest of things.
    Mr. Slow who took forever to do anything.
    Mr. Stubborn who fails to acknowledge when he was wrong.
    Mr. Clever who knew everything. (We can all be like him now thanks to Google).
    Mr. Grumpy who was always rude and in a bad mood.
    The reality was that we all wanted to be like Mr. Strong or Mr. Brave but underneath he was really a lucky coward.
    Some of the characters did have qualities to be aimed at such as; Mr. Happy who in several stories changed people’s lives. For example, reaching out to Mr. Miserable to help him become happy. In another story he invites Mr. Quiet, who could only speak in a whisper, to move to Happyland where he becomes the Librarian.
    Howeve,r the reality is that none of us are Mr. Perfect who never does anything wrong and never has a bad day. We are all a work in progress and God is the one who is at work in our lives to mould us and make us into the people He wants us to be.

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