Mythic Poison: A Man Fears his Wife

‘The stress is gonna kill me,’ Lukaya points out and refers to his high blood pressure. He sits on a toolbox in a shed made out of corrugated iron shining bright like silver. I feel sorry about him. More than three years ago he welcomed me into his house ‘like a son’. He did not want . . . → Read More: Mythic Poison: A Man Fears his Wife

Love & Simulated Pregnancy

I give Juan a lift to his (ex)girlfriend. We ride on one of Cape Town’s highways to reach her workplace, a pub. They haven’t seen each other since she simulated a pregnancy. When we arrive Marika smiles. Both disappear. I sit at the bar and think of reasons why she could have simulated the pregnancy. ‘Men . . . → Read More: Love & Simulated Pregnancy

Male Mother Worried about Becoming (Grand)Father

‘He’s definitely not a man at this stage,’ Juan’s father Willem asserts. We sit in the lounge of his apartment in Paradise Park. His son told him lately that he might become a dad. ‘What? Dad?!’ was the seniors first response. Willem tried to be as composed as possible and immediately raised practical issues. He urged . . . → Read More: Male Mother Worried about Becoming (Grand)Father

Fatherhood on the Edge: A Pregnancy Test Drama

Juan gesticulates me to the veranda. ‘I have news,’ he frowns and looks to the ground with a mixture of excitement and remorse. We always talk about personal stuff outside. There is little privacy in the flat. Outside he starts to talk about his weekend. We went to his ex-girlfriend’s bar. I left when I deemed . . . → Read More: Fatherhood on the Edge: A Pregnancy Test Drama

How to Bully a War ‘Veteran’?

‘Steek hom!’ Roland suddenly yells. Jimmy, a man in his 40ies, quivers as if he was hit by a lightning. ‘Aaahh, fuck!’ he swears and bows down quickly while burying his head in his arms. Then he comes up again. ‘Mommy!’ one of the young men adds sarcastically in a shrill tone. The others . . . → Read More: How to Bully a War ‘Veteran’?

The Muslim brother

‘Heil Hitler’ yells the lady and raises her arm. Then Dudrik blasts in to tell her that I am not fond of ‘him’. I hate when people respond like this because I’m from Germany but this time it is rather comical. The grey haired woman looks at me with her eyes wide opened while cowing on . . . → Read More: The Muslim brother

Becoming a father: News from George

I meet George on a parking in front of a supermarket. He is happy to see me and so am I. The young man and his wife Tiffany moved into a new home a couple of weeks ago, since we haven’t met. Tiffany doesn’t feel well. “She is vomiting and does not want you to see . . . → Read More: Becoming a father: News from George

‘I’m so cross that I smack her’: Domestic Violence from the Perspective of a Perpetrator

For the first time the soft-spoken man reveals that the marriage, he so far presented as the corner stone of his life, lies actually in ruins. The matraze on which I was sitting last time is gone. “On Thursday she came home and was mad at me. I don’t know but I think it was because . . . → Read More: ‘I’m so cross that I smack her’: Domestic Violence from the Perspective of a Perpetrator

Out of the Womb into the Womb: A Xhosa Initiation Ritual Transformed

Mcendisi receives a call. His ex-girlfriend informs him that today there will be his son’s imbeleko – a Xhosa ritual performed to introduce a child to his or her ancestors. “How can she expect me to be there on such a short notice?” Mcendisi says disturbed. The relationship with the mother of his son and her . . . → Read More: Out of the Womb into the Womb: A Xhosa Initiation Ritual Transformed

Should ‘poor’ men have children? Reflections on Cultural Difference

“I want to make a girl pregnant. I want to have a child, too.” Bill, a young Xhosa man, concludes when he sees his friend’s son for the first time. “He looks like him!” Precociously I ask: “Why do you want to have a child? You know that you can’t support it.” The young men counters . . . → Read More: Should ‘poor’ men have children? Reflections on Cultural Difference