Nkechi Macaulay and the Fight for the Soul of Boys

Good morning all.

Today is Tuesday, 28th July 2020 and the time is 9.00am GMT prompt.

You are all welcome to today’s GoalsKeeper of the Week #TweetChat and on the hot seat is Nkechi Macaulay, the founder of Boys Lives Matter Foundation. Further details on the organisation can be found on their website – www.boyslivesmatter.org.ng. This happened to be the 12th #FreeWeb4SDGs website.

Thank you for finding time to be with us. I strongly believe we shall have a great moment together this morning by strengthening our relationship and forming a mutually-benefiting network.

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The Preamble

This TweetChat is tagged “GoalsKeeper of the Week,” and it affords us the opportunity to connect with SDG initiatives and goalskeepers and have a heart-to-heart chat with them about their programmes. By this we get insight into their activities and how they are impacting on and making the difference in the world we live in, as well as their successes, challenges and travails.

The chat will be in a thread, and while we ask questions, our guest will answer with the reply tab.

You are free to respond to any of the questions and answers using the reply tab and remember to use the hashtag #FreeWeb4SDGs.

Once more, we welcome our special guest today, Nkechi Macaulay.

Let’s give you a brief about this brave woman fighting the cause of men.

Citation

Nkechi Macaulay is a journalist, a boys advocate and the Founder of Boys Lives Matter Foundation.

Since we have now know the pedigree of our guest, let’s now go to the questions we have for her today.

Questions and Answers Time

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q1:

The first time I heard about boys’ lives matter, it was some kind of a misnomer, but when the voice became louder, it was clear there was a problem somewhere we had ignored over the years. What motivated you to start Boys Lives Matter Foundation in Nigeria?

Nkechi Macaulay A1:

My foray into boys advocacy began when I volunteered to work for Boys Project Nigeria and saw a myriad of challenges boys were going through. In my quest and research on boys’ issues, I stumbled on boys’ sexual abuse and was shocked to discover a high % of men had been sexually abused as boys. I began to converse on BOYS SEXUAL ABUSE on my social media platforms and men began to open up sharing their horrifying tales of rape and gang rape. It opened my eyes to the world of female sexual predators who prey on boys. It also exposed sodomy going on between boys to boys and sexual abuse by male sexual predators.

I knew that if I don’t create awareness on boys’ sexual abuse, it would continue and its consequences are huge. I organised a walk to sensitise the society on the menace, organised boys’ conference to talk to boys about, visited several schools to teach boys on sex education and adolescent reproductive health. I organised several training classes to speak to parents on the subject matter and how to engage their sons on sex education talk.

All this led to the creation of BOYS LIVES MATTER FOUNDATION, which focuses on creating awareness on the sexual abuse of the boychild and help them access intervention.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q2:

What was responsible for ignoring the challenges faced by boys over the years, because what was more pronounced was domestic and sexual abuse of girls, discrimination against girls and the likes?

Nkechi Macaulay A2:

We as a people are responsible for the complete neglect of the boychild. In a bid to promote girls and women issues, we neglected the boychild. For decades, NGOs constantly promoted the girlchild as vulnerable and victims of all sought of abuse and sought ways to fix them. The society for decades saw men and boys as abusers, the gender wrecking the destinies of girls and women. The family system focused on nurturing the girls and allowed boys to figure out how to conduct themselves. It looks as if girls had some sought of manual on how to live and be better, while boys were not mentored or given some form of support and direction on how to navigate life and social interaction with females.

Decades of NEGLECTING the BOYCHILD has triggered THE BOYS CRISIS GLOBALLY.

  • We have encouraged the wrong narrative that boys are bad and girls are good.
  • We have promoted the wrong narrative that girls are victims while boys are abusers.
  • We promoted the wrong narrative that only girls are vulnerable to sexual abuse leaving out the boys.
  • We continually projected the problems of the girlchild and neglected that of boys.
  • We focused on improving education for girls and didn’t pay attention that boys were falling behind in education.
  • We promoted adolescent reproductive health for girls leaving boys out.
  • Our stories focused on the oppression of women and girls leaving the boys behind.
  • We never could see the boychild as victims of abuse nor oppression.

#FreeWeb4SDGs:

We invite you to join the ongoing conversation about the long-neglected issues about boys. Our guest, Nkechi Macaulay is still providing answers to our questions.

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#FreeWeb4SDGs Q3:

Thank you for the elucidation. We have been educated a lot about boys’ matters with your responses. Now the next question.

How has people’s reception been to the Boys’ Lives Matter campaign?

Nkechi Macaulay A3:

We’re on the right path. Have you noticed that lots of boys’ conversation have been making waves? We now have Boys Association of Nigeria pushing out boys issues. Haven’t you noticed that there has been more talks on boys’ sexual abuse and male rape? The recent bill by the legislature passed to include boys’ sexual abuse as a rape issue is a win for boys’ advocacy.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q4:

Thanks for this response as we are about asking you a question on that. Maybe you still have something to say on it. A lot of women speak out, even after many years after they have been abused, but we hardly hear of boys and men speaking about it?

Nkechi Macaulay A4:

Haven’t you noticed recently that more men are lending their voices to boys’ issues and daring to break their silence even in the face of mockery? For decades women and girls were encouraged to speak up and break the silence while boys and men were expected to man up and chest up issues. So boys and men were never taught to speak out and break any silence, it was seen as a sign of weakness. Have you noticed how parents would cuddle a crying girlchild and would hush a crying boychild? So that’s why it’s hard for boys and men to speak up, besides the same boys and men mock them for speaking out. While our society gave voices to girls and drown that of the boys, Boys Lives Matter Foundation began to give voice to men and boys to speak up and share their pains and access emotional intervention. Visiting schools and talking and listening to boys share their story and thoughts was mind-blowing. Helping boys understand their sexual reproductive health was an eye opener to them.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q5:

Do you see your foundation and other organisations fighting this battle, winning the war?

Nkechi Macaulay A5:

We have just started and we will get there.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q6:

What is your advice to parents since young boys are by far vulnerable?

Nkechi Macaulay A6:

I tell parents boys aren’t bad, we raised them badly. I advise them to bond with their sons more. I advise fathers to be more present with their son by forming a formidable daddy- son tie. Parents should begin to engage their sons on conversations on sex, sexuality, rape consent, girls and women and proper conduct. I tell parents A BROKEN BOY BECOMES A BROKEN MAN. Thank you for this conversation.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q7:

A BROKEN BOY BECOMES A BROKEN MAN. Hmmmm.

What more can the government, civil society organisations, security agencies and the communities do to help mitigate the abuse of boys?

Nkechi Macaulay A7:

Boys issues are high school dropouts, cult gangs,  violence, 1 million boys gangstererism, Almajiri menace, sexual violence, kidnapping and robbery and juvenile delinquency. The government must pay attention to boys and create a system to discourage juvenile delinquency. Civil societies must fight for the rights, the protection of boys and help boys break the silence. We need more correctional facilities in each state of the federation. We need to push out more male role models for boys to emulate from. We must be tender with boys, they are human and have emotions too.

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#FreeWeb4SDGs Q8:

Rape in Nigeria has reached a frightening and worrisome dimension, of recent. It has now become a monster destroying our society, with the legislators working on a bill to fight it. What could be responsible and what is the REAL solution to curtailing this menace?

Nkechi Macaulay A8:

The only way to curtail the rape menace is to stop seeing it as a female problem instead of a societal ill. We need the engagement of boys and men to tackle the rape menace. We need a sane government to make crime unattractive and help the citizenry live well. We must stop downplaying the roles of father and revive fatherhood. We must always be ready to bring boys issues to the front burner and deal with it.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q9:

What have been your challenges and travails in the Boys Lives Matter Foundation project?

Nkechi Macaulay A9:

My travail is having more men speak up and support the cause for boys ADVOCACY. Of course finance is another issue, as no one will support boys projects, grants are mainly given to tackle girls’ issues. Our society is filled with corrupt male role models, we have too many bad examples in governance.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q10:

What are your future plans for your organisation, Boys Lives Matter Foundation?

Nkechi Macaulay A10:

My future plan is to engage more discourse on boy’s issues. I intend to organize boys’ conference in each state. Engage parents on boys’ issues. Use social media to highlight more of boys’ issues.

#FreeWeb4SDGs Q11:

What is your final word as we round up this TweetChat?

Nkechi Macaulay A11:

My final word is BOYS LIVES MATTER

#FreeWeb4SDGs

Thank you so much ma for finding time to be with us today, and we are very grateful for the insights we have gotten from you.

Nkechi Macaulay:

Thank you and am deeply grateful

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The Next Edition

We also thank our followers who have been with us today and want to let you know that we appreciate the time you have spent with us.

The “GoalsKeeper of the Week TweetChat,” is a weekly programme and the next edition will be on Tuesday, 4th August 2020 as we have Dr. Oluwayomi Aoko of Centre for Research Education & Development in Physical Rehabilitation (CREDPR) on the hot seat. Save the date.

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Bye Words

Thank you once again for the time we have spent together today. See you next Tuesday.

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