Ntokozo Wandile Mbokazi
South Africa & Rhodes University, 2021
Ntokozo Wandile Mbokazi is incredibly passionate about mental health and the way in which masculinity and conceptions of manhood can be of detriment to men. He believes the two things are inextricably linked. After attending an all-boys school, he understands very well the ways in which societies manufacture men. He sees himself as constantly trying to escape from what he considers a “cult” of patriarchal masculinism.
Ntokozo’s greatest challenge is his journey with mental health. Without a dismantling of certain versions of manhood he may not have been able to successfully engage with his mental health. Ntokozo studied a BCom interfaculty degree where he majored in English and Economics, he believes the troubles of the world are interdisciplinary in nature and require such a perspective.
Ntokozo seeks to reimagine the way men see themselves through a representational campaign which includes literature, advertising, television and cinema. As a literary scholar, Ntokozo is acutely aware of the ways in which what we see and read often informs what we think we can and should be. Ntokozo began the company Mikenna Projects to focus on protective and guided housing for students at Universities to assist them in coping with their mental health. After being a boarding master for young boys at Kingswood College he has expanded his projects to include Agender, a company specialising in the educating of young boys and industries on the links between gender representation and violence against women.
Ntokozo sees the reality that men are disproportionately at risk of committing suicide, developing addictions and engaging in violent acts as intimately linked with gender-based violence. Ntokozo attests that historically society has imagined men in a variety of ways, from cultured elites to soldiers, it is time to imagine them anew again; non-violently.