Movember: Seychellois men share thoughts and feelings | 08 November 2019
- “No one cares about us men”
“No one cares about us men”. It was upon hearing these words from a male member of the public recently, that Seychelles NATION sought the opinions of a number of men in the country, to coincide with Movember – a month-long observance dedicated to men’s health.
Run by the Movember Foundation Charity, the observance involves men growing their moustaches, to help raise awareness about male health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer, as well as suicide.
Below, Seychelles NATION captures some of the most significant inner thoughts and feelings of some of our nation’s men, with regard to Movember and other aspects relating to men’s health.
Movember is about changing men’s notorious‘laissez-faire’ attitude to health
“I think it’s a wonderful idea to have a month in the year where issues relating to men’s health is brought to the limelight. It helps to remind us men to pay more attention to our health as we are notorious for being complacent and having a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude towards our wellbeing.”
Is Movember observed at all in Seychelles?
“I am not aware that Movember is observed here in Seychelles; if it is, more needs to be done to make it more known to the public. I only know about it from watching Premier League footballers growing a moustache or beard during the month of November.”
It’s important for Seychellois men to appreciate the concept behind Movember
“It’s important to observe this month in Seychelles as it will encourage men to stop and give their attention to certain male-specific issues such as prostate cancer. It will also encourage them to actually go and get a check-up, to get into the habit of doing health checks, and to be aware of other issues that are common in men, such as those relating to mental health.”
Growing our moustaches &beards can help create a more positive culture
“By growing our moustaches and/or beards, it creates an image, culture, movement that goes beyond the simple reminders to go and do our health checks; hopefully this will turn into habits that will serve us men throughout the year and not just in November. What Movember does is that it lessens that initial hurdle of going to the doctor because you tell yourself other men are doing it because it’s Movember; seeing other men doing it, creates that culture I spoke about before, a certain ‘group mentality’ which spurs you on to overcome that hurdle.”
Seychellois men…let’s not shave!
“For the rest of this month, I want to encourage men to grow their moustaches and beards, and to do this proudly. Let’s inject a little fun into it and see who can come up with the most elaborated or thickest moustache; let’s become a symbol for change.”
We need more activities that promote men’s health
“I’d like to see more activities being organised to promote men’s health, such as sports days, to encourage men of all ages to see the benefits of exercise and staying fit; we need more chat shows on television where health professionals and the public can engage in conversations about men’s health; more fund-raising activities for different types of cancer; more school talks targeting young boys specifically to educate them about their health so as to instill this mentality from a young age, with the hope that they will grow up to be more health-conscious men.”
There are more observance days/months for promoting women’s health/wellbeing
“Observance days/months for women’s health are obviously good and should be continued, but the very fact that us men have this somewhat negative attitude towards our health, we have been relegated to one month in the year. We should therefore create this culture of being proactive and mindful about our health, break down this unwarranted image of being ‘macho’ like we are indestructible, and the feeling that health issues are not going to affect us.”
Women have a role to play in promoting men’s health
“Women have a very important role to play in promoting men’s health in general. Typically, it is mothers who educate their sons on the importance of being healthy. Women are much more pro-active when it comes to health issues, so it is therefore important during this month for them to show support to their brothers, fathers, husbands, sons, friends and work colleagues, to encourage them to grow their beards, stay healthy, visit the doctor. On the downside, women will just have to put up with us having more facial hair!”
Promoting men’s health has a positive impact on young & teenage boys
“We should expect that by observing Movember, a positive impact is made on our young and teenage boys in society; they are the future men and a great deal of men-related issues will affect them in one way or another in the future. It is important therefore that they develop good health habits from a young age and learn about the signs/symptoms to look out for that may indicate ill-health; particular attention should also be paid to signs of any mental health issues or dangers related to alcoholism, drug abuse, speeding, drunk driving, violence and even poor academic performance / unemployment which young boys/men are prone to.”
Compiled by F.P.