How can one man’s story affect the entire nation? What can Europeans learn from Burundian males? When the primary Umutangamuco, which means “the one who shines gentle” within the Kirundi language, determined to alter his behaviour and cease being abusive to his spouse, he didn’t know his private adjustments may deliver peace and prosperity to his whole neighborhood.

Welcome to Cry Like a Boy, an authentic Euronews collection and podcast that explores how the stress to be ‘a person’ can harm households and societies. Stick with us as we journey throughout the African continent to satisfy males who defy centuries-old stereotypes.

In our second episode, Burundi-based journalist Clarisse Shaka explores the world of the Abatangamuco, a motion of males dedicated to preventing violence in opposition to ladies and selling gender equality. The podcast is hosted by Danielle Olavario.

You may take heed to our earlier episode right here.

With authentic reporting and modifying by Clarisse Shaka and Fabrice Nzohabonayo in Gitega, Burundi; Naira Davlashyan, Marta Rodriguez Martinez and Lillo Montalto Monella in Lyon, and Lory Martinez in Paris, France. Manufacturing Design by Studio Ochenta. Music by Yves Kami, Theme music by Gabriel Dalmasso. Music curation for this episode is by Natalia Oelsner. Graphic Design by Alexis Caddeo & Alois Bombardier.

With editorial and manufacturing help from: Alessio Dell’Anna, Marie Jammet, Camille Bello, Amin Guidara, Ivan Sougy, Kizzi Asala and Tancrede Chambraud. Our editor in Chief is Yasir Khan.

Abatangamuco is a company created by the humanitarian company Care Worldwide and run by males in rural Burundi. They don’t have an internet site, however they’ve a big following within the nation.

Care Worldwide focuses on quite a few growth points, together with gender inequality. For extra info, you can check their website.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog is engaged on her PHD at Oslo College. You may learn her report on the Abatangamuco from 2012 at, and likewise try her present work on the UiO Institute of Well being and Society web site.

The music on this episode is by Burundian “artivist” Yves Kami. You may try his work at

Like this episode? Share your ideas with us, and inform us the way you might need challenged your view on what it means to be a person, through the use of the hashtag #CryLikeaBoy.

This podcast can be accessible in French : Dans la Tête des Hommes.


Capitoline Ndakoraniwe:A real man is one who communicates along with his spouse. An actual man is one who doesn’t conceal his monetary standing from his spouse.

Harmless Barumpozako:An actual girl? If you set a girl free, if you give her peace, all ladies are clever.

Danielle Olavario: Welcome to Cry Like a Boy, Euronews authentic collection and podcast that explores how the stress to be ‘a person’ can destroy households and societies. Stick with us as we journey throughout the African continent to satisfy males who defy centuries-old stereotypes.

Right now we proceed the story of Harmless and Capitoline. We left them as Harmless determined to tackle 27 lovers. Right here’s what he remembers about that point:

Harmless Barumpozako:I turned very poor after residing with a number of ladies. With a view to have sufficient to eat, I needed to spend an entire day cultivating for others. However typically the individuals I labored for would solely give me candy potatoes after an extended, laborious day’s work. The subsequent day, a small quantity of cassava flour. Poverty would significantly kill me.

Danielle Olavario:At that second he was separated from his spouse, he didn’t take part within the lifetime of his neighborhood and have become a social pariah. Right here’s how the remainder of the household lived the separation.

Capitoline Ndakoraniwe:When he chased me away, I used to be three months pregnant. I gave start to the kid at my house. After I was mistreated, my little one was affected, till at this time he has by no means forgotten it.

He caught the kwashiorkor illness as a toddler. As a result of I had left him along with his father. However his father spent all his time in adultery, the kid was nearly raised by his grandmother. Since he caught kwashi, the kid has grown up traumatised. He was lonely, silent. Even if you requested him a query, he did not reply.

He was very reserved, he was afraid of struggling the identical violence as his mom.

Danielle Olavario: However then issues took a flip for the higher.

Harmless Barumpozako:Sooner or later I discovered {that a} community referred to as Abatangamuco was being created and I wished to go and take heed to what they had been saying. At first, I believed they had been loopy. I considered them as males who had been submissive to their wives. However once I joined this group, I used to be satisfied that they had been telling the reality. So I made a decision to desert all the ladies I had conquered to deliver my spouse again house.

Capitoline Ndakoraniwe:After I got here again, my husband had modified a bit. However not utterly. He did not know the way to smile, we did not communicate. In any respect. He began speaking to me when he joined the Abatangamuco group. That is once I noticed his enamel when he was smiling ear to ear.

Danielle Olavario: Abatangamuco was created with the assistance of Care Worldwide, a humanitarian company, specializing in an enormous spectre of growth points, together with gender inequality.

Josee Ntabahungu:The Abatangamuco is a motion of males dedicated to preventing violence in opposition to ladies and selling gender equality. And they’re, I might say, influential on the neighborhood stage as a result of the motion there’s a community-based motion.

Danielle Olavario:That is Josee Ntabahungu. She works for Care and she or he was amongst those that helped set up the motion again in 2008.

Josee Ntabahungu:And they’re fascinating as a result of they’re males who had been as soon as violent. And so they have carried out the dangerous issues which can be within the tradition, the issues of domination, they usually have lived a tough life due to what they had been doing as a life-style. And as soon as they modified. They are going to testify in the neighborhood by telling their story.

Danielle Olavario: After being based, the Abatangamuco raised curiosity within the scientific world. In 2011 Hilde Vandeskog, a European gender researcher from Oslo College, got here to Burundi to search out out what made these males, who determined to problem their very own masculinity so distinctive. And in accordance with her, it’s not as a result of they had been ready to turn out to be “much less of a person”.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog: These are people who find themselves like small, small scale subsistence farmers who’ve little or no when it comes to materials safety. And there gave the impression to be a dominant form of thought of the Burundian masculinity that appeared to prevail in apply. And the way in which individuals stay their lives was one the place the person would confirm his masculinity by being dominant and typically violent and likewise by not contributing by having the proper to not contribute in the home, together with, within the fields or no matter, and the proper to take cash for his personal pleasure and go away nothing for the household.

However that is not the one form of thought of masculinity that exists in Burundi. These males would concurrently speak in regards to the significance of being affluent. The significance of being profitable. And, crucially, the significance of being trusted in the neighborhood.

In order that they (the Abatangamuco) principally took an thought of a greater man than nonetheless existed within the Burundi society. And so they put it ahead.

Danielle Olavario: Hilde was additionally shocked by how easy and environment friendly the message was.

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog:And crucially, very a lot interesting to the person’s curiosity. And in a method, to their self-importance. It is like, do not you need to have a nicer home? Do not you need your spouse to have nicer garments? Do not you need individuals to look as much as you? This might be the form of factor.

After which it might go like. However if you happen to do what you do, if you happen to do not assist your spouse within the fields, if you happen to beat her in order that she’s frightened and injured and every thing. And if you happen to do not pull on her brains as properly to search out the easiest way of spending cash, then that is simply received to be accessible to you. Like that was the argument.

Danielle Olavario: Within the meantime, Capitoline and Harmless proceed to stay their lives as a good couple of their neighborhood. Right now, Harmless is a pacesetter there and his spouse works alongside him. Harmless by no means raised a hand to his spouse ever once more. They now have one little one who lives exterior Burundi, in Uganda, and even a grandchild – on this a part of the world, {couples} have infants very early.

And that is how they describe one another — and their superb associate now.

Capitoline Ndakoraniwe:My husband when he hadn’t modified but, he by no means confirmed me his cash. He would barely give me a small invoice to purchase salt, he must conceal to take the cash out and throw me on the ground.

However at this time my husband has turn out to be an actual man. He now not hides his monetary standing from me. He communicates with me. Wherever he’s, he’s pleased with his spouse. My husband may by no means pronounce my title. However at this time he calls me his sweetheart. Right now, after we are collectively, we’re very completely happy.

Harmless Barumpozako:There are males who maintain a girl prisoner and forestall her from being autonomous. If you do this, you hinder her growth. For instance, my spouse can promote a inexperienced banana at the next value than I can. If I am not round, I can let her promote our cattle as a result of I do know she sells higher than I do. I belief her.

Danielle Olavario: Capitoline and Harmless are just one instance. Abatangamuco has helped many {couples} study to work collectively, and lots of males, to understand That they’re able to altering their imaginative and prescient of their very own masculinity for a contented and extra egalitarian marriage.

Faustin Ntiranyibagira:After I go searching my neighborhood, {couples} are starting to grasp that house is for 2. Folks now not see a person drawing water and calling him a submissive man. They do not see a girl helping her husband and making enjoyable of her.

Right now, due to the Abatangamuco, {couples} can stroll collectively, whereas, previously, a girl couldn’t stroll beside her husband. Right now, the person can do house responsibilities within the absence of his spouse.

If all Burundians had been mutangamuco, the nation would see spectacular growth.

Danielle Olavario: However not everybody agrees on the gender equality query…

The UN put Burundi within the 185th place on the Gender Equality Index in 2019.

And Conventional gender roles are deeply set in Burundian society. There’s a Kirundi phrase to explain a girl – umukenyezi. The poetic translation is “the one who ties her loincloth on thorns and walks with out flinching in order that the surface world doesn’t discover her ache”. For Burundian ladies, it means to endure all burdens of marriage silently.

There aren’t any complete statistics on gender-based violence in Burundi. In 2017 UNAIDS revealed a report through which they collected all accessible information from totally different organisations. In accordance with this information, from 2015 to 2016 the variety of offences in opposition to ladies, together with homicides, elevated by 150 and 200 per cent respectively.

The truth is, there’s nonetheless an enormous debate within the nation on the function of women and men. Even Burundi’s first girl Angeline Ndayishimiye in a video that circulated in social media just lately stated that women and men won’t ever be equal.

Angeline Ndayishimiye:We realized that there’s an evil spirit of rebel that has attacked ladies who’ve cash of their pockets. It depends upon how everybody has been educated… There may be additionally what was stated by the Minister of Justice, who additionally gave us recommendation. She spoke about gender equality; it’s going to by no means occur, it’s going to by no means succeed and you’ll by no means see it. I gives you a small instance: if you sit subsequent to a person, who isn’t even your husband, and when it’s troublesome so that you can open even a bottle of water, you ask him to open it for you. Why do not you open it your self? That is an instance that proves that gender equality is to be forgotten! In Burundi, it’s going to by no means occur…

Danielle Olavario: However the success of packages like Abatangamuco present that change is occurring. In 2016 Burundian authorities adopted a legislation in opposition to gender-based violence, toughening penalties for abusers and the NGOs report that the variety of circumstances is slowly happening.

The Burundian structure requires 30% of ladies current in governing. Even when not all establishments have reached this aim, 2020 elections noticed extra ladies elected for native governments and 36% of ladies elected within the Nationwide Meeting. On common ladies make 34,45% of all members of native councils in Burundi. In 2015 this quantity was 32,7%.

All of the adjustments that occurred when males reconsidered their masculinity inside their relationships, going from conventional patriarchal controlling roles to a extra egalitarian mannequin the place each genders have a say within the each day of their lives collectively. Right here’s Hilde once more:

Hilde Ousland Vandeskog:I feel all of us have very set concepts about gender roles and the way we should always stay as households and simply as human beings in the direction of one another. And these males’s willingness to query their very own concepts of masculinity and query their very own dominance is, I feel, one thing we do not do sufficient.

And I am not going to say that they’ve arrived at an ideal gender equality. I imply, if you happen to take a look at these households, they might nonetheless look very conventional. It might nonetheless be, like, that is the spouse’s important duty and that is the husbands. However they might collaborate to make it work, which is a big step ahead from the place they got here from.

However simply that humility in occasions like, you realize what, I used to be most likely fallacious. Let’s examine if we will do it otherwise. Let’s problem that and let’s make that reflection part of our id and our tales about ourselves. That is one thing I feel we will study from.

Danielle Olavario: Localized efforts like Abatangamuco provides hope that actual change can occur. Again in Gasunu we ask the villagers what they consider the way in which Capitoline and Harmless permit for a extra equal steadiness of their marriage.

After the sketch is over, viewers members giggle and talk about their favorite components. They really feel related to the story and see themselves in it. They pay attention and tackle messages for future generations of boys and younger males.

Lady within the viewers:Forgive her, forgive her!

Danielle Olavario: Harmless and Capitoline’s grandson is a younger man of 18 and goals of a future household, similar to his grandparents.

Imagine Bitangimana:To listen to the tales of a few of my classmates, their dad and mom live in misunderstanding. Their fathers are sometimes drunk and squander the household’s wealth. They’re utterly opposite to my grandparents. Right here at house, every thing goes properly. My grandparents are even function fashions in our neighborhood.

When I’ve my household, I wish to have a contented and peaceable house like my grandparents’. A house the place individuals assist one another. I might even prefer to encourage my mates.

Thanks for listening. The subsequent episode can be out in two weeks time.

For extra info on Cry Like a Boy, a Euronews authentic collection and podcast go to to search out opinion items, movies and articles on the subject. Observe us @euronews on Twitter and euronews.television on Instagram.

Share with us your individual tales of the way you modified and challenged your view on what it means to be a person, use #crylikeaboy. For those who’re a French speaker, this podcast can be accessible in French: Dans la Tête des Hommes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here