Boys’ camp opens young minds to becoming better men

By Buziwe Nocuze

More than 27 boys from various Cape Town townships were given a unique opportunity to explore their true selves at a camp organised by Sonwabile Dwangu, a community member.

Held in Bainskloof, the camp provided a safe space for the boys to express their thoughts and share experiences within their communities.

Dwangu, hailing from Lower Crossroads, spearheaded the camp because he said he strongly believes in instilling positive behaviour in young boys from an early age.

“We discussed the important roles they should play in their communities and what it takes to be a good man,” said Dwangu.

Recognising the prevalent issues of drugs, crime and social ills affecting these boys, he wanted to create an environment where they could freely express themselves without fear of judgement.

Connecting with nature and enjoying a refreshing swim played a significant role during the camp, offering boys between the ages of eight and 16 an experience they had never enjoyed within the confines of their townships.


“We had boys from Gugulethu, Nyanga, Lower Crossroads and Crossroads, and it worked out well because they made friends. Now it will be easier for them to visit other townships, knowing they have acquaintances in those areas,” said Dwangu.

Dwangu took the initiative to contribute as a responsible citizen, assisted by friends in making sure that the camp was a success, hoping to witness positive decision-making and actions among the boys in their communities.

“I am not doing this for monetary gain, I am simply playing my part to ensure that we raise good men who can distinguish between right and wrong.”

He plans to organise the next hike in September, welcoming any donations to support his cause.

“I want to help these boys become better men, and with proper guidance, I firmly believe they can achieve it.”

Endinako Sawutana, 14, expressed his happiness at being part of the camp and the valuable lessons he learned.

“Being out there with other people was refreshing. If Dwangu continues with this initiative, nothing can stop us from becoming good men in our communities,” said Sawutana.

“We need more individuals who are willing to invest in young people. Dwangu can’t do it alone. All we ask is for older people not to turn their backs on us. We need guidance, and we are eager to learn,” Sawutana added.

Mandla Joyi, 40, deeply admired Dwangu’s efforts and expressed hope for their continuation.

“Dwangu’s dedication to boys he doesn’t know speaks volumes about his character. I salute and respect him for not sitting back and doing nothing. Even though these kids aren’t his responsibility, he decided to make a difference,” Joyi said.

Pictured above: Sonwabile Dwangu is seen with the 27 young boys he accompanied to the camp in Bainskloof, Western Cape

Image source: Buziwe Nocuze

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