Columns 23.10.2018 09:30 am

On men’s health, Dad and I are on the same page

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The Movember Foundation’s message is simple: no matter the shape or style of your Mo this Movember, your face can inspire donations, conversations and real change.

My father and I go fishing together whenever we have the opportunity. We work together in his garage and we watch rugby together, even though we agree to disagree that the Lions are better than the Bulls.

We go camping and we love sliding down a super tube together. I suppose it’s all stuff men and their sons do.

At 75, my father is still very active, but also quite set in his ways.

I don’t expect him to suddenly announce he’s become a vegetarian or to trade in his trusty Mitchell coffee grinder reel when we go fishing. So, imagine my surprise when I saw my father sporting a little moustache.

In the five decades I have been around, my father has always been the one to shave every day. Skipping his daily grooming ritual is something that happens only a few times a year.

And when I commented on his moustache the other day, he was quite coy and for a moment I thought he’d shave it just to avoid the attention he was getting.

A beard or moustache has never been part of my outfit either, so it was no surprise that my dad’s lip toupee was the topic of conversation for a while.

We Googled funny names used to describe the different styles of facial hair and we were in stitches when we watched YouTube videos of contestants in various moustache competitions all over the world.

But the one thing it also had us talking about was Movember.

For those of you who don’t know, Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

The figures quoted are scary: prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have doubled in the last 50. And half-a-million men take their own life every year. That’s one every minute.

The Movember Foundation’s message is simple: no matter the shape or style of your Mo this Movember, your face can inspire donations, conversations and real change.

My dad and I are joining in this year. For the first time in our lives we are growing moustaches – together – and talking about our health.

Danie Toerien.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

 

02

today in print