It’s that time of the year again when South Africa’s Mo Bros, supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas – embark on a hairy journey to “Change the Face of Men’s Health” and help raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically, prostate and testicular cancer and male mental health. In South Africa, Movember has partnered with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) where funds raised from each campaign are allocated towards men’s health survivorship and research programmes.
From teachers to CEOs, policemen, doctors, students and musicians – these dedicated men become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of Movember – and thereby prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issues of men’s health.
Movember also sheds light on hard-hitting numbers. According to statistics from CANSA, South African men have a shorter life expectancy than South African women. The rate of cancer diagnoses among men is also considerably higher among men – 1 in 6 compared to 1 in 8 for women.
In addition, more than 4,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually, and it’s estimated that over 2,500 men will die of the disease each year, amounting to a man dying every 4.5 hours. These statistics point to the urgent need for men to know the status of their health, whether it is risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and common cancers.
Known affectionately as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas – participants re-register each year on www.movember.com from 15 September when the updated site featuring the new creative and campaign theme goes live. Upon registering either as a Mo Bro or Mo Sista, you have the choice to participate as an individual or to start or join a team – which has proven to be more effective in creating awareness. The rules are simple, once registered, start clean shaven on 1 Movember. Movember are hosting a series of Shave-in events around the country – as these Mo Bros groom their way through the month, they effectively become walking-talking billboards for men’s health issues, driving the conversation, and in turn awareness while securing donations or sponsorship for their moustaches through their grooming efforts and fine moustachery.
In 2012 more than 30 000 South African Mo Bros and Mo Sistas registered and donated their faces to the cause for the month, while being supported by the women in their lives. These efforts resulted in R 7,180, 382 million being raised for local prostate and testicular survivorship and research programmes developed and managed with CANSA.
FinThree of the Movember funded survivorship programmes includes the Metropolitan Centre Survivorship programme, the Patient Navigation project and Online Patient Support. “The research and survivorship porgrammes aim to provide information and support to men and their families affected by men’s cancer that help them make informed decisions and improves their quality of life,” says Movember South Africa’s Garron Gsell.
Movember launch events will be taking place across the country at various venues and a series of infamous gala partés will be taking place at the end of November – where Mo Bros and Mo Sistas dress up to compete for the coveted title of Man of Movember and Miss Movember.
Official Movember rules for growing and grooming a Mo:
1. Every year Mo Bros and Sistas have to re-register on Movember.com. Each Mo Bro must begin the 1st of Movember with a clean shaven face
2. For the entire month of Movember each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache
3. There is to be no joining of the Mo to your side burns. That’s considered a beard
4. There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin. That’s considered a goatee
5. Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman…
Participants have to re-register each year from 15 September. Register now on www.movember.com.