Where’s my unborn baby?, Daily Sun

Date: January 1, 1970
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The story is about a man, Musa Sokulu, who is seeking to understand what happened to the fetus of his unborn baby when his wife was involved in car crash. The wife who was seven months pregnant at the time of the accident was buried without the unborn baby when Musa, who was also in the accident, was still recovering in hospital.

This article may be used in training to:
1. Show that men also care about their offspring as much as women do.
2. Illustrate an example of a gender aware article.
3. Dispel the notion that men do not grieve when their loved ones die and that they are emotionally distant.
4. Encourage men to express their feelings and let out their emotions.
Trainer’s notes:
The article captures the emotional stress that Musa Sokulu is going through as he tries to find answers to the mysterious disappearance of the unborn baby. The story has a photo of Musa with the caption, ‘Crushed’, that in essence highlights the fact that men are not immune to grief. The story gives Musa the space to speak about what he is going through. This is a positive development which flies in the face of the general stereotype that men are the ‘rational sex’ and therefore should not be seen showing their emotions. Women are generally believed to be more emotional than men. Seeing a man admitting that he is ‘crushed’ shows that the author is aware of the fact that men grieve just as much as women. The concern that is displayed by men shows a new breed of men who are actively involved in their children’s lives even before birth.
The story is told from a man’s perspective unlike most media reports that tend to associate women with agony for their children and loved ones while men are portrayed as strong and distant.
Discussion Questions:
1. What does this article say about men?
2. Is it appropriate for a man to openly show his emotions? In your culture are men allowed to openly show their grief?
3.  What do you think of the language used in the story?
Training exercises
1. Compare this article with other articles involving the death of children. Does one parent usually feature more prominently? How are mothers and fathers portrayed or characterised in these articles? Do you think this article would have had a different tone if it had featured Thoko Dimba’s sister or mother instead of her husband?
Links to other training resources

Whose news, whose views: A Gender and Media Handbook for Southern Africa Media

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