Matthew Booth – Game of Life Campaign

Brothers for Life has a meaningful message which has been sorely lacking in our South African society.

After all, we are still in a male-dominated society, with good male role models few and far between. I believe I can play a role in spreading the message of responsibility and decency among men.

All real men should have these qualities. I can’t help but feel that we are on the decline as a society in many regards … one being the way men behave among each other and towards women. Brothers for Life has therefore been a breath of fresh air and a sign of hope when it comes to trying to change South African men’s mentality.

Joining Brothers for Life not only gives me a “feelgood” feeling but also sets a good example to my friends and colleagues, many of whom work in the football industry and are unfortunately stereotyped as womanisers, drunks, etc. Hopefully this will change!

My father naturally was and still is my role model. He has taught me to be principled – not so much in words, but mainly in his actions … the way he treats his wife and the way he brought up myself and my two sisters have said more than words.

He still plays football at the tender age of 57, with more passion than most professionals, and has worked for the City Of Cape Town for more than 30 years. He has been married to my mum for more than 35 years. Passion, dedication and respect are all attributes that I’ve sought in my life. He also taught me my trade for which I am eternally grateful for… after all, what else could I have been?

I respect and love my wife, my mother and my sisters, and as the pillars of our society, they deserve it. I show responsibility to my two young boys and extended family and try to instil in them what my father and mother have instilled in me.

I treat my teammates like my brothers, not only because they help me make money but because of an unspoken bond that forms between us during training, at the hotel or while travelling to an unusual destination. I try to be charitable with my time and money as best I can and never forget that there are many people who are less fortunate than me. I am respectful and polite to my elders and do it not only because it’s the correct way to behave, but also because I wish to be treated in that way once I reach old age.

Joining a group of men who have a noble cause is justification enough, but when the cause is so necessary in today’s society, then the urgency to join is more pronounced. The values for which Brothers for Life stands, need to be stamped on the psyche of South African men – and what better way to do it than as a group?

Too many men (people) are sitting on their arses and worrying about themselves, no matter how well-off they are! It’s about time we stopped being selfish with our time and joined a worthy campaign with a worthy cause, which in my eyes is Brothers for Life! By joining Brothers for Life, men will be showing women that we do care about them at a time when men seem to have a bad reputation and are cast as womanisers, drunks and wife-beaters.

There are still many men who in this day and age still act in a sexually irresponsible manner, and even those who are educated about the dangers of HIV often ignore the warnings due to alcohol and an “it can’t happen to me” attitude. This mentality MUST change and the way it’s going to change is by having it drummed into them by good role models who show them the way.

My message to these men would be: “Stop being childish, arrogant and naive about the greatest danger to threaten our country in the last 30 years. Stick to one partner at a time and get tested on a regular basis, no matter what economic status you hold.”

As a Brother for Life I’m determined to live by the correct “code” in my public and private life. I am determined to remain one of two pillars of my family and to continue treating my wife with the respect that all women deserve. If I can persuade other men to follow in my example in the slightest manner, then I would be more than happy. 

The formation of Brothers for Life has come at the right time and the aims of the campaign are spot-on. In this regard men have to start changing their bad habits and influence their “brothers” to do the same – let each other know when one is out of order, and lead by example.