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On Becoming a Man: What Makes a Man a Man?



“Men are scarce”. “A good man is hard to find!” That is the noise in the global neighbourhood.

So today, I ask the simple question. What makes a man a man?

Is it the broadness of his chest, the six-pack framework, his towering height, bold face, calm mien, full beard, mustache, or deep croaky voice? Tell me, because I have seen many a man on this earth who had all those, but still fell short, somehow. The magazines and the screens keep them in your face all year long. They are in every industry, from business to fashion, engineering to the arts, just name it!

What makes a man a man? Is it the stash of hard currency in his bulky wallet, nine-figure annual income, or ability to pay his own bills and those of a dozen more people, or the vastness of his business empire? Maybe not; because too many witnesses are alive today to dispel the notion that material possessions are the ultimate measure of a man. For if they were, why would wives of the rich search for intimacy and solace elsewhere, or complain bitterly about empty beds and cold nights? A house is never equal to a home.

They say it brings so much joy for a man to have a home to look forward to. Wait a second; does a wife, wives, the number of children, or maybe concubines make one a man?

Many have wondered if the age of a male person counts towards him truly becoming a man. Is it the receding hairlines or the succession of many decades of his life on earth? If that is true then you wonder why there are so many grown-ups who cannot keep peace in a group, reason and present intelligible suggestions that would move society forward, or keep a home together.

What makes a man a man? Is it because he has answers to every question, or that he can solve every problem that comes his way? Or, how would you define the one who cannot solve all the puzzles in the world and easily admits it? Is a man less of a man when he admits the complexity of life’s issues and the limitations of his own wit?

What makes a man a man?

Such a simple question, but I have no simple answer. I ask for, today my tongue is tied.
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The On Becoming a Man Series is a bi-monthly column – a collection of musings that seek to unravel the mind of the young man, and are not necessarily autobiographical. Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./ When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu