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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.
Photo credit:

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


  1. Rukky

    November 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Sorry to go off on a tangent here but is that Gbenga’s picture???? 🙂 Okay, if you send me an email, I’ll give you my pin, then I’ll tell you what make a man a MAN 😉 *He’s sooo FINE* (runs out of breath).

    • ann

      November 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      LOL!!! Sorry dear..That IS NOT Gbenga!! 🙂

  2. Mary

    November 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Lol… That isn’t Gbenga. The guy is fine though. The picture was gotten off the Internet. 🙂 he’s fine sha!

  3. Rukky

    November 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Aww, 🙁 lol

  4. Browngyrl

    November 12, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Maturity!!! Maturity!!!! Emotionally, Spiritually & Financially. I say again, Maturity!!!

  5. aleesha

    November 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Great question Gbenga! Something to thin about especially if you have young sons and nephews under your care..

  6. uche

    November 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    T.D Jakes ”He-Motions” might help shed better light on answers to that question.

    • Gbenga Awomodu

      November 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Uche, it’s great you mentioned “He-Motions”. I read that book a couple of years back and found it ‘deep’! It answers many questions, and I could relate a lot to many of the writer’s anecdotes. Thanks for bringing that up.

  7. Kemms

    January 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Manhood is the opposite of boyhood-not the opposite of womanhood. You become a real man when you put aside and leave behind the traits of a child. In other words, the more you replace childish ways of thinking, speaking and acting with more mature ways of thinking, speaking and acting, the more you prove yourself to be a real man. So where a child can often be rude, self-centered, focused on having fun and ruled by his emotions, a real man endeavours to be respectful, self-sacrificing, responsible and in control of his emotions. Not saying its easy, but its definitely a path worth pursuing!

    • A reader

      March 13, 2013 at 2:36 am

      Amazing! Amazing! Thank you Kemms, you hit the nail on the head! It is def putting away the negative traits and disorganized ways of a petulant child. However, maybe keep some of the fun-loving, wondrous and playful ways of his inner child (the positive aspects) just to give life a little color from time to time 🙂

  8. Daniel Urum

    December 17, 2013 at 2:21 am

    There ‘ve been a wonderful questions & answers from fans on this site but for me, am stil not satisfied about what makes a man a man.

  9. profdapraise

    February 27, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Put away ur emotions, let away ur language, let go of ur culture. Wat makes a man is nt d changes dat e undergoes as he grow to bcom a man but den how e will respond to every challenges e face. So I will say “Responsibility”

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