South Africa is a violent country with some of the highest levels of gender-based violence in the world. Men are the primary perpetrators of such violence. Man Up! offers a critical look at manhood in South Africa by unpacking the realities of men’s life experiences in order to make sense of their violence. The film follows the stories of Sikhangele Mabulu and Monwabisi Mbetane as they reflect on their childhood socialisation that made violence an acceptable form of male expression.
Man Up! suggests that it is the narrow construction of masculinity that makes powerless men resort to violence as a means of asserting their manhood. Through the work of the NGO Sonke Gender Justice, the film looks at the powerful role men can play in bringing about change within their homes and communities to lead more gender equitable and fulfilling lives.