Bid to start men’s association in Hout Bay

The South African Men’s Shed Association wants to open a Men’s Shed in Hout Bay.

A Hout Bay man has set his sights on creating a space for retired men to spend their spare time constructively.

South African Men’s She Association member Sylvester Gasana, who has been living in Hout Bay since 2002, wants to launch a local branch.

After retiring, he started looking for things to do.

“I started looking for things to and to see what I could keep on doing in my retirement and somehow be useful, so I started doing many things,” Mr Gasana added.

After trying laughter yoga, establishing Caring Hearts and attending several well-being seminars and even volunteering at old age homes, Mr Gasana still felt something was missing and came up with a solution.

That’s when he discovered the Men’s Sheds movement, started in Australia in the 1990s. The Shed began as a means of bringing together men who, because of age or other factors, were looking for companionship and meaningful relationships.

“Their goal was to create joyful active places for retired men and other people with time on their hands. They go there and spend time talking and making new friends, learning and sharing skills, values and traditions; making things community needs,” Mr Gasana explained, adding that the Men’s Sheds will be open for men of all ages.

“Men think they are invincible when they are young. As they grow older, they suffer. Several problems hit them in their health and self-esteem.”

The Hout Bay Men’s Shed in development will start with a group of men meeting every week at 10am in a restaurant, a church, school or even a private house, where the men would engage in discussions about activities to propose to the general membership.

The activities include listening to guest speakers, talking about the shed development, gardening, light community service projects with plenty of just hanging out together to swap tall tales.

“Men create relationships through work. We say: ’Shoulder to Shoulder’ as opposed to women who can sit down and talk for hours face to face,” he said.

Mr Gasana said a Men’s Shed in Hout bay would give those men a place to meet and make new friends.

“They would have a place to practice what they know and enjoy. They would make things, repair stuff and feel proud of their work. Hout Bay being a microcosm of South Africa, those men would set to work on community issues in the valley,” Mr Gasana said.

If you wish to get involved or for more information, email or contact Sylvester on 074 513 3514 or visit the website,