Original Research

Reframing masculinity and fatherhood: Narratives on faith-based values in (re)shaping ‘coloured’ fathers

Fazel E. Freeks, Simone M. Peters, Helenard Louw
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7624 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7624 | © 2022 Fazel E. Freeks, Simone M. Peters, Helenard Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 April 2022 | Published: 07 December 2022

About the author(s)

Fazel E. Freeks, Unit for Reformational Theology and Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Simone M. Peters, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Helenard Louw, Department of Sociology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, Vrije University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the, Netherlands


Stereotypes of ‘coloured’ men from marginalised communities in the Western Cape, South Africa, portray these men as violent, lazy, alcoholics, domestic and substance abusers and absent in the lives of their children. Although extensive research has been conducted on fathers and fatherhood, there is still a lack of positive constructions and representations of fatherhood. In narrative interviews with 11 fathers who reside in the Cape Flats, faith-based values were understood as possible restorative avenues for fathers. This article explores how faith-based values are used to redefine what it means to be a man and father but also to (re)negotiate their identity, role and responsibility as men and fathers. From a narrative thematic analysis, the findings present alternative narratives on ‘coloured’ masculinity and fatherhood that show ‘coloured’ fathers to be present and active in their children’s lives.

Contribution: This article employed a descriptive modus operandi on masculinity and fatherhood. It focuses on (re)shaping fathers in South Africa to impede father absenteeism in families and communities.


‘Coloured’ identity; faith-based values; fatherhood; stereotypes; masculinity.


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