Men In Nitro - International Men's Day

The International Men’s Day celebration occurs every 19th of November, the second to last month of the year, almost as if to say that men are the second to last thing on everyone’s mind. And maybe it’s true. When the creative team of Nitro 121 researched for insights to pivot its Men’s Day 2022 ideas, we discovered that one in eight men will experience depression and that men account for 75-80% of deaths by suicide. But in a hyper-masculine country like Nigeria, these rates have done nothing to curb toxic masculinity. Men here are still told to “man up”, and wrap up their vulnerabilities like ofada rice in the bright green leaf that is self-denial. But just like the stew in that local dish, our men have issues wey dey pepper dem, and that is why we came up with a social experiment calledThe Non-Judgemental Page.

 The idea was simple: create a safe space complete with a bonfire, drinks and good music so the men can let their hair down. We even gave them pink cups instead of red so they could see there was no danger here. Then, we presented the blank sheets of paper and encouraged them to write down all the things that are trapped in their heads. Things they can’t tell another soul. After filling the paper with their deepest thoughts and anxieties, we directed them to cast it in the fire. We believed, and they agreed that watching that piece of paper burn to ash was the catharsis they needed.

It was all tears of joy when the workers received their gifts as they did not see it coming. While some appreciated with a few words, others could not hold back their emotions as they called afterwards to express more gratitude. It did not stop there, the appreciation kept pouring in with some saying it was their first time in all their years of service of being treated in such a generous and selfless way.

Executed right before Christmas, we made sure that the frontline workers felt seen and had enough gifts to celebrate the special time with their families too. More than gifts, this initiative showed the workers that they were also cared for. In a time when people are hyper-focused on themselves alone, we must remember those around us, especially those who keep the system running at all times. We encourage you to look around today and see how you can spread more happiness. And of course, you don’t have to wait till December!


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