The Thinking 

White Patriarchy in South Africa

June 18, 2010



Angus Buchan


Your readers may be interested to know that there is a huge patriarchal movement in South Africa today, and it is growing. I am referring to Mighty Men, more officially known as Shalom Ministries. This movement has as its charismatic leader the evangelical Christian Angus Buchan.  Buchan is a white farmer of Scottish descent, originally from Zambia, who moved to South Africa in 1977. He and his wife, Jill Buchan, started Shalom Ministries in 1980. In 1998 Angus wrote a book about his life, Faith Like Potatoes, which was made into a movie with the same name in 2006. In the late 1990s, Angus Buchan spoke to a crowd of 35,000 people in a stadium in Durban. The crowd came to hear him and to join in a prayer for rain. 

In 2004, Angus Buchan took the fateful step of launching the first Mighty Men Conference, which drew a humble, or maybe not so humble, 240 men. This annual Mighty Men Conference grew and grew and grew in subsequent years, reaching 7,400 men in 2007; 60,000 men in 2008; and 250,000 men in 2010. Now to give you an idea of just how huge a number of 250,000 attendees to a three-day conference is, you have to first consider that the vast majority of attendees to his last Mighty Men Conference were white males. Men of other races are invited, and you see a few non-white men in the crowd shots of the conference, but the great majority of those who have been attending his Mighty Man Conferences have been white men. Now there are only about 1.2 million white men, 20 to 60 years old, in the whole of South Africa; so this means that 200,000 out of 1,200,000 white men 20 to 60 years old showed up at Angus Beacon’s homestead in Kwa Zulu Natal, in the middle of nowhere, to attend the Mighty Men Conference 2010, with the theme of “Watchmen of the House.” 

Angus Buchan definitely preaches a patriarchal message. In this last Mighty Men Conference, Buchan challenged men to become, as an article about the event put it, “Godly leaders in their homes and to rid themselves of such sins as adultery, fornication, and hatred.” As Buchan says, “Men have got to start to stand up and take their rightful place in their home which is as prophet, priest, and king.” He then goes on to explain, in layman’s terms, that this means to put food on the table, protect their wives, and discipline their children. “It’s very basic” says Buchan, “but there is nothing new under the sun.” 

He then goes on to say that men need to reassert their masculinity. “It’s almost like their masculinity has been stripped from them. Some of these youngsters don’t know what the hang they are supposed to do (or) know what they are supposed to be anymore.” He further adds, “What we are committed to is challenging these men to respect their wives, to love them, to cherish them and to treat them like God would have them treated.”A companion women’s ministry that dubs itself the Worthy Women Conference was started in August 2009 by Gretha Wiid. 

I suggest an article titled “Back to the Kitchen?” The article is pro-feminist, mostly attacking Gretha Wiid, founder of the Worthy Women Conference. The best part of the article is the comments section where supporters of traditional gender roles and feminists have it out, the comments are not all one sided. It is a safe assumption that the great majority of the comments were written by South Africans. The website that is hosting the article, Women24, dubs itself “South Africa’s largest online women’s community”. The article and comments section is a great window into South African culture and how feminism expresses itself in South Africa. 

Here is Shalom Ministries statement on Buchan’s life and here is an interview with Buchan. 

Laura writes:

It is worth noting that an estimated 2,500 South African farmers or family members have been murdered since 1996 and there have been an estimated 9,400 farm attacks. Most of the victims are white and the assailants, black.

Jesse adds:

Buchan has specifically argued against what he calls the sin of racial hatred and he openly invites non-whites into his movement. He also makes a point of his good relations with his black employees on his farm. He has set up a charitable orphanage on his farm that takes care of 28 orphan black children that come from the community surrounding his farm. As for the level of his non-white support, it is true that the vast majority of people attending his Mighty Men Conferences are white, but if you look at the audience that attended his preaching in the Cape Town stadium you will find a large number, perhaps a majority, were non-white, mostly Coloureds, it seemed to me.

Buchan has given speeches that attracted large audiences in Australia and Ireland, as well as in African countries outside of South Africa. He is making an effort to internationalize his movement.

                                       — Comments —

Stephen Clay McGehee writes:

I want to thank you for bringing up what white farmers are facing in South Africa and other parts of the darkest of continents. That this planned and directed slaughter has been ignored by the Leftist media is absolutely shameful. That our country freely admits (with a wink and a nod) those from Haiti, Mexico, and other third-world pest holes while barring White South African farmers from immigrating to America is even more shameful. I have a very difficult time convincing myself that this is anything other than part of a deliberate effort to “level” the population by grinding down those who strive and achieve and contribute to civilized society, and artificially promoting those who have been, and will continue to be the parasites of civilization.

Laura writes:

Here is a report by Ilana Mercer on the brutal murders. Many farmers have been ambushed and hacked to death on Sundays in their homes after they have returned from church.

Jeanne writes:

I recently discovered your blog. I’ve found some very interesting articles. Some I have printed out and discussed with my husband. I agree it is a noble and worthy place for a woman to be home, and I cherish my husband and children and the safe haven I seek to provide for them, with God’s help.

Just a quick question, regarding the Angus Buchan article. You stated:

“It is worth noting that an estimated 2,500 South African farmers or family members have been murdered since the fall of apartheid and there have been an estimated 9,400 farm attacks. Most of the victims are white and the assailants, black.”

I am wondering what race has to do with Angus’ patriarchal movement? Maybe I missed something?

Laura writes:

Thank you for writing.

The main reason I brought up that statistic, a reason I thought of stating but did not, is that the growth of patriarchy seems much more likely, at least to me, in a population that faces physical violence. Masculinity is more essential to people who are threatened, for obvious reasons. That said, I haven’t the slightest idea whether the violence against and marginalization of white farmers in South Africa has anything to do with this movement. It seems clear that this movement is not specifically intended for defense of white farmers.

 Lydia Sherman writes:

Any descendents of those hard-working Boers would be a welcome wave of immigration to America, in place of the America-haters that come here illegally. Over 400 years ago their forefathers took a dry land and made it into an oasis by farming. They could do something with nothing, and their descendents still can. Maybe you have heard of a colony in Africa where the Boers live and work with a free enterprise system called Orania. Its success will never make the news, but you can read about it here. It describes a community where everyone works.

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