December 14, 2017
February 27, 2018


The world is in a mess. It’s in a mess mostly because of the absence of Real Men. I am not talking about perfect men; I’m not referring to girly men, intellectual men, rich men or ladies men. I am speaking here of Real Men.

I am so passionate about the absence of Real Men and the need for Real Men to step forward that I have spent the last four years writing my MANual. How cool is that name for a book on how to be a real man – a MANual. A MANual that gives guidance and understanding to what it takes to be a Real Man. To unpack the MANual in a short newsletter would be silly, so I will just give you some highlights.

Real Men don’t allow other men to hurt women and children. Idiots and cowards hit women and children; Real Men protect them.

Real Men stand up against crime, corruption and evil. Cowards do crime; they also use weapons against people who are unarmed and they generally need to be with a gang of people because they can’t do jack-sh1t on their own. Real Men stand and fight the good fight alone.

It seems that being a Real Man is misunderstood. Being a Real Man is not being a neanderthal or in touch with your feminine side. It’s not being rich or good-looking or smart, or a humanitarian, although it can be all of these things, some of them or none of them; being a Real Man is so much more than all of these things. This may not make any sense to you but when you read the MANual’s description you will see what it takes to be a Real Man. I’ve left a taste for you below.

Let me make this brief; the world needs Real Men and they need them now. We need to start cultivating and teaching our children and young men what it takes to be one. To that end, we need to get rid of all of the coward male teachers who are hiding out in our schools, bullying young boys and hiding behind the dictatorships; threatening to remove your kids if you stand up to them. Let’s face it, most teachers are just people who never left school and now hang out in schools with their false power. Men among boys, but boys among men. Are there Real Men teachers? There probably are – I just haven’t met them yet! Sorry, I lie. I did meet a teacher in Soweto who spends his free time helping kids pass – he was a Real Man. Mike Murning – Geography 1980/1, great teacher – Real Man. Dave Balt 1975/76, a fearless headmaster. We need to be Real Man dads and have our kids around Real Men teachers.

We need to educate our young girls and women on what Real Men are and what they need to look out for when meeting one. Mostly they need to demand of their men to step up and be Real Men.



  • Real men live lives of challenging, rewarding, exciting, purpose.
  • Real men overcome their fear until they fear no one and no thing.
  • Real men are calm, assertive leaders.
  • Real men change the world.



A REAL MAN is courageous, authentic, he has integrity, is honourable, takes pride in all that he does and cares.

A REAL MAN gets stuff done, and provides for and supports his family. He speaks about the elephant in the room; he does his best at all times; says it like it is; stands up for his beliefs; speaks the truth; does what needs doing; will fight the enemy but also knows when to walk away. He believes in the majority of one; doesn’t shirk his responsibilities; doesn’t quit; and he’s not a d1ck.

A REAL MAN doesn’t take cr4p from anyone; doesn’t pretend to be perfect, doesn’t hide from his mistakes, doesn’t do metro sexual – he grooms, he doesn’t cry in front of his horse. A Real Man cries  – in “Legends Of The Fall” – when Tristan sits at his younger brothers’ grave and says how he couldn’t save him. Man cry!!!

A REAL MAN loves and respects women; he doesn’t take cr4p from a woman; he commits and stays committed; he is loyal and faithful; owns up to his mistakes and takes the consequences like a man. He says sorry. He will never hit a woman and will always step forward for a woman’s honour. He shows his feelings by what he does not by what he says. He sets up a “stuff you” fund for his wife. He doesn’t need to be changed, moulded, altered or turned into someone’s girlfriend. Ladies you have to stop the trying to change him s#1t. He wants to be her hero; he needs to be appreciated; he wants space; to be admired; to feel supported; and to be loved for who he is. He has feelings; loves a challenge and gets scared. More than anything he needs to be a Real Man.

A REAL MAN knows that money is energy; he always pays cash; he knows that money doesn’t make him a man; he protects the money machine; gets money working for him, and he teaches his children the value of money. He studies money; is in control of his own money, and he pays his own way. He doesn’t need hand outs, but he is not too proud to ask for help. He always invests and spends wisely. He doesn’t have short arms and long pockets when it’s his turn to chip in.

A REAL MAN sees, cares and acts. He believes in things even if they are not a reality now. He has self-control and his word is his gold; A Real Man knows that his happiness is his own responsibility.

A REAL MAN provides for and protects his children. He is a Daddy and not a Father and creates a loving, homely environment. He leads by example; puts his family first; he lets them learn the hard lessons and as a Real Dad he knows about “the sacrifice”.

The first 30 years of being a parent are the hardest!

A REAL MAN works, and knows that work is hard but he works harder. He knows that work needs constant improvement and that he has to make it fun. He gets that work and life are all a game and about selling his goods – the stuff that he is good at. He chooses to work and knows that no matter how tough it gets he has to get up every day, smile and grind. For a Real Man, working is an honour and a privilege. So he does his best, is always on time, doesn’t ask for stuff and works on becoming indispensable.

A REAL MAN works out; is physically active; goes to the doctor; eats healthy; knows how to relax; thinks about risk and doesn’t need alcohol to have a good time. In fact Real Men don’t need alcohol at all. Alcohol is the root cause of most evil, crime and deaths on the roads.

A REAL MAN is all about education; he is always bettering himself mentally, building relationships; learning to accept and love himself. He asks questions and is always listening. He lets things go, lets things be, and always works on his super power – Self-control.

A REAL MAN is a friend who always has your back and knows that friends will come and friends will go. As a friend he will defend you, keep his promises and your secrets. He will always be honest; he will forgive, forget, fix and move on. He will hold you accountable and tell you when you’re full of $h1t.

A REAL MAN gets involved in his community. He donates his time and money; knows his neighbours, is a good citizen and votes. He supports local, while thinking global and understands that it takes a village to raise a child.

A REAL MAN is genuine, kind, true, and an independent person of courage and toughness. He takes action, fears no one, and has a sense of humour.  He has character, is humble, good and has fun. A Real Man has honour and integrity; he fights against all odds for equality, dignity and justice. He always stands up for the underdog and is loyal to a fault. He fights evil at every turn and has no time for “belly aching and whining”.

A Real Man is and wants to be someone’s hero, someone’s champion.  When odds are stacked against him, he will always overcome or at least die trying. When all hope seems to be gone he digs deep and through courage, determination and a no quit attitude he comes through. Real Men are flawed and in one way or another have to face their demons but they always come out the other side as better men.



That’s impossible! No one can be like this and have all of these traits. This is an imaginary man.

Not true. All of these characteristics are unpacked in The MANual and there are men, Real Men who conduct themselves this way (or try to conduct themselves this way) every day. Real Men know they have to start somewhere so all you have to do is look at the last line and live like that until it becomes a habit and then tackle the next one. Being a Real Man is a journey and it starts new every day.



A Real Man is a genuine, kind, true, independent person of courage and toughness. He takes action, fears no one, and has a sense of humour.” – Gavin Sharples

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  1. Lucille Maujean says:

    Hi Gavin, I hope you have had a good start to the year.

    That is what I miss so much in our lives – a REAL MAN.

  2. Kylie Machanik says:

    Fantastically put Gavin.

    Wish all men could read this, be this and teach this!

  3. Lindsay Gartrell says:

    That was excellent Gavin and you’re so right – there are far to few ‘Real Men’ around!
    I will certainly pass this on to my sons.
    Many thanks,

  4. Orzilla Lessing says:

    Good day

    Thanks….I liked your mail.


  5. Ana Pinho says:

    I know of a “real man” – his been standing up for abused poochies, he started SARAC, he is Jerry Selwane, maybe you should get in touch with him, a humble, decent,passionate ‘man’ with poochies!!

    BUT when a “real men” is found, you will have found…. chicken-teeth!!!
    Let me know how your findings go – as usual, Gud job Gav!!!

  6. wendy van wyk says:

    At last a book that HELPS to shape people , not only the MAN but all South Africans need to read this book
    Please make it compulsory reading for MPs & all cops

  7. Louise van Wezel-Dore says:

    Oh My …

    So well said Gavin – for you to have written all this – you must surely be one of them!

    Well done – I commend you! if you want – I can put this in my “Newsletter that I do every Month

  8. Jeff Thornley says:

    Great read Mr Sharples !

  9. Alfonso says:

    Hi Gavin I just read a brief description of your MANual and it is definitely hiting home, it is one of those things that I try to live by and still face the everyday challenges and the behaviour of men including how I have conducted myself in the past and moving forward I would like to be and maintain being Real Man for what’s its worth.

  10. Grant says:

    Thanks Gavin. We, unfortunately we sometimes lose our way. I must get hold of your book, get back on track and be a better example to my daughters, in particular, who need to be reminded the difference.

  11. Jacques says:

    You nailed it ?

  12. John Brandow says:

    I hope you don’t mind but this is one I would like to share. Shared it on my FB page just now…..a Real man knows when he can take liberties and get away with it ….my 5c piece

  13. W Schoeman says:

    Hallo Gavin, this is spot on. We had a conversation at work after I had an inspection at a hospital and was on my way back home. Had a few parcels that the airline would not take in as special baggage and that was quite challenging to carry!! Not ONE man offered to help! I asked one just to help adjust the package so that I could carry it better, he helped but did not offer to help me carry it to the aeroplane!. Just to add, he had no hand luggage!! I even lost balance in the bus and fell and still no-one offered to help!!! A Lady and her child helped me eventually! I know people would say woman wanted emancipation etc etc, but nothing stops you for being helpful in certain situations. Most of the passengers were men.Must say I was very dissapointed in men!

  14. Liz says:

    Hi Gavin , Wow ! good stuff here. Thanks for standing up and telling it how it should be.

  15. Cerianne says:

    I loved reading this and couldn’t agree more! The world needs more real MEN. I am fortunate enough to say that my Dad is one of these men, but in the current generation this is sorely lacking! I can’t wait to get my hands on it and make all the men I know read this! Thanks Gavin

  16. oscar says:

    very well put, and passionate and eloquent!

  17. Joan Mollagrean says:

    A excellent read. Should definitely be posted on the web.

  18. Jabu says:

    Hi Gavin,

    Hope you are well.

    Great article. Really proud of your work.

  19. Gesina says:

    Absolutely true ! And Ike most truths, we need to hear it often. Tnx Gavin!!

  20. Mike Mouton says:

    Dankie Gavin

    Dit pas aan by wat in my hart brand en dit alles begin deur “Be faithful in the small things” soos Dawid van die Bybel wat eers getrou bevind moes word om skape op te pas voor hy kon koning word. Luke 16:10-12 (Faithful in small things, faithful in somebody else stuff and faithful in money)

  21. Sven says:

    Brilliant! Bloody well written!

    Kind regards.

    Sven Steinbrücker

  22. JP van Niekerk says:

    This is excellent; the world need men like this

    I would like to add;
    a real man is accountable and not afraid to take responsibility for his actions
    and he is also not ashamed to confess Jesus as Lord in his everyday life,
    and he is letting the Love of God flow through his actions, by focusing on God’s love for him.
    and he is living a life under God’s grace, by being gracious to others, especially his loved-ones (no condemnation towards them)


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