Depictions of African men in nineteenth-century South Africa were shaped by reports of Christian missionaries and explorers of that time. These literary sources portrayed African men as uncivilized and savage brutes. Missionary discourses were mainly anchored on how best the mission station could civilize African men. This article explores the ways in which nineteenth-century missionaries sought to fashion African men in British sociocultural prescripts, as part of the “civilizing project” of Christianity. The article highlights the ontological violence and emasculation of Black men that came with the missionary ideology on masculinity. This analysis is grounded in decolonial thought.

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