Eric Amunga: The man teaching men about masculinity

Eric Amunga the medical consultant based in Western Kenya who has gained popularity on Twitter. PHOTO | JEFF KINYANJUI

What you need to know:

  • MasculinitySaturday is a space for men. It is where men gather to share their challenges and rediscover their gender roles. Masculinity Saturday started in January 2019 when a follower sent me a private message that he was on the verge of depression because his wife disrespected him.

Eric Amunga, famously known as @Amerix on Twitter, is a reproductive medicine specialist, fat loss coach and men’s health consultant. He has gained popularity on social media for starting the #MasculinitySaturday a hashtag which he uses to advise men on a number of pertinent issues regarding relationships and other aspects of life. He is also very vocal on matters of personal health, having successfully battled obesity. 

However, not everyone agrees with his strong opinions on matters of fitness, relationships and life in general. A number have called him out for what they term as extremism while others say he preaches water on Twitter while drinking wine in real life.

He preaches male dominance and recently revealed he has four wives. But just who is masculinity expert?  He spoke to Life&Style.

“I am based in Western Kenya. I also do private consulting for people struggling with diabetes, obesity, weight, men suffering from sexual health disorders and inadequacies like addiction to masturbation and pornography, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, alcoholism and hemorrhoids,” he says.

His typical day is full and busy, yet he still spares time to engage with his growing followers on the web.

“My day begins at 5 am, I read and write till 5:30 am then go to the gym. I go to the gym thrice a week, so the days I am not scheduled in the gym, I read and write some more. Thereafter, I go to work from 8 am to 4 pm from Monday to Friday where I attend to patients in the maternity and gynecology wards and the obstetrics and Gynaecology clinic. I then engage in creative activities and attend to clients in my private office between 5pm and 7pm, read a book between 7 pm and 8 pm, then retire to bed,” he says.


But how did he grab his space on Twitter and become so popular?

 “MasculinitySaturday is a space for men. It is where men gather to share their challenges and rediscover their gender roles. Masculinity Saturday started in January 2019 when a follower sent me a private message that he was on the verge of depression because his wife disrespected him. I reached out to him and helped him overcome the challenge. It is from this incident that I discovered men are struggling to cope up with themselves,” he says,

“Definitely, I had the vision that it will attract an audience of men, surprisingly, women are actively engaged in promoting its popularity. The reason is attributed to the fact that women today feel lonely and abandoned by their men despite being in a relationship with them. Women follow #MasculinitySaturday to understand their men while men follow the conversation to be better leaders,” he adds.

Amunga says he expected the backlash that comes in the form of responses to his hard-hitting tweets.

“I have no problem with women turning their heat on me because women are naturally reactionary and hence emotional. They derive their sense of validation by expending their emotions to matters that challenge their deep-rooted beliefs. Their protracted agitation against #MasculinitySaturday tweets could be justified because the conversation seeks to take away their manipulative mannerism towards men. For the men who disagree with what I tweet, I have nothing to say to them,” he says.

But from his teachings, it is easy to tell why Amunga courts controversy online. He recently said in an interview on NTV that men should not show affection to their spouses in front of children. Below are some quotes from the conversation.

“A man’s primary role is to lead, provide and protect. If he is doing this, then he doesn’t have to be there all the time – changing the kids’ diapers and kissing his wife in front of the children every time.Showing intimacy in front of the children is not good. Children pick up what they see and start practicing it and that is very dangerous. A man is only required to make his presence felt by playing his roles which is to lead, protect and provide…I have four wives and two children - I am there for them all the time and give them what they want. That is what matters to me not showing affection in public” Amunga also struggled with obesity for a while before he embraced an athletic lifestyle. He is now also very passionate about exercise and emphasises the same on his social platforms.

“Two years ago, I struggled with obesity and inexplicable metabolic fatigue. One day while squatting to change the tires of my car, I suffered acute back pain. When I went to an orthopaedic surgeon for treatment, he told me to go lose weight. I was 117kg. I never looked back. I lost 40kg in seven months. The experience was burdensome and torturous at the start; I almost gave up but I was resilient. I pressed on until I began seeing small changes. The results kept me pushing further until I reached my periodic targets,” he explains.

“Regular exercising is therapeutic. They kick you into a journey of transformation. Exercises test your mental and physical frames. They teach you to face challenges with herculean mindset. Once exercises become part of your routine, nothing can knock you down. The biggest achievement I got from embracing exercises is having the power to control my emotional frame. Obese individuals are always grumpy, angry and easily tempered. Exercises are the ultimate therapy to these negative traits,” he adds.

He opines that the lack of knowledge and misinformation is what is leading a number of Kenyans into obesity.

“The biggest impediment is misinformation which emanates from our social norms and beliefs. Our society is an obesogenic society, meaning, our lifestyle promotes the rising prevalence of obesity. Statistics show that in Kenya, the prevalence of obesity to be 60.3 per cent among urban residents and 19.5 per cent among rural residents. However, I suspect that the figure could be higher in rural areas because of misinformation and lack of knowledge about the association between poor lifestyles and obesity. The higher risk of obesity in Kenya is associated with increased consumption of high-calorie diet,” he explains.

The fight against Covid-19 has come with a number of regulations and with more people now working from home, the discussion on the need for men caves where they can retreat to kill the boredom has come up once again. However, Amunga says this is not necessary.

“Men don’t need caves to decompress, as a matter of fact, it is a man that should provide space for people, children, his wives and others in society. A man should not decompress by isolating himself – go out there, work out, or build something. Seating in the house adds up to the frustrations.”