Circumcision, it is a journey that many Xhosa boys have to go through in order to transition into ‘manhood’ and
annually, South Africans look forward to hearing about the horrors and deaths at some of the initiation schools.
From when I was a young boy growing up in the Eastern Cape, I always dreaded the day when I too would have to embark on that journey to manhood.
I was 18 when my father forced me to go, Lord knows I didn’t want to go but at least 18 was and is a reasonable age for the rite of passage.
The thing for me is I was happy with my foreskin, but it would seem the community around me had this fascination with MY foreskin.
Yes, the foreskin can be unsightly and unhygenic, but fact remains, it was MINE and mine alone.
I still fail to understand when and how was manhood determined by the lack of foreskin, to me it just seems absurd.
Right now over 20 deaths have been reported already at some of these initiation schools and I have this knot in my stomach as my younger brother is yet to return (he’s one of the initiates).
This takes me back to when I was initiated, June of 2006 and it seemed like the coldest winter in history. I knew I wasn’t checking into the Four Seasons hotel but the whole experience was like a nightmare coming to life.
It was myself, half brother and cousin,
The first horror for me was before we were ‘cut’, we had to go to the hospital for medical check-ups, but because my father wasn’t available on that day, our older cousins had to go in our place to get the medical check-ups as they would not need an adult to sign the consent form because they were already over the age of 21. Now tell me, how do you get a medical check-up without even being there?
Secondly when the actual act of chopping off the foreskin, they used the same bloody tool on all of us even though some of the young men including us had not undergone the medical check-up. That’s very dangerous and irresponsible if you ask me.
It was even worse for my half brother because he had gotten circumcised by a doctor a few years prior, but had to be circumcised for the second time with the rest of us, because they said we are all “twins” and whatever one is going through, the rest need to go through as well. As a result of that barbaric act on his penis, it took him longer to heal.
Don’t get me started on the beatings that were dished out like hand-outs at the salvation army, the horrible food and being deprived of drinking water.
With all the things that I have just mentioned, more and more young men still look forward to this rite of passage. Yes, the Department of Health and the police do get involved, but in most cases it’s usually too late.
Isn’t it time to let go of old customs and adopt new ones?
What is so wrong with getting the snip from a health facility?
Because at this point going to the mountains is like being part of the Survivor series, whereby anyone can be voted out at any point, only this time the voting out process could mean death or the loss of manhood.
Share your views below:
It’s Wednesday the 23rd of April and I’m attending a public meeting at the Bombay Civic Hall in Northdale Pietermaritzburg. The meeting was called by the Ward 31 Councilor Rooksana Ahmed of the Democratic Alliance to discuss the Rates Rebate for Pensioners and give community members the opportunity to ask questions and get clarification on the matter.
The meeting opened with a prayer and just as proceedings went underway, a few rabble-rousers clad in ANC t-shirts, displayed the highest levels of political intolerance and ignorance, they were baying for the councilor’s blood for one reason or the other.
I took the time to ask one of the ANC members if they understood what the meeting was about and her response was “asindaba nokuthi iDA ifuna ukuthini, sifuna ukubakhombisa ukuthi kuphethe bani” which simply means “we don’t care about what the DA has to say, we want to show them who’s in charge” just before she bumped me with a chair.
Needless to say, the meeting was adjourned and the ANC had accomplished its mission.
I’d always heard of hooliganism from ANC members, but to experience it first hand was quite an eye opener.
If being in the ANC means having an IQ level that’s in the lower single digits, please count me out.
I’m glad to have made it out of there unharmed, traumatised yes I was but still unharmed.
The hive almost sent out a search party to look for that highly anticipated new Beyonce single. Well as from today, it looks like their wait may finally be over, for Blue Ivy’s mother has released a snippet of a new song titled God Made You Beautiful
The song is said to be part of the promotional package for the diva’s Life Is But A Dream DVD and it is dedicated to her daughter Blue Ivy.
Is the song strong enough to be a comeback single?
The jury is still out on that one but I’m sure Queen Bey could sing the alphabet and her fan base would lap it up.
Listen to the 1:39 snippet below
What is this ‘twerking’?
It is a form of sexually provocative dancing that involves shaking the hips in an up and down motion, causing the dancer’s buttocks to jiggle.
This type of dance is believed to have originated in Africa but popular American superstar Miley Cyrus has brought twerking into the spotlight in recent months, with many of her music videos and live performances showcasing this dance.
Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams who is now a gospel singer set twitter alight back in June when she mentioned what she called “Holy twerking”.
After the release of her first single ‘If We Had Your Eyes’ off her upcoming album ‘Journey To Freedom’, Williams tweeted:
“Just bought my own single on Itunes!!! It’s available WORLDWIDE!!! #does a holy twerk….hahahahaha
She went on to describe the sound of her upcoming album, calling it an urban/inspiration record and saying there’s a song for everyone, even holy twerkers.
IS TWERKING GETTING OUT OF HAND?
It seems South Africans are refusing to be left out of the twerking experience and they have taken it a step further as can be witnessed on a Youtube video which shows scantily clad women twerking over an open grave at a funeral.
And there is a dance troop called ‘Protwerkers’ that has made a profession out of twerking.
What are your thoughts on twerking?
He’s no Pablo Picasso, nor is he a Michelangelo but he’s an art enthusiast determined to merge his love for art and fashion.
Skhulile Lloyd Ntuli, to his friends known as ‘Nkukhu’ is a Pietermaritzburg resident whose love for art began in 2001.
Ntuli says at school he did technical drawing as one of his subjects and he would find himself drawing even in his spare time and that was when he realised his passion for art.
Using a pen, pencil and paint, Ntuli draws magnificent artworks that are certain to stand up against the best.
Using fabric paint he can transform a plain t-shirt, hoodie, cap or shoe by drawing some bold artworks that give an item of clothing new life.
Ntuli says he’s passionate about both art and fashion as they are a form of expression and at the moment to him this is a hobby but in the future he hopes to turn it into a meaningful venture.
“In the future, probably in the next 5 years I see myself teaching youngsters in my community about art and eventually owning my own workshop” said Ntuli.
Ntuli added that he is yet to approach any corporations for sponsorships and he plans to but says he would need a portfolio which he doesn’t have at the moment.
He said “people steal my drawings and so I don’t have a portfolio as yet, but I would like to have one and be able to sell some of my work”.
One of the people that have seen Ntuli’s work is Xolani Nzimande and he remarked on how wonderful the work is, he said “Nkukhu’s work is amazing, he really has a lot of potential and it is amazing to see a young man such as him, being so focused on something positive”.
So, one of these days, the rest of the world may soon be queuing up to buy a ‘Nkukhu original’, be it a piece of art or an item of clothing, one thing’s for sure, Ntuli’s determination will take him far.
Peep some of his work below:
It has been a while since I called on You, so I thought I should take this opportunity to come before You and bare my soul.
First I want to thank You for the life that You gave me.
Sometimes life gets hard and complicated but knowing that You are watching over me makes the journey more bearable.
At times it feels the whole world is against me but Your presence puts my mind and heart at ease.
This journey called life is filled with stumbling blocks that deter me from my path but You are always there to lead me on the right track.
The world may not believe in giving second chances but You have given me a million to get it right.
I have sinned continuously but yet You continue to shower me with Your love and grace abundantly.
Before I fall asleep I want to thank You Lord for the day I’ve had and ask for You to watch over me as I sleep.
I want to ask You cleanse my soul and make me the person You want me to be.
The Bible says we were created in Your image, so I want You to see Your reflection when You look at me.
I’m asking You to give me a new heart, a heart filled with compassion, less judgment.
I’m asking You to kill the spirit of lust and greed inside me and purify my soul.
Please have Your way with me Lord.