We are dying for culture
Women carry these boys for nine months, raise them painstakingly for 18 years, and hand them over to us for a short period, only for us to kill them in six weeks. These were the words of an Eastern Cape MEC who has grown weary of the repeated, almost expected initiation deaths yearly.
When Inxeba was released, a movie casting light on the practice of circumcision practices in isiXhosa culture, the furore that ensued was beyond measure: it made a mockery of Africans; the sacred act is not for entertainment... Yet there was never an acknowledgment of the movie’s truths.
Now jump to 2019: Inxeba comes alive, yet again.
I am not one to call into question cultural practices, even as I grew up in the house of a man of staunch African beliefs, a man who struggled to contain this child of Western influence…
I grew up to question what is the right to be and freedom of expression … So my question is not should the practice be continued, but rather on how it can be made safer to avoid the loss of lives.
While all things do evolve, so too must this practice. We are headed to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, how we can continue to bury our children over a surgical procedure that can be performed within an hour?
Are our cultural practitioners willing to sit at tables and discuss the core issues? Have these very practitioners been bold enough to voice their challenges, what may lead to these deaths?
Let us have open dialogue, because the inability to communicate is the main reason why mothers stand at gravesides of their children.
One child buried is too many. While it may be easy to lay the blame on the government, we cannot. Parents must take responsibility. Do they send their kids to a initiation school based on hearsay? Is it based on cheapest is best or is it based on registration, qualification and testimonials?
Are we sending our children to these mountains because we have a belief in the process? I doubt it, In my eyes these schools are in it for the profit.