Zulu men and Circumcision in South Africa

Male circumcision (ukusoka) is a phase that a boy has to go through before he is declared as a man. This practice has been very popular amongst the Xhosa culture and it has also created a lot of mixed feelings amongst South Africans and that is because some boys have lost their lives during this practice. Certain public figures of South Africa have gone through this practice namely former President Nelson Mandela and most recently the Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula. It was during the ukweshwama ritual which created a lot of clashes between the traditional Zulu’s and the Animal Right Africa organization, the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini announced that male circumcision is to be re-introduced amongst the Zulu community. To the young generation the King’s announcement was a surprise because for as far as they know circumcision was not for the Zulu nation. According to History male circumcision is not new for the Zulu nation it is a ritual that was practiced decades ago and was banned during the rule of King Shaka Zulu who died in 1828.  King Shaka Zulu decided to ban Zulu male circumcision because it disturbed Zulu male who were being prospered to become Zulu warriors since the practice lasted three months.
During this ritual young Zulu male will leave their homes and go to the hill (entabeni) where their will be no females but men who are matured enough to help the young men undergo the circumcision practice.  During this practice the young men will also be given lessons on how to live life responsibly after being certified as men which is why they had to spend three months in the mountain, it was more than just circumcision.
By:Ntokozo Tshapa

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