In today’s culture segment, we go to the heart of South Africa for a glimpse into a male circumcision ritual.
To begin with, it is worth remembering that circumcision is a tradition in many countries, especially, on the African continent, and that the ritual carry diverse significance.
This practice is old and widespread among African Christians with very close links to their beliefs. It can be executed traditionally or in hospital.
The South African context is very complex when it comes to circumcision, despite the fact that the practice is a science, it continues to be practiced in a traditional way.
In the village of Mthatha, for example, the ritual is performed shortly after the age of about 18. Future initiates are locked in a room in which they must spend the days before and after the rite. The boys are coated with a whitish powder mixed with water and are kept in huts where no visitors are allowed.
The ceremony takes place twice a year: in summer (June 1 – August 31) and in winter (December 1- February 28).
However, there are fatal risks, and in fact, dozens of deaths are recorded during these ceremonies which are sometimes carried out in deplorable hygienic conditions.
Gangrene, a partial amputation of the penis due to the use of “unsterilized instruments is one of the many risks.