Ingoma Forum urges initiation schools to work with hospitals

Ingoma Forum urges initiation schools to work with hospitals

The Ingoma Forum says it is important for initiation schools to engage with hospitals before taking young boys and men to traditional initiation schools.

Remarks by the Forum come after 300 initiates graduated from various traditional initiation schools in Kwa Ndebele, Mpumalanga, over the weekend.

They underwent initiation for only a month as compared to two months in previous years. This is despite reports of several deaths at some of the initiation schools across the country. The Forum’s chairperson Dr Vusi Masombuka said the health of initiates remains paramount.

“If we have a life-threatening outbreak like Mpox or the likes of Covid-19, we isolate them (initiates). We also engage with the hospital, there is a task team from the hospital. There is a special arrangement and a special ward (for them) because this is a sacred culture. We don’t want our culture exposed to people. We respect the culture too much,” he says.

The initiates some as young as 15 years of age are meanwhile pleased to have completed their journey to manhood.

“It is a sort of like being in manhood. You must go to the mountain to finish what you have started as a man. I am very pleased to finish my journey, said one initiates while another indicated that while it was tough, he was happy to have participated.

“I feel excited. It was a great journey. At first, it was tough but as days went by we enjoyed our stay here at Mashilo and they treated us very well. I am very happy and delighted that I’m going back home as a man,” he explains.

Parents also expressed their delight at watching their boys journey into manhood.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) Greater Tshwane chairperson Abram Mashishi said the initiates now had to be responsible men.

“We want to give the message to them to say from here to home they must behave, leave drugs, go to school. Their manhood doesn’t mean that they must not respect their elders when they arrive home,” he says.

In the meantime, calls have been made to arrest and prosecute those who kidnap and force young boys to go to illegal initiation schools.

Source: eNCA

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