King calls for ukuhlolwa

2016-09-22 06:00
AmaBhaca King Tholelengwe Makhawula addresses during a Heritage Month event at Month at Site B Community Hall in Khayelitsha on Saturday. PHOTOS: mandla MNYAKAMA

AmaBhaca King Tholelengwe Makhawula addresses during a Heritage Month event at Month at Site B Community Hall in Khayelitsha on Saturday. PHOTOS: mandla MNYAKAMA

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AmaBhaca King Tholelengwe Makhawula has said that his subjects have prioritised the process of ukuhlolwa- by which young women are expected to present themselves for an examination of their morals.

Tholelengwe was addressing a traditional dance event to celebrate the Heritage Month at the Site B Community Hall in Khayelitsha on Saturday.

“It is a process to restore the (young)women’s dignity and guarantee that children grow in a society that respects a women’s body.”

He said the programme was very popular in Kwazulu Natal where it is associated with the annual Umkhosi Womhlanga event.

He emphasised that to the AmaBhaca, the process was just strictly known as ukhuhlowa kweentombi, and not virginity testing.

“To us it is not virginity testing...because we need to understand the whole system and the full value chain(of the process).

“It is not about to get an African girl to lie on that traditional mat to be inspected, rather we must understand how our society is today and that there are social ills we need to deal with.We believe that culture with its own value system can deal with some of these things.

“We need to restore the women’s dignity, starting from our own kids.

“An African child and young women still needs respect that is based on our own culture. We bring back that particular respect and what are the things we need to know to get our kids to grow in a society that respected a woman‘s body.

The King said statistics confirm that in South Africa, about 271 young women fell pregnant a day and that by year-end about 99 000 of these would have fallen pregnant.

“Obviously those females are compelled to drop out from school, some would have been infected with HIV/Aids. So, this is actually an African culturally based prevention programme.

It becomes a social net that also becomes a platform where these kids discuss their social problems, and as society we have taken a decision to support them.

“If we as Amabhaca brag that a nation is beautiful because of its flowers then we need to protect such flowers for being our own beauty and the face of the tribe.

He added that unlike the manner this was done in KZN, with the awarding of certificates(of merit) to young women who have passed the test, they did not consider such awards so as to prevent the stigmasation and discrimination of girls who failed the process.

Makhawula also urged the large crowd in attendance to also respect those that failed the test because some of them did not choose such a status but had became rape victim or had been deceived by the males who had sexually abused them. “We need to make them feel that they are valuable in our society” he concluded. Details on how the tests were carried out were not divulged to City Vision.

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