How about we repossess the business of isiko

2017-08-24 06:01
ON PointMandla Mahashe

ON PointMandla Mahashe

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These past weeks have been turbulent for our country; a deputy minister of education slaps a woman at a nightclub in what is normally regarded as Woman’s Month in South Africa.

Seemingly not to be outdone, the wife of a foreign head of state slaps another, nay, smack another with a hard object that leaves a gash on her forehead.

The first admits his folly and resigns his post after much public outcry, mayhem, admission, court appearance and posting of bail. The second evades arrest by invoking diplomatic immunity and escapes by a string of her dreadlocks.

Closer to home, the Xhosas are up in arms, at least those that are circumcised.

This is all because of a film doing the rounds and is called The Wound.

If you haven’t heard of this film, let me relieve you of your rock spider existence, let me give you a brief synopsis:

It is about a young homosexual Xhosa boy on his way to the ‘mountain’ in his quest for manhood.

While in ‘isolation’, he is attracted to one of the traditional nurses- his nurse- and makes advances.

Although this is unthought of, the nurse accedes to his ‘patient’s’ advances, which is what brings the controversy to the boil.

An affair between an umkhwetha and his khankatha has never before been heard of.

Even it were so, socially speaking, it is a taboo subject.

This in turn curtails one’s sexual orientation.

In the short trailer I watched, I too was flabbergasted by the explicit portrayal of the goings-on between the two besotted lovers.

The response has differed somewhat.

Some have even called for the boycott and demonstration against the movie.

The movie could have been told without it being explicit.

Those who are angry about this film have their rights reserved in the constitution, likewise those who are in favour.

However, I’ve had the time to think this whole controversy over: How do we choose what to be angry about as Xhosa men.

Perhaps we need to get to the nitty-gritty of the business of circumcision.

Why are we not angry about the ‘other’ people who make money out of this business of ulwaluko.

From the blankets we proudly display going to and coming back from the bush.

What about the alcohol we buy and consume in volumes celebrating the return of abakhwetha from the mountains. I think we should be focussing our energies on this aspect of the business of ulwaluko, not some obscure film that has neither cause nor effect on our cultural practices.


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