New forum ready to help boys become men

2017-11-16 06:00
The Kouga Local Initiation Forum are (back from left) organiser Monde Fulani, James Diamond, Sidima Majola, secretary Fumanekile Lloyd, Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks and (front row left) Ward 6 Councillor Velile Vumazonke, Bulelwa Dlotho, chairperson Xolile Kattoo and Nomathemba Tebekana.                                               Photo:SUPPLIED

The Kouga Local Initiation Forum are (back from left) organiser Monde Fulani, James Diamond, Sidima Majola, secretary Fumanekile Lloyd, Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks and (front row left) Ward 6 Councillor Velile Vumazonke, Bulelwa Dlotho, chairperson Xolile Kattoo and Nomathemba Tebekana. Photo:SUPPLIED

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KOUGA has established a Local Initiation Forum to coordinate the customary male circumcision practice in the area.

This occurred on Thursday at the KwaNomzamo Community Hall in Humansdorp at a meeting that brought together traditional surgeons and nurses, stakeholders in the custom, government departments and the municipality.

The forum is in line with the requirements of the Eastern Cape Customary Male Initiation Practice Act No 5 of 2016, which was signed into law by Premier Phumulo Masualle in December.

The forum’s task is to help regulate the practice of the custom and ensure that it is done in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Chairperson of Buyambo, an organisation of traditional surgeons in Kouga, Xolile Kattoo, was elected as the forum’s first chairperson and Fumanekile Lloyd, representing the office of Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks, its first secretary.

Other members are Michael Brown, Monde Fulani from the Department of Health, Sidima Majola, Nomathemba Tebe-kana, James Diamond, Thanduxolo Buka and Bulelwa Dlotho from the Department of Home Affairs.

Other government departments will be invited to send representatives to serve on the forum.

Hendricks, under whose office the forum is led, congratulated the members of the inaugural structure, saying it was now time to start working.

“I am especially happy that the people who are elected are not new in this field, only now they are in a legislated structure. I am also very happy that there is an inclusion of women in the leadership, as the custom has always been treated as something of a male secret and the parenting role of women becomes diminished,” he said.

New chairperson Kattoo said he was happy that there was now a legally recognised structure and looked forward to a better coordinated approach to matters relating to the custom.

“Our task is to ensure that the practice is better regulated. When we send our children for initiation, we expect to receive them back in a healthy state.

“Though our area is not known for all the misfortunes that we hear and read about, we cannot leave anything to chance and we need to remain alert,” he said.

The initiation season will be in full swing after the school exams, especially for the boys in matric.

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