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If not CCTV cameras, I wish there were certificates in those initiation ‘schools’

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For a Xhosa male, there is no ritual as dear and sincerely worth respecting as that of initiation. Annually, hordes of naked boys enter its maw to become men. Some make it out alive, others have their penises amputated and, although some wailing mothers see their sons zipped up in body bags, the fundamentalists unsympathetically insist that it comes with the territory. Picture: Leon Sadiki
For a Xhosa male, there is no ritual as dear and sincerely worth respecting as that of initiation. Annually, hordes of naked boys enter its maw to become men. Some make it out alive, others have their penises amputated and, although some wailing mothers see their sons zipped up in body bags, the fundamentalists unsympathetically insist that it comes with the territory. Picture: Leon Sadiki

VOICES

As the president urged the country to dance to the song Jerusalema this past Heritage Day, unenthused, I opted to sit this one out.

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