Durban – The Zulu nation was perishing because of HIV and Aids, Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu, the son of King Goodwill Zwelithini, said on Friday.
He was speaking during a circumcision campaign in the Durban CBD, where he encouraged "men [from the province] to get circumcised in order to protect their partners and families".
The provincial Tuberculosis (TB) ambassador and Isibaya SamaDoda programme founder told News24 that his father had recently allowed circumcision among Zulu men, "but only when performed by a professional medical doctor".
The 45-year-old prince said circumcision was part of Zulu culture, "but was stopped by the great King Shaka".
King Shaka banned circumcision among Zulus in the 19th century.
"But the current king, my father, nowadays opened the kind of circumcision that is performed by professional medical doctors, hence, so far we haven’t had any deaths from circumcision in the province," he said.
He said they were at the taxi rank in Durban on Friday to maximise the demand for circumcision, "since it is a programme that was pronounced by the King Zwelithini a few years back".
"Circumcision is not only good for men, but also protects their spouses and partners from sexually transmitted diseases," he said.
'Protect and respect yourself, then circumcise'
He said men should still practice safe sex, even after "cutting off their foreskin".
"Do not go around impregnating young women and destroying their future. I’m proud to tell you that I became a dad at the age of 40. I did not destroy anyone’s future, because I impregnated my wife," he said.
He said his organisation, Isibaya SamaDoda, was a platform for all men to discuss health related issues.
"We are saying to men, look after yourself, protect and respect yourself, then circumcise," he said.
The TB ambassador also showed the crowd a scar he got after an operation to remove his right lung.
"Do not feel sorry for me because I now only have a left lung, but rather test for TB, because it kills," he said.
Actor Kagiso Modupe, who plays the character of Mangi Nyathi in the TV soapie Scandal, was also part of Zulu’s campaign.
He asked women to encourage their male partners to get circumcised.
"KZN is leading when it comes to HIV and Aids in the whole world. Women should speak to their men about circumcision in order to eradicate HIV and Aids in KZN," he said.