First the video for reference.
It turns out (in a nutshell), this song is about the transition from ‘boy’ to ‘man’. There is a common practice in S. Africa where to become a man, you must to have a circumcision. The ceremony is held a few years after a boy hits puberty. These are done out in the bush where many of these ‘boys’ die from infection or AIDS from the tools used. ‘Boys’ who refuse to have their penis circumcised are said to be ‘evil’ or ‘gay’ and banished. If they come back, it’s been said that they kill the ‘boys’. (I couldn’t find an article to support that last sentence, but that’s what I was told.)
Meet the Abakwetha and the Eastern Cape circumcision ceremony.
“Five youths at a time are circumcised, ages 17 to 20 years. The group of five live together in a specially constructed hut (sutu), which becomes their home for three months while they undergo the transformation from youth to manhood.” (Source)
Initiation To Manhood
“Before circumcision young men wear Gourds (calabashes) over private parts. This is considered fully dressed even in front of women.” (Source)
Disclaimer, the NSFW part starts here.
I warned you..
“The start of actual operation is done 500 yards away from newly constructed huts. The severing of the foreskin is done with no modern medicine.” (Source/
“The bandaging is a Goat skin strip around waist which becomes the bandage.” (Source/
“Once the foreskin is completely severed the boy shouts NDIYINDODA (I am a man). Then the severed foreskin becomes stretched over the boys thumb.” (Source)
BoingBoing had a great discussion about this.
and one user wrote: “The situation is further complicated in that circumcision is one of the best HIV interventions available right now (around 60% reduction in transmission, which isn’t perfect, and not as good as condoms, but still a Very Good Thing in a country with one of the world’s highest HIV infection rates).
“Adult circumcision should be a choice. If men choose to go through with it for whatever reasons, cultural or otherwise, they should be able to do so in hygienic and safe conditions. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be ostracised.” Source
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