Was saddened to read in an on--line Newspaper item that in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, (where we lived and worked for nearly 12 years), 40 young men in the prime of their lives had died and another 150 roughly, were injured, from botched circumcisms in the Xhosa coming of age ritual.
What is really sad is that these are roughly the same numbers form botched right of age circumcisms for young Xhosa men as there from were ten years ago when we were still there!
Yes in all that time still nothing effective has happened to prevent these unnecessary deaths and mutilations, although even then people were concerned at the rising death rate and were trying to do something about it, even to trying to change culture and have the actual circumcisms done in hospitals by trained medical staff and under the supervision of trained Nursing staff! But as most of these nursing staff were women, this sensible safety change was frowned upon because women are banned from the whole circumcism event which takes a couple of weeks to be completed. A couple of weeks where many young men in their prime are killed or maimed for life because of unsafe medical applications and follow up.
Call me crazy if you like, but I for one think it is time this stupidity is stopped for good if they are not prepared to modify the unnecessary health risk parts of the event?
Of course the real question for us though is, what about us? Yes what cultural customs that we hold onto, even cling to, that need changing, or at least modifying now?
Again something for you to think about now. Yes, even if there is nothing you or I can effectively do tocChange or modify the Xhosa right of Circumcism, surly we can do something to change or modify the dangerous or unhelpful, if not downright unhealthy cultural habits of our own? Again, what say you now?