Documentary about Circumcision rituals in South Africa – Ndiyindoda: I am a man
Duration 24 minutes: The issue of circumcision in South Africa is slowly gaining international attention. The practice, which is usually common among the Xhosas and Ndebeles, two of South Africa’s largest ethic groups, is a cultural one that dates back millennia.
The BBC reported on the practice quoting a particularly disturbing example of a youth who suffered detrimentally from the practice:
“After about a week in the bush, I started losing weight and became really weak. I noticed that my penis had become swollen,” said the teenager, who asked not be named because he feared being victimised. “I was taken to hospital where it later fell off because of the severe infection.” Nurses said he had suffered a “spontaneous amputation” due to gangrene.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela, who is a Xhosa, commented o the practice, but in somewhat positive terms in his autobiography. He stated that he was circumcised at the age of 16. “Without a word, he took my foreskin, pulled it forward, and then, in a single motion, brought down his assegai,” he states. “I felt as if fire was shooting through my veins; the pain was so intense that I buried my chin in my chest. “Many seconds seemed to pass before I remembered the cry, and then I recovered and called out, ‘Ndiyindoda!’ [I am a man!]”
This documentary sheds more light on the issue. Ndiyindoda is about “Circumcision rituals in South Africa – the ceremonial transition to manhood in the Xhosa society – are resulting in the mutilation and death of hundreds of young men each year.”