Traditional Leaders and Coordinators Conclude Summer Initiation Season
A meeting of 30 representatives of initiation forums from across the Western Cape took place at Schoemanspoort Cultural Facility outside Oudtshoorn on Friday, 6 March 2015.
The practice of initiation is a culturally specific rite of passage which marks the transition from boyhood (ubukhwenkwe in isiXhosa) to manhood (ubudoda in isiXhosa). AmaXhosa, Basotho and amaHlubi representatives discussed the most recent summer initiation season with a focus on initiate safety, protecting cultural knowledge and enhancing mutual respect.
“The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) played a big role in bringing all these tribes and cultures together,” said Isaac Monaheng, coordinator of Stellenbosch Initiation School. “Personally it is nice to be able to network, compare notes and share experiences as this gives one insight and foresight for the next initiation season.”
Nerine Jeaven, Deputy Director of Arts and Culture at DCAS welcomed everyone present. “Today we can see how working together has helped us make the initiation season safer and ensure that initiation gets the respect it deserves,” she said in her opening speech.
DCAS actively takes steps to promote safe initiation through its initiation protocol and guidelines and through hosting meetings at which the custodians of cultural knowledge can discuss matters of mutual concern.