Initiation season ends with no glitches

Members of the Gugulethu Initiation Forum are pleased with the past ulwaluko season.

The Gugulethu Initiation Forum has hailed the summer ritual season as a success after 498 initiates were discharged from Stock Road site without any incidents.

The forum’s chairperson, Mhinki Kasibe Damane, said their success was largely due to the co-operation between the parents and amakhankatha (surgeons). .

“We were very strict and made sure that no alcohol was brought into the bush. Even drunk people were not allowed here,” said Mr Damane.

“We were proactive and well prepared before the season started. We made sure that we had guidelines and that they were followed. The initiation happened under difficult challenges posed by the pandemic. We had to first get the boys screened by health officials before they could attend the initiation,” he said.

The initiates came from all over Cape Town townships because most townships do not have initiation sites nearby.

“In places like the Junction and Khayelitsha where we used to conduct this ceremony you find that people have built shacks and that interferes with what we do here,” he said.

Gugulethu Initiation Forum member Lindile Joko points out the few remaining huts at the Stock Road site.

Lindile Joko, who is a member of the forum, said they had appealed to the City of Cape Town to fence the Stock Road initiation site.

“We need to preserve this site so that the next generation can have a space to continue with these rituals safely,” said Joko.

Meanwhile the Somagwaza Institute also noted that the season had been a success, with chairman Sikelela Zokufa saying that everything had gone well in the province.

Ulwaluko was suspended for the 2021 winter season due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Thirty-four young initiates lost their lives in the Eastern Cape in the summer initiation season.