Initiation film cuts too deep, says Xhosa king

18 August 2017 - 05:47 By Lulamile Feni
Traditional Xhosa initiate Fezikhaya Tselane, 20 years old, applies traditional white clay for skin protection during a traditional initiation process, in a rural hut on July 11, 2017 in the Coffee Bay area in Umtata.
Traditional Xhosa initiate Fezikhaya Tselane, 20 years old, applies traditional white clay for skin protection during a traditional initiation process, in a rural hut on July 11, 2017 in the Coffee Bay area in Umtata.
Image: Mujahid Safodien/AFP

Amaxhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu and Contralesa's youth wing in the Eastern Cape have lashed out at The Wound Inxeba, a controversial movie that examines traditional circumcision in South Africa.

They have also threatened to have it banned from screening.

Sigcawu and many other traditional leaders plan to lodge a complaint to the Film and Publication Board and National Heritage Council about the film, which they claim is too graphic.

The Wound Inxeba will be out in cinemas in February next year, but its trailer on YouTube opens with a traditional surgeon wielding his circumcision instruments before cutting a young man's foreskin, followed by screams and groaning.

Based almost entirely in and around an initiation camp, the film depicts a traditional circumcision ceremony and the lives of initiates.

Sigcawu said the rite was secret and only those who have gone through it should know everything about it.

"But the movie made it public - even the very sensitive and secret things. It is insulting to the tradition because it stripped the tradition of its secrecy and sacredness.

"This will provoke the wrath of ancestors. Attacking and insulting this custom is an attack to our ancestors," the king said.

Contralesa Youth Wing chairman Prince Ntsindisi Mdunyelwa said: "We will mobilise society to join our call for an outright ban on any broadcasting of content related to this sacred ritual.''

CNN has quoted director John Trengove as saying: "The film has already come under a lot of fire for simply existing.

"They don't know what it's about, or who made it, they're just really mad that it exists.

"People were mad that a specific passage was being mentioned."

- DispatchLIVE

X