The boys from Tshimbupfe Tshilaphala village returned home safely from initiation school on Saturday, 16 July. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.

Boys return as men after initiation


Parents gathered at Tshimbupfe Tshilaphala village on Saturday, 16 July, to welcome their boys back after a month at the Murundu initiation school. They were met with happy smiles as the initiates, who spent the winter holiday in the mountain, finally made their appearance.

This was the first group of initiates since 2020 as this age-old tradition, conducted by initiation schools, was suspended during the height of the Covid pandemic. Traditional leader Vhamusanda Vho-Takalani Mulaudzi was also there to welcome them home.

No fatalities were reported at the initiation school. This, said traditional leader Mr Azwitamisi Munarini Nemavhulani, owner of the Murundu initiation school, was because of the cooperation between the surgeon and the provincial health department, who made sure that all participants were in good health before they were admitted to the initiation school.

The young men who attended the initiation school said they had learnt a lot about their culture as well as respect for others.

Nemavhulani, who took over the reins from his late father, said he was happy to continue with the family’s practice of running a safe, traditional initiation school. “We successfully complete initiations without any deaths, and that is because of the support and guidance we get from local traditional leaders, CoGHSTA, the health department and the Premier’s office,” he said. “When initiates join our school, we allow them to bring their medication that they take at home with them. We don’t want the kids to get sick at the initiation school. A kid at home is still a kid at the initiation school, and that’s what we want.”

One of the parents, Pastor Lawrence Muhali from Tshimbupfe Mavhulani, was also there to welcome back his youngest son, Asiyashu Muhali, from the initiation school. Asiyashu (10) was the youngest among the initiates. “I’m delighted to see my young boy back home. He spent the whole month in the mountain. Everything is well and we are happy and satisfied,” said Muhali.

Mulaudzi said that this cultural practice assisted in curbing social ills by educating the young boys. He gave credit to all those involved in this process. “They leave home as boys and return as men,” he said.



Date:23 July 2022 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela

Kaizer Nengovhela

Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.

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