Boys participate in an Xhosa initiation ritual. SUPPLIED
Boys participate in an Xhosa initiation ritual. SUPPLIED

Community activist’s Facebook page raises more than R89 000 to send boy to initiation school

By Thandile Konco Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Cape Town – Social media has once again been amazed by the spirit of Ubuntu and the generosity of South Africans after a Facebook funding initiative raised more than R89 000 for a young man to attend initiation school in December.

Lonalinamandla Bawuti has been using her Facebook page to assist people get employment, find funding and assist Gofundme initiatives for those in need.

She recently took to her page once again to plead for funds on behalf of a young boy who did not have enough money to attend initiation school.

“I have quite a big following and I have used this to link people to other people who are able to help.

“The young man in question is a matric pupil who approached me on social media and explained that his family could not afford the costs involved with sending him to initiation school this December.

“I immediately felt obligated to help him.”

Bawuti said it appealed to the hearts of many followers, especially people belonging to the Xhosa due to their understanding of how important initiation is in Xhosa society.

“My heart was warmed by the hundreds of people who donated to this boy’s initiation.

“The spirit of Ubuntu spread with each update informing them of how much the contributions have increased over a week.

“We are currently just over R89 000.”

As of 4pm yesterday, donations continued to roll in.

The Somagwaza Institute which aims to preserve and conserve the traditional initiation custom, through the formalisation of the practice and the practitioners.

Chairperson Sikelela Zokufa said it was costly to initiate a boy into manhood.

“There are a lot of costs involved in the initiation of young men, this includes his stay on the mountain, food, clothing, animals to be slaughtered for cultural rituals, alcohol and umgidi (The Celebration).

“It can lead up to an estimate of R32 000.”

Zokufa said the rituals were imperative to Xhosa culture and beliefs and play a significant role in black communities.

He said the Somagwaza Institute admired the efforts made by Bawuti, her page and South Africans, who united to support this young man.

Zokufa said that communities and institutes like Somagwaza should unite to assist struggling households when id came to boys getting initiated.

Weekend Argus

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