n African Renaissance - The challenges experienced at male initiation schools : the case study of Mthatha district in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Volume 17, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305



The article explores the challenges experienced at male initiation schools in Mthatha district in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Deaths of initiates and other gross human rights violations are argued to have become a thorny issue in the month of June when initiation schools run. The article was premised on the socio-cultural theory and Human Rights Based Approach. It utilised the qualitative indigenous research design and data was collected using the following methods; one-on-one unstructured interviews and focus group discussion. The study unveiled the following challenges at initiation schools; lack of skill and knowledge of traditional surgeon leading to incorrect surgery, abduction of boys into initiation schools to join the schools, poor environmental conditions of the initiation schools and the absence of parental involvement. The study recommends the promulgation and/or amendments of statues on initiation rite to minimise human error by traditional surgeons that cause unnecessary death and gross human rights violation.

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