initiation rituals

​Actor Nakhane Touré fends off hate speech over controversial new film

Carl Collison

'The Wound' tackles the unspoken issue of sexuality and tradition in a film about Xhosa initiates.


​Torment for trans women ‘sent to the mountain’ to learn to be men

Carl Collison

It denies a transgender person her identity but refusing to go through a cultural rite of passage further alienates her.


Rip-off artists are the real threat to koma

Mosibudi Mangena

This sacred community ritual has been subverted and sullied by predatory and deadly opportunists.


Man severely beaten for speaking out about his penis amputation

Mia Malan

Three people have been arrested after a Pondoland initiate who lost his penis and spoke out about it in public was beaten for "shaming the custom".


[From our archives] The boys who lost their manhood

Mia Malan

At least 12 boys have died this month in botched traditional circumcisions. We look at what happens when bungled initiations cost boys their penises.