THE people of Eastern Cape are happy and excited imigidi are back.
This after imigidi and ulwaluko were called off due to Covid-19.
Umgidi is one of the most exciting and crucial moments in Xhosa culture as the elderly welcome young boys from initiation schools.
Residents of Misty Mount outside Libode welcomed Ayabonga Mcazulwa to manhood on Saturday.
Ayabonga went to initiation school in December 2018 and umgidi was scheduled for June, but was cancelled due to coronavirus.
The Mcazulwa family slaughtered 10 sheep and one cow as they welcomed Ayabonga to manhood.
His father Alfred (48) told Daily Sun he was happy the umgidi proceeded without any difficulties.
“A man without umgidi is not a complete man. It was not easy to prepare for this traditional welcoming ceremony.
“Covid-19 changed the way of doing things and we were forced to adhere to the regulations.
“We had to sanitise everyone entering our premises,” he said.
Traditional surgeon Mbathana Fuma described umgidi as a crucial time in any man’s life.
“This is the end of a boy’s journey. He is now entering the parental journey. He will join elderly people.
“This new adventure of parenthood can surprise you. It is not easy,” said Fuma.
He assured parents that traditional surgeons would ensure every boy going through the circumcision process returned safe and alive.
During the official reopening of the initiation season on 17 December, acting chairman of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders, Nkosi Langa Mavuso, encouraged kings and traditional leaders to prevent illegal initiation schools.
“As custodians of culture, traditions and customs, we must rise up against illegal activities which tarnish the image of this age old tradition. One death is one death too many,” said Mavuso.