Ndiyindoda! (I am a man): A Xhosa perspective of Traditional Male Initiation in South Africa
This paper explores the lived experiences of young amaXhosa men in relation to Ulwaluko kwa Xhosa (Traditional Male Initiation [TMI]) and its impact on their sense of masculinity. The conceptual framework of this study is located within African epistemology focusing on indigenous knowledge systemsin South Africa. The study aimed at enabling young amaXhosa men who had undergone TMI to reflect on their first-hand, accounts of Ulwaluko kwa Xhosa and manhood.Six semi-structured interviews and a follow up focus group discussion were held with 23 - 27 years old amaXhosa men residing in Joza Township in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. Participants were identified through purposive sampling. The paper reports on themes that emerged during data analysis: (a) the significance of the place/location of initiation, and (b) feelings of anticipation experienced by the young men. Secondly, the theme relates to ubudoda (manhood), focusing on (a) the endurance of pain through resilience and perseverance.