"I decided to take my sons to a medical male circumcision clinic because the care you get there makes life a lot easier," says Johannes Ngwato, a 74 year-old man who hails from the mining town of Phalaborwa in Limpopo. He went to a traditional initiation school in his youth but says he is an old man who moves with time.
"My two sons were in varsity and needed the procedure right away. I didn't want to wait for winter for them to be circumcised.
"It wasn't an easy decision to take my boys to the clinic for circumcision, but I had to think about the time, safety and most importantly, the health benefits. With all these, the only option was to take them to a clinic."
Asked if this is not a deviation from his tradition and customs, Ngwato, , who also heads a gender-based violence victim programme in his community, believes that people need to be educated on the issue of medical male circumcision, which not only focuses on the removal of foreskin but also incorporates the healing process from the day it is performed.
Even though Ngwato considers himself a traditionalist, he questions the role of traditional circumcision, and says that for him the best place to groom young men to be responsible adults is at home.
He cautions communities on the rise of bogus traditional surgeons who conduct illegal initiation schools in the name of making money rather than grooming boys to be men, and urges parents to prioritise their boys safety. Last year a number of deaths were reported in the initiation schools around the country
To locate your closest medical male circumcision clinic dial *120*662# or visit www.brothersforlife.org