NOT having money does not mean they cannot be initiated!A homecoming party was held on Saturday for seven initiates who could not afford to pay for initiation at the offices of Port Elizabeth’s ward 24 councillor Kolekile Boqwana.The young men spent a month at initiation school after residents pooled their money to make it possible for them to undertake their journey to manhood.Well-known KQ FM radio host and traditionalist, gogo Philasande Yoko (65) told Daily Sun: “The project has been running for years in Nelson Mandela Bay. “A number of community leaders are involved in the initiative. “We sponsor everything, including their clothes.“It is our Xhosa culture for every boy to become a man. “We have assisted over 100 young men, including one 44-year-old.”Boqwana said: “I’m excited that residents and others have helped.”He said it is very sad that they found some of the young men did not even have biological parents or guardians. “We spent R30 000 on the ceremony,” he said.“One of the initiates was discovered in a toilet when he was young and was raised by that family. Another is being looked after by his 19-year-old sister.”Boqwana said one 27-year-old had given up hope of ever going through the ceremony and they decided to intervene.Initiate Madoda Kubashe (27) of Booysens Park said he was being laughed at by men of his age. “I’m happy I now am a real man,” he said.Sityhilelo Bontsi of KQFM said: “As a community radio station, we feel committed to assist through such programmes. “We would like to continue assisting poor families in this way,” he said.
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