An open letter to Candith Mashedo-Dlamini – Mpumalanga MEC for Health

Dear Candith,

I can’t help thinking I have developed a lisp every time I say your name, which, admittedly, isn’t often enough for me to worry about a speech defect. But this is not why I am writing to you.

I am volunteering to stand with you in your fight against those who are demanding that you be fired. Fired for what? Merely for saying that, as a woman, you can’t get involved in the deaths of 29 teenagers in your province? That is outrageous. As you so rightly pointed out, women cannot concern themselves in the traditional affairs of men.

Personally, I think circumcision is heavily overrated as a requisite in the transition from boyhood to manhood. Try as I might, I can’t make the connection between a foreskin and becoming a man.

In my culture, boys become men when they are old enough to drink and drive and find their way to the clitoris without a map. It has nothing to do with their willies. If you’re not circumcised, all it means is that you’re not Jewish, Muslim or a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

In an interview a year ago after being appointed MEC for agriculture, you were asked why you had accepted the job. I loved your answer. “We are in this position because we participated in the struggle before, and we belonged to the political party so after winning the election we were deployed to certain positions.”

I cannot imagine why they took agriculture away from you and gave you health. Anyway. Speaking to the media after the initiates died of dehydration, hypothermia and hemorrhaging, you were once again at your eloquent best.

“This is a tradition. So in other traditions, whether there are deaths or what, but a woman can’t come closer to that.”

It is so refreshing to find an honest politician who speaks her mind, even if she appears to have lost most of it.

Apart from having bits of their willies chopped off, the initiates are also expected to spend nights sleeping outside. This is apparently meant to toughen them up and prepare them for life as adults. With the economy the way it is, and the filthy banks repossessing our homes, we’re all going to have to get used to sleeping outside before long.

Wouldn’t it be more helpful if initiation schools taught the boys how to apply for tenders, for example?

A circumcised willy isn’t going to get you far in life. There’s no money in it. Some of my best friends lost their foreskins when they were babies and many went on to lose their wives, cars and houses.

I am a big fan of culture and tradition. For instance, you won’t find me without a bottle of Jameson’s in my hand on St Patrick’s Day. Or any day, really. But even I find it hard to support a tradition that maims and kills each year. Don’t get me wrong. I think teenage boys are appalling and some of them deserve to lose one or two non-essential body parts. But let’s be honest. Culpable homicide does cast a bit of a pall on the festivities.

9 thoughts on “An open letter to Candith Mashedo-Dlamini – Mpumalanga MEC for Health

  1. Vanessa Anderson

    Brilliant, witty & hits the nail on the head, as always. Thanks for the laugh & for pointing out, yet again, that w e are led by a bunch of idiots!

  2. Brett Collings

    Just as with Jobur’gs new highways, the quality of your writing is so good, so smooth, I can’t imagine why I’m not being charged for the pleasure! Could it be, like SANRAL, you’re simply a true artist? That first quote…brilliant!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *