Phindile Chiliza and Sihle Mkhamisa conducted an interview with Mrs Nombulelo Madondo, who runs a virginity testing school in Inanda next to eMtshebheni . The interview took place at her home on 6 October 2013. English summary by Phindile Chiliza. Switch to Zulu page for the full interview.
The virginity testing ceremony is very deep and broad more that it seems to be before the eyes of the public. It can be very sensitive, or better yet, it is very fragile when not handled with care, for it surrounds and revolves around the future of the nation. In order for one to open a virgin testing school or organization it has to be some sort of a calling, not merely and inspiration one sees from someone and wishes to do it themselves. Maidens are not only tested, but they are also taught a way of living, respect, their culture and all various skills that each and every individual require, including doing bead work and are ever motivated.
There is actually no age restriction in virginity testing, thus in most circumstances, testing begins at the age of 8 upward. Hygiene and privacy is the core of virginity testing. The department of Health supports the virgin test. A certificate of merit is only offered or issued in each and every six month. Likewise, a crucial challenge most of virginity testing institutions is non-other than financial support (funding). So most monies come from the stakeholders of the institution’s pocket. This institution was established in 2009 by Mrs Madondo with the reasons that she saw the elders people like the role model in the community doing bad things not taking care of themselves and then she decided to establish the institution izintombi zama siko esintu. She was doing this work of virginity testing in her doors to her children and she realized later that this is selfish she must consult next doors and she called a meeting with people around and she introduced this thing of virginity testing asking for girls and the parents allowed her to test their maidens till today.
The only person who get tested is only young maidens who are still clean and pure and she also stated that if she finds out that the maiden is not pure, she put a white dot in a forehead like others then she write a letter or call her mother telling her that next month must come with her daughter to the virginity testing so that must see herself that her child is not a virgin anymore. This institution was opened because of HIV; the aim was to protect the young maidens from having sex while they are young. And the maidens are proud of being tested every month and they even said that this thing of virginity testing brings dignity to them and they are respected in the community.
This practice need to be preserved for future generations so that they will also live pure and clean life. And even government must do something to help this practice especially financial wise. In order to do this work it must be a calling.
This post is also available in: Zulu