Photography, Digital Art (420 x 594cm)
The process of umGidi is a celebration commonly practiced by the Xhosa culture through various stages within the transitioning of what they would understand to be a ‘boy’ into a man within the culture. Here we see some of the various phases within the celebratory experience where the boys perform a preliminary showing of ‘ukuQula’, a periodical stand-off where one would challenge another in a duel similar to that of ‘stick fighting’. This happens as the boy-turned-man is returning home from his journey and would be followed by a main display of ‘uk’Qula’ from the Men. Women are also involved thereafter to welcome and shower gifts towards him as he is embraced by his village. This whole process represents a showing of pride and masculinity within the Xhosa community, where old teachings of heritage and belonging are passed down to produce sensible men equipped to tackle the struggles and achievements existing in our modern society. It offers a different and true perspective towards one’s self and this work showcases a unique take on the emotions portrayed.
- Thuli ‘Lawrence’ Jadezweni