The experiences of newly initiated Basotho men in selected Botshabelo high schools, Free-State Province
Monyela, Ntsofa Clasper
MetadataShow full item record
This research study in selected high schools in Botshabelo, in the Free State, sought to analyse, understand and present the lived experiences of newly initiated Basotho men, when they are incorporated back into the high school environment. Such experiences include how they see themselves as new men, how they are received and treated by both male and female teachers, as well as their interaction with other learners. Therefore, this research study was conducted within the methodology of ethnography as an academic requirement, grounded in empirical work in the discipline of African studies. The theoretical framework underpinned in this study centred mainly on two theories: 1) The Rite of Passage as proposed by Van Gennep (1960); and 2) The Psychosocial Theory proposed by Erikson (1956 and 1977). The findings noted a particular paradigm shift in the meaning of manhood which suggests and juxtaposes a dichotomy between Basotho’s cultural and traditional logic of the changing meaning of manhood in a contemporary South African context. This is influenced by an existing strong relationship between age and time for initiation, high school and initiation, as well as the type of education that ma-phura-khoatla receive from initiation. This study also noted that the newly initiated men experience mockery, stigmatization and intolerance from the majority of male teachers, a few female teachers, as well from some fellow learners. On the other hand, the findings noted a mutual and convivial relationship among the majority of female teachers, as well as other learners and the newly initiated men. Therefore, this suggests that there is a partial and very limited acknowledgement of cultural knowledge and recognition of initiation as one of the African indigenous cultural and traditional practices in these schools.