Challenges of Initiation in an Urban Environment

According to Whitey Jacobs and Quinton Mtyala (2007), there is a negative connotation of what the ritual has become in past years.  Jacobs states that “the season of initiation has recently assumed a different image, an image of fear and loathing, an image of anxiety and pain.  In a recent opinion piece, Mzonke Jacobs argued that a lack of supervision in the initiation sites has led to an increase in drugs and has encouraged the appearance of local gangsters (Mtyala, 2007).  To overcome this problem, plans to encourage parents to police their children were noted by the City of Cape Town, but no evidence has been found indicating that the problem has ceased.  Though Mtyala and Jacobs’ positions are clearly stated through a negative tone, their writings show their interest in restoring the value of the ritual.