South African cultural traditions collided head on with modern sensibilities recently when a choirmaster in the Eastern Cape region had teenage schoolgirls give a seminude traditional performance that was widely shared on social media. The choirmaster defended the performance as a cultural tribute to the Xhosa ethnic group, but it drew the ire of the minister of basic education, who described it as exploitation. Others called for the choirmaster to be fired. The tempest exposed the ambiguous treatment of gender issues in a country whose Constitution guarantees wide-ranging equalities that conflict with a high rate of rape and other violence against women. Much about the seminude episode remains unclear, such as whether the parents of the students gave their approval, and whether officials planned to take any action. That indignity goes against the values of our culture. The performance raised questions about the uneasy balance between cultural appreciation and modern views of dignity and female empowerment. The episode also highlighted the unintended consequences of digital technology, which, in this case, spread local images to a far wider, even global, audience.
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Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. Just click on the icons to get to the download page. A row erupted in South Africa on Thursday between government and traditionalists after a video of nude teenage girls singing and dancing during a school choir competition, went viral. In a statement, the education ministry said minister Angie Motshekga "strongly condemns the naked dancing of teenage school girls on stage" in the Eastern Cape province. Partial nudity is not rare among some cultural performances in South African such as the Reed Dance where virgin girls dance bare-breasted in front of traditional kings, in a practice aimed at encouraging girls to delay having sex until they are married. South Africa has one of the highest prevalence rates of women and girls sexual abuse, with an average rapes recorded countrywide every day, according to official statistics. TheJakartaPost Please Update your browser Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. Register here.
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This is even more upsetting considering the increased sexual objectification of women and girls for the entertainment of men, especially that the video is being shared widely on social media where these young girls may be exposed to all manner of humiliation at the hands of tactless social media users. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your culture and heritage, but there was absolutely no need for these children to perform completely naked. The Minister went on to apologize to the sponsors, ABC Motsepe Foundation for the embarrassment and negativity caused to its brand. She has called for an investigation to take place and for the educators responsible to face disciplinary action and has urged the public to refrain from further circulating this video as it will cause further damage to the girls involved. Over the years this competition has unveiled a number of award-winning artists whose talent was discovered in this competition, without having to resort to such extreme measures as we have seen in this Eastern Cape incident. Media are welcome to utilise all stories, pictures and other material on this site as well as from our Facebook and Twitter accounts, at no cost. Skip to main content. Sort by Relevance Date. Order Asc Desc. Naked dancing in school condemned Thursday, May 31,
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