CHIREDZI - Is the komba ritual a threat or an advantage to the girl child? That is a million dollar question one is left with after attending a graduation ceremony for more than twenty girls who spent two and half months in the jungle as part of their initiation into womanhood.
Komba is an initiation practice for Shaghani girls and is performed on those girls who would have reached their menarche.
It is regarded as a necessary preparation of girls for marriage.
TellZim News had an opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony held in Village 6, Headman Tiyani under Chief Tshovani in Malilangwe where more than twenty girls were celebrating their initiation into womanhood.
They had spent two and half months in the jungle as part of the ritual.
Speaking on the side lines of the graduation, headman Thomas Tiyani told this publication that the ritual was meant to enable girls to become responsible women.
"Komba is part of our Shanghani culture by which girls from the age of 16 are trained to become responsible women and the training takes at least two and half months during the winter season," said Tiyani
Some women who spoke to Tellzim News said the training is meant to be a secret and nobody is allowed to divulge anything to anybody on what happens during the course of the training.
"It is our culture and it's a taboo to tell anybody about it but basically, what happens is that all the women and girls in question will be naked and trainers known as 'Swikosani' will be taking turns to teach the girls how to move their bodies during sexual intercourse," she said
The woman added that in some instances, the trainer goes on top of the girl teaching her to make the moves in different sexual positions and the girls being taught are not supposed to be stiff but flexible.
Meanwhile some studies have shown that almost all girls who undergo the initiation get sexually active soon after the training, leading to early marriages being rampant in Shaghani communities
The Shangani are also known for being one of two ethnic groups in Zimbabwe with a tradition of male circumcision; a process that is believed to reduce a male's chances of contracting HIV by up to 60 percent during sex.news