Saturday, 11 March 2017: Around 2000 men in Gauteng, KZN, Mpumpalanga and the North West were medically circumcised today. Among them was Kagiso Modupe (33), well-known South African soapie star and Brothers for Life ambassador, who launched a nation-wide campaign recently to mobilise men to circumcise regardless of their age or health status.
Modupe was circumcised at the Katlehong North Municipal Clinic, which is just one of 150 clinics in four provinces participating in #ZwakalaSkeem Day (meaning "come with me brother").
Circumcision is proven to reduce the risk of getting infected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and to reduce risk for cervical, anal and prostate cancer. It has benefits for both men and women.
Speaking after the procedure, Modupe said, "I must admit I have been feeling apprehensive about pain but once I had the local anaesthetic, I quickly realised I didn't need to worry. The clinic staff were amazing and have given me pain killers to take home should I need them. Some guys said I was too old to be circumcised, but this is simply untrue. Men can be circumcised at any age. I am so grateful to every single one of the men who are doing the right thing today for themselves and for their partners. I felt so much support, doing it together like this."
Dr Khumbulani Moyo, Medical Male Circumcision Manager at the USAID-funded Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision consortium consisting of partners Right to Care, CHAPS and MatCH says: "Kagiso has helped open a conversation that many men and their partners find difficult to talk about. He has taken the taboo out of the conversation. He also provided men and their partners with accurate information so they could make an informed decision about medical circumcision."
Dr Moyo says the exact number of men that were circumcised today will be established once statistics from all the clinics have come in, emphasising that the booking system for circumcisions nationwide remains open. To book, send a 'please call me' to 082 808 6152.
"Some men raise the issue of traditional over medical circumcision. It is a personal choice," explains Dr Moyo. "Circumcisions can take place in a traditional context where it marks the transition from boy to man, or in a medical context. Medical circumcision does not disregard culture or tradition but offer an alternative healthcare benefit to men who do not want to get traditionally circumcised. We are constantly looking for ways to incorporate medical circumcision into traditional circumcision with a strong emphasis on safety to our clients. Medical circumcision is a standard procedure that removes up to 60% of the foreskin - and this is what reduces the risk of HIV and STI transmission. The point is it is a simple procedure that is very important from a healthcare perspective."
Kagiso concludes: "I was circumcised today, but this is just the beginning and I call on all men to circumcise because it is the right thing to do for them and their partners' health."
There was a family fun day at the clinic with musical performances from local groups, competitions, DJS and an interactive question and answer session about circumcision.
#ZwakalaSkeem and #SkeemsaKagiso