Banele | Attachment (secure/insecure), Celebration, Connect/disconnect, Culture, Curiosity, Drive, Empathy/ Lack thereof, Fathers, Holding/impinging (environment), Internalising, Siblings
It is Banele’s first birthday. The family, including visiting family, are sitting in the living room. Dad puts on his jacket while mom tells the visitors that beer has been brewed so that Banele’s birthday ceremony, introducing him to his ancestors and cutting his hair for the first time, can take place. A corner of the room has been prepared with objects for the ceremony – umkombothi, impepho and snuff. Dad takes Banele to the corner and lights the impepho and begins calling on the ancestors to know and look after Banele, their grandchild. He asks them to “please protect him in all his challenges throughout his journey of growing up”. Dad asks for the same protection of Banele’s siblings, naming them all. When dad tells the ancestors that the family is about to cut Banele’s hair Banele reaches up and touches his hair. At the end of the ceremony dad encourages Banele to re-join the family but, standing and moving on his own now, Banele returns to look at the flame for a few moments before turning back to everyone else and, after some coaxing, joins the party.
NOTES: Impepho is an indigenous African plant that, once dried, is burnt in order to communicate with one's ancestors. Umkombothi is a traditionally home-brewed beer, often used in celebratory events. Snuff is a dried tobacco product also often used in communications between the living and the ancestors.
People you will meet:
Sihle Older Half-Sister
Siyabonga Youngest Half-Brother
Skhumbuzo Oldest Half-Brother
Thando Oldest Sister
Zanele Youngest Sister