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close this bookHIV/AIDS and Communication for Behavioural and Social Change: Programme Experiences, Examples, and the Way Forward (UNAIDS, 2001, 68 p.)
close this folderTHE UNAIDS COMMUNICATION FRAMEWORK: FOCUS ON THE FOREST, NOT THE TREES
close this folderContextual Domain #3: Culture
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View the documentCase: Tapping the Strength of the Nguni Culture

Case: Tapping the Strength of the Nguni Culture

A cursory analysis of some of the cultural attributes of the Nguni people in Southern Africa reveals various points of entry for implementing HIV/AIDS communication programmes.

For instance, among the Nguni,

* the responsibility for providing sexuality education to the young is usually delegated to an aunt or an uncle, especially during puberty.

* there is a cultural emphasis on sexual abstinence and moderate social behaviour

* there is a strong taboo against bringing one’s family name to disrepute.

* family members of an extended family take turns in looking after the sick, so as to not overly burden one person.

* there are no orphans as the extended family takes care of orphans.

* the practice of ukusoma (a Zulu term for non-penetrative sex) is common both to preserve virginity and to prevent pregnancy. The woman keeps her thighs close together while the man finds sexual release. Among other groups, the space between a bent elbow is often used for a similar purpose. Similar non-penetrative sex practices exist among certain groups in Ethiopia (commonly referred to as ‘brushing”); the Kikuyu in Kenya, and other groups.

Source: Rapporteur’s notes from the present UNAIDS workshop.