WATCH: White East London teenager undergoes Xhosa initiation

It’s all systems go for the homecoming umgidi ceremony of fluent Xhosa-speaking teenager Chad Baling, 18, after he successfully underwent the ancient Xhosa ulwaluko initiation rite to manhood.

Baling’s big day of festivities will be accompanied by traditional song and dance with an abundance of meat and alcohol.

It is set for December 18.

Baling, who had been staying with a Xhosa family in Sunnyridge since March after finding himself homeless, begged the head of the family Xolile Bungu, 72, to send him to the mountain just like many Xhosa teenagers.

“This boy took out a R100 note and gave it to me and said he would like to get circumcised just like other Xhosa boys. I laughed out loud but then agreed to take him to the clinic for medical screenings, which went well.”

Bungu, eldest brother of world boxing icon Vuyani Bungu, opened his home to Baling after his daughter Sisipho Bungu, 16, who met Chad at school, brought him home earlier this year.

“Sisipho told me about this boy at school who was homeless and who was mixing with wrong people, and she asked me if she could bring him here to stay with us.”

During an interview with the Dispatch outside his hut at an initiation school yesterday, Baling said he had spent most of his life with Xhosa families.

“I am not familiar with white culture. I face lots of abuse from other whites who tell me to stop speaking Xhosa and practising the culture.

“When I was growing up my father used to hit me for speaking the language [Xhosa] in his house.”

Baling’s mother died in 2007, and he was placed at the East London Child and Youth Care Centre when his father was arrested soon after the death of his mother.

“I stayed at the centre until I was kicked out in November 2015.

“I stayed at various addresses with friends until I was homeless.

“Then I met Sisipho at Baysville High. Xhosa culture has always been part of me.”

Baling said he had spent more nights with Xhosa friends in townships than in former white suburbs.

“Before I came here I stayed at Scenery Park in Phase 1 with my friend Chumani James.

“I have always been treated well in townships.”

Sisipho said she felt depressed after she learnt that Baling was living a tough life of substance abuse.

“My friends are friends with Chad’s friends so they told me about his life of drugs and not eating and squatting at the places of wrong people so I spoke to my father.” — malibongwed@dispatch.co.za

9 COMMENTS

  1. This is why racism will never end. As long as a white child is abused for learning a black man’s culture and language, and being ridiculed for it, then racism won’t end. It goes to show that white people really habour great hate towards black people, even their language. So sad.

  2. Comment:Thank you sir ,l hope and pray that the young man will now stay away from all the bad habit and become a good man ,and work hard for a better future.A black man is always known for hospitality.

  3. Indeed Emilda,I’m so touched by this story.May God Bless your family Mr. Bungu&may God gives you strength to deal with whatever challenges you may face.

  4. This story is so touching & should be life & mind changing for many. I hope that he stops the substance abuse & focus on building a solid & prosperous future for himself & his forster family, so to make his forster parents proud & bring those white judgemental poeple to shame. I sounds like the family he is leaving with is humble, hard working & wise, so, I trust he also pick up that culture.
    It is just sad that most white poeple are still afraid of black poeple even now(democracy times), because, I believe racism is rooted from fear & intimidation. Racism really destroy the mind & keep people(even good people) prisoners in their own properties, which is their Mind,Perspective & Spirituality, to name the few. STOP RACISM, IT IS KILLING HUMANITY, OUR SKINS ARE GOD’S SIGNITURE OF OWNERSHIP & OUR SKIN COLOURS ARE GOD’S WAY OF SHOWING OF HIS BEAUTY, THAT IS WHY WE ALL HAVE THE SAME RED BLOOD.THEREFORE, NO ONE IS HIGHER THAN THE OTHER!!

  5. Is there a white family that has seen something good from ahomeless black man?…..I don’t think so… Go on folks teach thes white dummies that blacks are hospitable and can see good in what may be seen as bad.As for u young white man, thes is yo time to change yo life the better never mind about racist loosers they are up to nonthing. Thank u . John

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