South Africa’s education minister Angie Motshekga has condemned a school for allowing girls to expose their buttocks and breasts in a choir competition, saying it was undignified and promoted their “sexual objectification”, in a report published by Times Live.
In a statement, she said:
“It is extremely disappointing to see that our educators have exposed young girls to this type of public displays of nudity.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your culture and heritage‚ but there was absolutely no need for these children to perform completely naked. That indignity goes against the values of our cultures.
This is even more upsetting considering the increased sexual objectification of women and girls for the entertainment of men. We further apologise to the families of the young girls for the trauma and harm caused.”
The choir master, however, defended the performance at a competition in Mthatha – the main town in the Xhosa heartland of Eastern Cape province – on Friday.
The nudity occurred during a segment which focused on Xhosa tradition, with the lead singers taking off their traditional blankets (umbhaco) and dancing with only inkciyo (small aprons), the the unnamed choir master was quoted by the Daily Dispatch newspaper as saying.
“We are proud of our Xhosa tradition. We are proud of inkciyo. We are proud of Xhosa women and girls‚” he added.