Exposing underwear not traditional dressing

Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu, who was at the centre of the cultural storm at Boulders Mall in Midrand. The writer says he somewhat agrees with the facility manager that there was some element of indecency in the way the man was dressed.
Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu, who was at the centre of the cultural storm at Boulders Mall in Midrand. The writer says he somewhat agrees with the facility manager that there was some element of indecency in the way the man was dressed.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

When I first saw the video on social media of this facility manager denying entry to this man wearing traditional attire, regarding it as indecent, I also got disturbed about this black manager's attitude towards a fellow black person.

But on viewing the other video showing the front view of this same man wearing so-called traditional attire, I somewhat agree with the facility manager that there was some element of indecency in the way the man was dressed.

His underwear was so overtly exposed that anyone passing this man, including children, would see this underwear with minimal effort. The blanket he was wearing was not covering this underwear.

Consultation with some Ndebele traditional experts mostly reveal that it was unusual for a male to dress the way he was dressed. The wearing of blankets by a male person is restricted to particular events and surely not for public gatherings such as doing shopping.

Decent traditional wear does not expose underwear the way this "traditional" person did. Maybe the facility manager would have deemed his dressing decent had he also covered his underwear with that colourful blanket he was wearing.

Xilumani Nghotsa, e-mail

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