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Offline Danee

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Nudity isn’t pornography -- The African Reed Dance
« on: November 20, 2009, 02:58:28 pm »

From the reed dance to Serena, Africa reveals its beauty...

FOR a woman to shed her clothing and pose in a bikini or G-string is a daring act.

Why is there such a strong disapproval of nudism as shown in, for example, events like the Zulu reed dance?

Perhaps one can refer to inhibiting factors imposed by Western thought as expounded by Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Noble Savage that propounded stereotypical views of a backward and primitive black race still walking around naked and uncivilised.

But does the reed dance fit this biased analysis? Of course not!

Based on cultural and religious orientation many people regard nudity as a repulsive crudity that lacks any aesthetic value.

However, for the enlightened mind, nudism is acceptable and appreciated as an artistic depiction of the human body without pandering to salacious debasement or hardcore pornography.

From the perspective of the conservative Western norm and Middle Eastern and Asian fundamentalism, nakedness – especially of the female form – is severely censured and strongly prohibited.

Modesty and chastity are espoused as virtues to be admired in these societies where women are forced to shroud themselves from head to toe in long heavy garments under atrociously hot conditions for the gratification of the dominant patriarchy.

Many come from near and far to lust over and gape at the bare-breasted Zulu maidens doing the annual reed dance. Full-blooded males ogle with glee and many a man salivates at this spectacle for his jaded eye.

But it should be stated clearly that the reed dance is not a circus nor an auction for the sale of virgins.

The concept behind it is the preservation of the probity of a people by maintaining strong family values that protect the community and society as a whole.

Were it not for the ideals enshrined in the event and its rites and rituals, its practitioners would have long lost their way in the morass of a confusing modern world, a world that is in a perpetual state of change.

So sacrosanct is the practice of the reed dance that the event has gathered a sort of mystique based on misconceptions and downright malevolent calumny based on distortions from those who are strongly opposed to it for whatever reasons. Some are due to ignorance, others from prejudice and the rest from baseless hostility.

But even the most modest male could not fail to be excited by the provocative picture of tennis champion Serena Williams, pictured, in the Sowetan of October 8, 2009.

In her skimpy tennis attire Serena is ravishing and simply stunning and tastefully portrayed as a beautiful specimen of black pulchritude.

She emerges from water as a seductive mermaid enticing a man like me to fantasise in some dream world. She resembles a statue breathtakingly cast in bronze.

Her come-hither smile is as saucy and inviting as to entice even the most sanguine of disposition.

With eyes that seem to light up like candles in a dark room she flashes pearly white teeth that dazzle the eye and fill the lonely heart with waves of unbridled passion.

Not only has she enhanced her standing as a world tennis champion but also she has assumed the mantle of a role model to be emulated by many girls, especially of colour, who aspire to be great in their respective fields of endeavour.

As an achiever and symbol of innate beauty she has embraced many worthy humanitarian causes.

Through her own life she has shown that discipline and dedication to one’s aim in life will always ensure success.

Her support for the struggle for young women to avoid the pitfalls of adolescence and turbulent teenage years has influenced many girls to look up to her as an exemplar to be emulated.

Like Oprah Winfrey, she has inspired the youth here in South Africa to strive for excellence and acquire the highest educational standard possible in order to lead productive and happy lives.

Inadvertently, by baring her body, unlike singer Janet Jackson’s “accident”, Ms Williams has, hopefully, also promoted an awareness of breast and cervical cancers for many women.

These scourges are claiming millions of victims, which could be avoided through early detection and treatment.

By showing off her body Serena has broken the taboo that modesty is worth more than the precious gift of life, which we should all cherish as long as we live a healthy lifestyle.

That is why she has become a beloved sporting heroine and a lady of outstanding character, which she uses for the service of humanity.

- Dr Mtshali is a retired teacher

African Adventures Swaziland reed dance: SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL
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