It is never too late or too early to get circumcised. More than 2 000 men turned up for the Brothers for Life medical circumcision campaign targeting 150 clinics in Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.
The campaign was led by ambassador Kagiso Modupe, 33, who took up the challenge under #ZwakalaSkeem.
Speaking to The New Age, the Scandal actor said television and radio adverts were not enough to convince men to get circumcised as they sell the procedure as “a status symbol”. “There is more to circumcision that the Zing ads. Frankly, I don’t like them,” he said.
Why is circumcision shrouded in mystery?
Modupe said the absence of reliable information and people who have undergone the procedure not speaking openly about it, is the root cause.
“There are a lot of misconceptions and unreliable information bandied about which makes people fearful,” he said.
As a staunch advocate of medical circumcision,Modupe encourages men to get circumcised for a variety of health reasons which, he says, are contrary to those given in the 30-second adverts.
“I was motivated to have this done when I read how it can protect my wife from getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer. But I’ve learnt that in a recent survey of 100000 men, 47% do it for hygiene reasons and 38% for HIV prevention.
“Circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV by 60% as well as other sexually transmitted infections. Some men do it because it keeps the penis clean and others because their partners prefer it. Whatever the reason, it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Modupe, who underwent his circumcision at the Katlehong North Clinic, said it was important to treat it as a movement and dispel myths that it can only be done in summer.
“Having done it, I feel I can use my experience to guide and encourage other men to come forward and do it. There’s no truth that you need to take time off work after the procedure or the only time to do it is in winter or only in summer. You can do it at any time of the year.
“Look at me, I am back at work and doing normal stuff. The pain associated with circumcision is minimal as the only discomfort I felt was when I was anaesthetised.
I had to be numbed twice so I do not feel the pain but after that I didn’t feel any discomfort,” he said. When asked why it has taken him 33 years to get circumcised, he said there were many factors that prevented him
from doing it much earlier.
“A doctor told me my foreskin was too small which turned out to be nonsense.
Then there were the usual issues. I was nervous about the pain, the healing period and abstaining from sex. I’ve since discussed circumcision with men who have had the procedure,” he said. The actor advised men to undergo circumcision.
He said that eating healthily, strapping up and avoiding sex for up to six weeks were the most important aspects of ensuring a speedy recovery.
“It is more discomfort than pain. On the first day, your pee is all over the place but you get used to it and you go back to normal. Obviously you can’t have sex or masturbate for six weeks afterwards,” he said.
The actor says the campaign managed to get more than 2000 men from around the country to have the procedure done at the weekend.
“We had aimed for 2 000 men but more than that number turned up at the weekend. We need more such campaigns to get our brothers to come out and get circumcised,” he said.