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By Fraser G. McNeill

This e-book bargains an unique anthropological method of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. in keeping with a greater than fifteen years organization with the quarter, it demonstrates why AIDS interventions within the former fatherland of Venda have failed - and doubtless even been counterproductive. It does so via a chain of ethnographic encounters, from kings to condoms, which divulge the ways that biomedical figuring out of the virus were rejected by means of - and included into - neighborhood understandings of future health, disease, intercourse, and demise. in the course of the songs of lady initiation, AIDS schooling, and wandering minstrels, the e-book argues that track is significant to knowing how AIDS interventions function. This e-book elucidates a hidden global of which means during which humans sing approximately what they can not speak about, the place educators are blamed for spreading the virus, and within which condoms are usually concept to reason AIDS. The coverage implications are transparent: African worldviews has to be taken heavily if AIDS interventions in Africa are to develop into winning.

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AIDS, Politics, and Music in South Africa (The International African Library)

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Extra info for AIDS, Politics, and Music in South Africa (The International African Library)

Sample text

AIDS has fitted easily into a wider complex of illnesses which are known, in the words of the old man in the introductory sketch, as malwadze dza vhafumakadzi, ‘the illnesses of women’. Throughout South Africa’s rural peripheries, this way of thinking about the pandemic takes on slightly different forms, but is propagated in largely similar ways: through ritual processes of initiation under the authority of elders and ancestors. Through the promotion of initiation ceremonies by chiefs and 16 ‘HIV incidence’ is the new number of HIV infections in a population over a given period of time.

The burden of providing fuel and water is borne by women and children, who have little option but to make daily trips to collect them. With few exceptions, roads and the mini-bus taxis that traverse them are in various stages of disrepair. Opportunities for employment are scarce, with both personal and household incomes suffering as a result. School leavers generally aspire to work ‘in town’ (doroboni), with destinations such as Polokwane, Pretoria, or Johannesburg in mind, while some even seek work abroad (seli ha lwange [‘across the sea’]).

Volunteers receive a small monthly stipend and only those promoted to the rank of project coordinator collect a more substantial allowance. Nonetheless, in the current context of rising unemployment, where neoliberal restructuring has brought an abrupt decline in migrant remittances and sharp rises in the cost of living, volunteering has become an attractive proposition. In rural post-apartheid South Africa, where much of the population is heavily dependent on government benefits, volunteering is a potential harbinger of sustenance and self-advancement.

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