South Africa has one of the highest HIV prevalence in the world, while the KwaZulu-Natal Province has the highest prevalence of all provinces in the country. This context along with the cultural prestige of being a virgo intacta sets up a perfect stage for celebrating and encouraging maidenhood.
As Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and the rest of the world continue to celebrate the Month of Love, the University’s virgo intacta (woman or girl who has never had sexual intercourse) collaborated with their Durban University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal counterparts to remain steadfast in their decision to preserve their virginity. They cautioned fellow maidens against relationships that could compromise their status as maidens.
Thalente Dludla, a 19-year-old MUT student from Emakhasaneni in Melmoth, said the group was communicating this message considering February being a month of love.
“This is a month of loving everyone without being in a relationship,” said Dludla.
Dludla said she loved being a virgin, and encouraged other women to look after themselves, respect themselves, and remember that everywhere they go, they represent their families, and other groups of women they belong to.
Sithabile Ntuli, a 22-year-old University of KwaZulu-Natal student from Ejokweni in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and 21-year-old Nosipho Maphumulo, a Durban University of Technology student from Ndwedwe, north-west of Durban, agreed with Dludla. All three agree that there was a lot to learn from the traditional life they are leading. They said virgins should remain humble and not look down upon those that are not virgins and are not at a university. The three acknowledged that the important thing was to focus on their studies and prepare to get jobs which will allow them to be independent.
They also emphasised that remaining a virgin protected them from sexually transmitted diseases and infections, while not being in a relationship protects the potential of Gender-Based Violence.