Zimbabwe: A Personal Circumcision Story

Male Circumcision (MC) is one way to prevent the spread of of HIV and AIDS.  The WHO says that circumcision can reduce the risk of “heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.” Campaigns for male circumcision are being launched by governments across Africa to reduce the chances of new HIV infections.

The stories about MC are often told by outsiders. Peter Matabandzo shared his circumcision story this week in The Herald of Zimbabwe. It is well worth a read. He describes how he made the decision, what it was like being circumcised, the recovery process and how colleagues reacted when he announced that he was recently circumcised.

An excerpt:

When I arrived at Parliament Building, I first underwent voluntary testing and counseling in Africa Unity Square where New Start counsellors were offering free VCT to the public. The counsellor who attended to me was thorough and she asked me about my personal sexual history.

After counselling I got a referral letter from the New Start Centre and soon after, I was back at Parliament waiting for my turn.

One Parliament worker sat quietly on a chair also waiting for his turn. There were three doctors undertaking the surgical procedure. I remember Dr Dhobi.

Inside the theatre were two beds, with two really bright lights beside each, a clinical officer and a nurse – both fully covered in white medical scrubs and masks.

I was told to drop my pants and lie on the bed exposing my manhood. They covered me with a light green material with a hole in the middle that only exposed my genitals.

Although they looked jovial the clinical officer signalled Dr Dendere that all was set. My heart started pounding heavily and he cracked a joke to calm me down.

I was both excited and scared but I was ready. This was my moment and I couldn’t let anxiety or anything else take it away from me.

“Do you have kids?” I said no and he went on to jokingly say: “Do you know you are not going to have any kids,” with a passionate smile before asking me if I felt any pain.

“Click, click,” sounded the surgical equipment. But, first came the local anaesthetic injection. Honestly, this wasn’t fun! Actually, it was the most painful part of the entire procedure. Ironically, the needle into the base of my organ was meant to ensure I didn’t feel any pain at all.

It didn’t last long, but it felt like ages as Dr Dendere and his assistant administered the anaesthetic.

Dr Dendere was already cutting my foreskin but that pain I felt earlier had disappeared. I could not feel anything as I looked at him and his clinical officer as they conducted the procedure with their sharp instruments.

I remained calm and didn’t move as the knife moved back and forth loosening the foreskin from my manhood. I “felt” no pain in my mind and my body didn’t seem to feel anything at all.

Soon after removing the skin he told me that he was doing another procedure to stop the bleeding and stitched round where he had cut off the skin. After about 15 minutes, it was over! The clinical officer told me that I could get up and dress.

I was given painkillers and asked to go for counselling yet again for nursing the wound.

A jovial clinical officer took me in a private room and congratulated me for undertaking the procedure before warning me saying: “I know it’s now Eversharp, but this is not a key for you to go writing all over!”

Read Peter’s full account here.