Make the smart cut

Circumcision can reduce your chances of contracting HIV by 60%... Namibia's strongest ambassador for the drive, The Dogg, sits down with tjil.

30 November 2018 | Art and Entertainment

Since we commemorate World Aids Day on 1 December, tjil caught up with Smart Cut ambassador The Dogg to touch on the issue of circumcision and how it plays a role in curbing the spread of HIV/Aids.

tjil (t): Why did you choose to be part of the Smart Cut campaign?

The Dogg (D): It is a life-changing campaign and I need fans to buy my music and clothing. The other reason I chose to be part of this campaign is because both my parents died when I was young from HIV/Aids, thus being part of it, enabled me to educate people on the issue of HIV/Aids.

t: Where do you see the campaign in the next two to five years?

D: The campaign does not stop; it will be going on forever as long as the issues of HIV/Aids are there. It is not a promotion and it is an ongoing thing that affects a lot of people in a community. In the next years I would like to see a lot of males being circumcised, lets circumcise the whole male nation and hopefully, create an HIV-free generation.

t: What accomplishments have you achieved this year and what challenges did you face with the campaign?

D: There weren't really a lot of challenges and I think a lot of people already know what the Smart Cut campaign is all about. I did not experience people going on social media and going against the campaign. The success is that hospitals were full to capacity where guys went for the smart cut and I am just hoping that they keep going. As long as you are sexually active it is vital you go for it as we don't know what might happen during sexual activities, for example, the condom could burst. So this is just another strategy to fight HIV/Aids.

t: What is the relationship between the 'Smart Cut' and your music? How are you bringing that message through your music?

D: I already had a song realised regarding HIV/Aids about three/four years ago. I believe people like listening to songs of entertainment and songs about HIV/Aids are not really listened to. They like listen to something that is fun and HIV/Aids is not fun, it is a serious issue, so for somebody just to go do a song on it, I don't think they will really pay attention to it. Only with my influence, I can help those that don't believe that HIV/Aids is real and me talking to them, can change their behaviour towards the issue.

t: What are the benefits of male circumcision and in terms of hygiene what are the benefits or some of the things that could be done?

D: If you are circumcised the chances of you being infected with HIV/Aids is reduced by 60% and the chances of penile cancer is reduced, and chances of contracting STDs are also decreased. For hygiene purposes it is to just be clean as the foreskin can be very dirty. Cutting the foreskin off makes you cleaner and you wash easily and faster. For the ladies if your man is circumcised the chances of you getting STDs, STIs and cervical cancer are very low.

T: At what age is it suitable undergo circumcision?

D: The campaign that I am busy is from ten and upwards, even if you are 100 years old. But for those people that want to do it for their kids at an early stage they can always visit the private or public hospitals with the VMC logo which is free, or you could also go to any doctor of your choice to do that for you.

T: Tell us about the process and how long it takes to heal?

D: It took me six weeks to heal. The process starts from going to the clinic and they would ask you private questions that you need to answer in order for them to help you better. I don't really want to say everything as I think people should go there themselves. After circumcision you don't need to play around with your penis or have sex during the healing process.

T: What advice would you give to boys and men out there about male circumcision to protect themselves from the risk of getting infected with HIV/Aids?

D: I will advise everyone out there, men and women, to spread the message because it is not only beneficial to the guys but to the ladies as well. The government is doing everything it can and the ministry of health will not encourage you to do something if it is bad for you. There were people out there that spread stuff like your penis getting smaller after the process but it does not change, it is only the foreskin that is removed which is very thin. So let us go out there and get the smart cut.

T: Why the name 'Smart Cut' for the campaign?

D: I did not come up with this name and Smart Cut was initiated of the ministry of health. I just came on board to promote it and spread the message more to the youth.

T: What are the plans for the campaign?

D: The plans for the campaign is go to places that we have never visited, so far I have only been to four regions. I am hoping next to spread out to other regions in the country; I also plan to visit more schools and communities. I would love be out there the whole year speaking to the youth and older generation.

T: What are some of the struggles you think men or boys living with HIV/Aids face?

D: They suffer from acceptance as they refuse to accept it in order to get the necessary help and it is not only men but women as well. Without acceptance some of them tend to not take their medication regularly. I would urge them to accept the outcome and take their medication to live a normal life.

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