The purpose of this thesis is to attempt to understand the concept of manhood in the context of Xhosa-speaking people; and to investigate why it is significant for them to use traditional circumcision in the male initiation ritual. In the context of the research problem, the aim is to understand: i) why traditional circumcision is important in executing this ritual, ii) people’s beliefs about the concept of manhood, iii) how the initiation ritual is practised in the present day, iv) the controversy and debate around the initiation ritual in the Eastern Cape, and v) the role of the government’s policies in regulating this rite. The field research was conducted in Mchubakazi Township in Butterworth, Eastern Cape. As regards the research findings, the following data came out: Manhood refers to belonging to a group of men who live in a certain village. These men are characterised by having undergone the initiation ritual, especially using traditional circumcision. A man who has undergone hospital circumcision is more likely to experience humiliation and disrespect from the orthodox Xhosa-speakers. Their argument insupport of this statement is that he is only half a man.