Once torn between traditions and longing, Vogani Nkuna overcame his guilt and found freedom, peace and happiness in naturism
My wife and I had recently returned home from a Sunday afternoon at Bird of Paradise, a serene nudist resort in Vanderbijlpark, when the topic for a personal essay hit me like a thunderbolt.
We were used to being able to visit the parks and the pools and hated being locked up in concrete cages. So, when level 1 of the lockdown was enforced, I knew exactly what had to be done. We waved good riddance to winter and packed our towels in the car. Bird of Paradise is closer to Johannesburg than SunEden, another nudist resort about 100km from Johannesburg, and we’d never been there before. The destination was an easy pick.
After taking a left off the provincial road, we found the entrance to the secluded smallholding. Its driveway could belong to a rustic wedding venue and the leafy parking, adjacent to it, could accommodate the entourage of an intimate ceremony. We disrobed in the parking lot where the host welcomed us before leading the way under the green canopy of a narrow path that widens onto a luxuriant garden.
We greeted the other naked guests and made ourselves at home on the loungers. The sparkling pool reflected the bright sky above and next to the pool was a fish pond with a floating carpet of lily pads. But the front garden, with its “wedding gazebo” and communal braai, was only the appetiser. The back yard has the rooms, caravan park, campsite and Jacuzzi that serve the full course.
Bird of Paradise brought back an idea I’d had but had chucked, scared of society’s tongue-lashing. I’d had a dream about opening a nudist hangout somewhere in the suburbs. But before its conception and as a result of my naturism, I was hounded doggedly by guilt.
I’m a nudist, a naturist, and a Christian. I’m a black African, Tsonga to be exact, and I have a story you might like. It’s about forgiving yourself in order to be free. It’s about finding peace and happiness in a place you’d least expect. It’s about naturism and me. On the one hand, it’s written for those torn between traditions and longing. On the other, it’s for those who, in the privacy of their homes, saunter bare, or close to it, but don’t know the term for what they’re doing. To the curious and the self-conscious, I’m coming out of the closet, opening up about a lifestyle I’ve kept secret until now.
Source: Sunday Times
Original publication 23 May, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 2 weeks ago
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