KZN, Zulu nation celebrate Umkhosi Welembe

Durban - Up to 40 000 people are expected to attend Umkhosi Welembe which this year marks 200 years of the unification of the Zulu nation.

Saturday's event at Moses Mabhida Stadium will also celebrate 45 years of King Goodwill Zwelithini on the throne.

King Goodwill Zwelithini Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu, said this year’s event was a huge milestone.

“…We only hope that this celebration will seek to strengthen the unity of this nation and all KZN citizens so that we can all work together to move our province forward.”

Mchunu thanked the king for his “wise leadership” and would always continue to seek his guidance “as we continue serving the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal”.

The Arts and Culture Department has made available about 380 buses to transport people from around the province and had been in discussions with the Passenger Rail Agency of SA to make trains available from KwaDukuza, KwaMashu and uMlazi.

The celebration, commemorating the establishment of the Zulu Kingdom, was previously held at King Shaka’s gravesite in KwaDukuza.

The department said strict security measures would be enforced to ensure the safety of everyone. It strongly discouraged the practice of umgangela, or stick fighting, as a sign of respect for the day.

The public is advised to take note of the event as it will enforce traffic restrictions in the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct.

Arts and Culture MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi said: “Our generation is fortunate to witness this historic milestone.

“Celebrating 200 years since King Shaka ascended to his throne is a historic moment that we must all take pride in and celebrate. September 24 belongs to everyone who lives in this country. We invite everyone in our province to come join us as we celebrate the life and times of a great leader.”