Leading the regiments, Misuzulu Zulu arrives at the Khangela Royal Palace, for the memorial service after the burial of the queen regent of the Zulu nation. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng African News Agency (ANA)
Leading the regiments, Misuzulu Zulu arrives at the Khangela Royal Palace, for the memorial service after the burial of the queen regent of the Zulu nation. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng African News Agency (ANA)

As speculation swirls on social media, expert says it’s not a rule for a Zulu king to get married

By Sne Masuku Time of article published May 11, 2021

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DURBAN - SPECULATION about what kind of woman will be fit to become the next queen is all over social media.

King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, who was named as the preferred successor to rule over the 15 million-strong Zulu nation, did not have to marry before he was officially inaugurated.

This was according to a cultural expert, amid speculation on social media about when the king would marry and what kind of woman would be fit to be his queen. Some have predicted that the next queen would be of royal blood, or a virgin who attends the Reed Dance (Umkhosi Womhlanga). Others have said that it would have to be a respectful lady, while others jokingly said it would have to be someone young, and that older women – who are of King MisuZulu's age – should forget it.

There have also been unconfirmed reports that a delegation has already been sent to the family of a Newcastle woman to pay lobola in preparation for the king to get married.

Cultural expert and deputy dean of teaching and learning at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zululand (UniZulu), Dr Maxwell Shamase, said for a king to get married before assuming the role of a king in the Zulu nation was never a requirement, as previous Zulu kings – such as King Shaka, King Dinuzulu and King Sgujana (who was king for only one day) – were not married when they took the throne.

On whether the next queen would have to be a virgin, Shamase said, presumably yes.

“But in the case of King Misuzulu, who already has a son, and if he chooses to marry the mother of his son, who we know was a virgin, then that would be acceptable. However, if he was no longer in a relationship with the mother of his son, and the woman had moved on to be with another man, then she would not be suitable to be the next queen," he said.

He said the kingdom would not be obliged to disclose whether the queen was a virgin. He said the decision on whether King Misuzulu would have more than one wife was entirely up to him – as well as the decision of who became the great wife.

“Unless one of the wives is of royal blood, that wife becomes the great wife … The great wife, in this case, is identified through her wisdom and her level of respect,” he said.

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