Only 30 maidens expected at this year’s Reed Dance
Durban - ZULU maidens will not descend on KwaNongoma, eNyokeni Royal Palace, in their thousands for the annual umkhosi womhlanga (reed dance) this weekend because of the national lockdown regulations and efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, only 30 maidens will attend the ceremony.
King Goodwill Zwelithini had asked the provincial Department of Arts and Culture to identify 30 maidens who had undergone the process of getting married and would be attending the ceremony for the last time.
The king also asked the department to work with oNomehlo (maiden guardians) in the process of identifying the 30 maidens who would represent the thousands not attending this year.
The reed dance will focus on gender-based violence and femicide. Instead of presenting Zwelithini with reeds, the maidens, who will be led as usual by Princess Cebolenkosi Zulu, will present the king with placards and messages decrying GBV.
A joint statement issued by the Zulu Royal House and the Department of Arts and culture stated that all maidens would be expected to observe the day in their homes because of the lockdown.
Zwelithini’s keynote address will be live on various media platforms, including social media on Saturday.
The reed dance also coincides with the start of Heritage Month and will highlight the fight against GBV, promote moral regeneration and offer an encouraging voice to maidens.
The reed dance can be watched @artskzn from 11am.