Maidens concerned about their exclusion from the Royal Family ahead of the late Zulu King’s burial. Picture: Thabo Makwakwa
Maidens concerned about their exclusion from the Royal Family ahead of the late Zulu King’s burial. Picture: Thabo Makwakwa

Zulu Reed Dance future is uncertain

By Thabo Makwakwa Time of article published Mar 17, 2021

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Durban - AS Zulu Monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini was about to be buried on Wednesday night according to traditional customs, izintombi zomhlanga (maidens) raised concerns about the future of Umkhosi Womhlanga (Reed Dance festival).

The maidens, who were gathered at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace to honour and mourn the late Zulu King, were worried about how there were mixed messages about how the King would be buried.

Leader of the maidens, Bongiwe Ngubane, said they were disappointed as they were not involved nor consulted as ’The flowers of the King’.

"The Royal house knows who we are and what this means to all of the maidens in the country. It is sad that today we are excluded from all activities. It is unfair to us as the flowers of the King and the Zulu Nation. It seems the government was quick to forget such an important role of the maidens," said Ngubane.

Ngubane said many Zulu maidens around the province wished there were venues prepared for them around the province so they could gather and pay respects to the King.

“How will the next annual reed dance be like without our King? This may very well be the end of this important yearly event. There has always been people who wanted it to end. We hope the next King ensures that this important traditional event lives on,” Ngubane said.

She said maidens from a nearby village in Nongoma spent a great amount of time with the King.

"We used to come here to see our father every Saturday and spend time with our King. Now that he is gone, things will change. We are heartbroken,“ she said.

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