The previous statue, pictured above, was removed because of objections to the way in which Shaka is depicted.
Picture: GCINA NDWALANE/ANA
The previous statue, pictured above, was removed because of objections to the way in which Shaka is depicted. Picture: GCINA NDWALANE/ANA

New statue of King Shaka for airport

By KAREN SINGH and KAILENE PILLAY Time of article published Mar 5, 2020

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Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Royal Household Trust welcomed Premier Sihle Zikalala’s decision to erect a new King Shaka statue at the King Shaka International Airport.

Professor Sihawu Ngubane, the chairperson of the trust, was speaking following Zikalala’s State of the Province address in Pietermaritzburg held this week.

Ten years ago a R3million statue, created by renowned sculptor Andries Botha, depicting Shaka surrounded by Nguni cattle without a spear or a shield was removed from the airport following reservations by the king regarding its features and location.

At the time the king complained that the statue of King Shaka resembled a herd boy.

Ngubane said the fact that the statue had not been replaced in 10 years was “disastrous”, and welcomed the decision taken by the province.

“The statue is symbolic since the airport was named after King Shaka, so it will bring back the dignity of the Zulu people to have the proper statue,” he said.

Zikalala said the provincial government was ready for the construction of the King Shaka statue to be processed in the 2020/2021 financial year.

He said this would be done after consultation with the king.

“Heritage is the lifeblood of cultural tourism. We must do more to preserve the rich, diverse heritage of the province for future generations and to boost economic development,” said Zikalala.

Provincial spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the provincial government would be consulting with King Goodwill Zwelithini and only the king would make the pronouncement on when the statue would be erected.

Mabaso said that at this stage he could not divulge any more details, including the identity of the artist designing the statue.

Ngubane said the new statue should be bigger than the previous one in order for people to see the statue as they landed at the airport.

“King Shaka was not short, he was tall, and from what we’ve seen from his photographs, he was a warrior. The statue must depict his image so that it brings back the respect of the Zulu nation,” Ngubane said.

The Mercury

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