Zuma invited to Ngoni ceremony in Zambia

By Time of article published Feb 25, 2009

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African National Congress President Jacob Zuma will visit Zambia at the weekend to attend the annual traditional celebration of the first fruit of the Ngoni people, the ruling party said on Wednesday.

Zuma has been invited to the ceremony in Mtenguleni in eastern Zambia by Zambian President Rupiah Banda and Chief Mpenzeni of the Ngoni tribe, ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte said.

The Ncwala ceremony sees the first pickings of the crop harvest presented to the chief as a sacramental meal and thanksgiving to the ancestors.

A Ngoni warrior then spears a bull and gives the blood to the chief to drink.

The African National Congress said the visit pays testimony to the special place Zambia holds in South African history as the country "generously hosted and supported" liberation fighters.

Zuma will be accompanied by Max Sisulu, the ANC's economic transformation committee chairperson, and Lindiwe Zulu, a member of the party's National Executive Committee.

The Ngoni people are related to the Zulu but fled modern-day KwaZulu-Natal to settle in Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania as part of the migration triggered by King Shaka's wars of conquest in the early 19th century. - Sapa

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