Shembe church to paint Zulu king’s palace white when it takes annual Umgidi to eNyokeni palace

King Misuzulu will host the Shembe church this weekend. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

King Misuzulu will host the Shembe church this weekend. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Nov 22, 2022


Durban - The Nazareth Baptist Church, popularly known as the Shembe church, is once again set to host its annual prayer at eNyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma.

This year’s annual royal sabbath and Umgidi ceremony will be held this coming weekend.

The traditional African church’s leader, Prophet Mduduzi “uNyazilwezulu” Shembe of the Ebuhleni, and King Misuzulu KaZwelithini will also attend the always massive ceremony.

According to King Misuzulu’s communication manager, Prince Thulani Zulu, the arrangement to have the annual ceremony held at the palace came after reconciliation talks between the church and the monarch.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 21, 2022

In 2010 the late Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu, was barred from seeing the then ailing late leader Prophet Vimbeni “UThingolwenkosazana” Shembe.

Afterwards, he passed away and the good fellowship developed by the founder of the church, Prophet Isaiah, and King Solomon was completely ruined by the incident.

This had a negative impact on the church in general and on Shembe in particular as almost all the Prophet Shembe followers are Zulus and they were very hurt by what some of their colleagues did.

Three years later, in 2013, the then-new and current leader of the church, Prophet Mduduzi Shembe – known as “uNyazilwezulu”, and his congregation effected a reconciliation between the royal family and the Nazareth Baptist Church.

After a long reconciliation process, the church leadership gave a full account of the things that had caused some bad feelings towards each other, and peace was re-established by the ceremony known as Ukuthelelana Amanzi custom (forgiveness).

This took place on August 4 2013 at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace where the current Shembe of eBuhleni reconciled with His Majesty, the former king.

“The good work was completed in November 2013 when Prophet Mduduzi Shembe and his entire congregation assembled at eNyokeni Traditional Palace to perform uMgidi Ceremony shortly before the commencement of the uMkhosi woSelwa. Indeed, this was a defining moment for Nazareth Congregation, the king and the entire royal family.

“It was then agreed that from that year forth - the Nazareth Baptist Church, the eBuhleni section, would have an annual sabbath and uMgidi Royal Ceremony at the palace, and it would forerun the national uMkhosi woSelwa (First-Fruit Ceremony) which is conducted in December every year at the palace.

“It is in this historical context that King Misuzulu kaZwelithini and the Zulu royalty announce to the public that the staging of the 9th Sabbath and uMgidi Royal Ceremony which will be held at eNyokeni Palace KwaNongoma on the 26th and 27th of November 2022. The First Prayer “Vuka nathi” will start at 9h00,“ Prince Thulani said.

Lizwi Ncwane, the spokesperson for the church, said they expected their members, known for wearing white robes, to come out in their numbers.

“Over 20 000 members are expected to grace the event, and indeed our leader (Unyazilwezulu) will be present throughout the event,” Ncwane said.

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