WATCH: King Goodwill Zwelithini’s praise singer devastated by Zulu monarch’s death
Share this article:
Nongoma - Mphatheleni Mncwango, 69, who was one of the people who has been at the side of the late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for the past 17 years, says he is devastated by his passing.
The king, who was the longest-serving Zulu monarch having ruled for 50 years, passed away on Friday morning, aged 72.
Mncwango has been the king’s praise singer since 2004.
Speaking to Independent Media outside one of the king's palaces in Ulundi on Friday, Mncwango said the death was a blow not only to the Zulu nation and South Africa, but even beyond the country’s borders.
"We all devastated by the loss. This is sad to all of us," he said tearfully.
Recounting how he became the king's praise singer, Mncwango said in 2004, the king was hosting a Shaka's Day celebration in Stanger and he volunteered his services.
"I praised him and followed him the following day. From there, he asked where he can find me if he wants my services. I gave his induna my number and I was called for my services. Eventually, I had to leave my job in Durban and become a full-time praise singer," Mncwango said.
Mncwango said one of the things he learned from the late king was respect.
"He was very, very respectful. He respected everyone without looking at their societal status. When one is wrong, he would call you aside and advise you to change your ways," he said.
Further, Mncwango hailed the king for reviving all Zulu customs which were becoming extinct.
"All the historic mountains where Zulu battles are now heritage sites is because of the king. He loved all Zulu cultures."