from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – PREPARATIONS are underway for the Zulu Reed Dance, an annual event which aims to celebrate and unify the Zulu nation as well as honouring its virgin maidens.
The Siyaya eMhlangeni (we are going to the Reed Dance) and Moral Regeneration activities are ongoing to prepare maidens and their guides for the Reed Dance ceremonies scheduled for eMachobeni Royal Palace in Umkhanyakude District on September 2 and 3 as well Enyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma on September 9 and 10.
Maidens are expected to come from provinces such as Gauteng and Mpumalanga, plus neighbouring countries including Eswatini.
The occasion is expected to draw thousands of maidens, local and international visitors and serves as a massive boost to tourism.
After hosting a successful Siyaya eMhlangeni programme in uMgungundlovu District, UMzinyathi District and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipalities recently, organizers are moving to KwaMbotho Traditional Authority in uMuziwabantu Local Municipality under Ugu District next weekend to mobilise young girls and community to support the initiative.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Zulu Royal House, in collaboration with local municipalities, other government departments and traditional leadership are organizing the events.
This includes Operation Siyaya eMhlangeni, where maidens are taught values of ubuntu (humanity) and self-respect.
The teachings include protocols of how to behave in the palace and standards of moral expected of them.
The highlight of the Reed Dance is when virgin girls present the reed to the King. Reeds are then used to fence the palace, which is also a symbol of the nation taking the matter of security of their king’s palace to themselves.
Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, KZN Sport, Arts and Culture Member of the Executive Council (MEC), views this programme as the vehicle that can help the nation in moral regeneration and advancing agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU) of creating a continent that is peaceful, prosperous and is free of social ills.
“The preparations for uMkhosi woMhlanga 2023 could not have come at a better time than Women’s Month in South Africa and this tradition is about guiding young women to make informed decisions about their lives,” Mhlaba said.
– CAJ News