ZULUS TO DESCEND TO KWADUKUZA FOR KING SHAKA COMMEMORATION
By: Nkosinathi Dube
Thousands of Zulus from around KwaZulu-Natal are expected to join King Goodwill Zwelithini in commemorating King Shaka’s Day in KwaDukuza later this month.
This year’s festivities will mark 44 years since King Zwelithini took the reins, and will also look to address his subjects about being proud of their heritage, as the king has done in the past by making reference to King Shaka who was instrumental in uniting the Zulu nation.
The event is held annually at the North Coast town on the 24th of September which also marks Heritage Day in South Africa where the entire month is dedicated to all things heritage. KwaDukuza is also King Shaka’s burial site.
Mthethwakhe Mpunzana, a Glebelands hostel induna from KwaMaphumulo, said that they were looking forward to this year’s event and meeting other Zulu regiment (amabutho) from various hostels.
“As we speak at our hostel men are busy preparing their traditional Zulu regalia and practising battle songs for the event,” said Mpunzana.
In the past the event was held at the actual gravesite of the late Zulu king and has since been moved to the nearby Stanger recreation grounds to accommodate more people.
However Sphelele Ngobese, events coordinator at the KwaDukuza Municipality said at this point there hasn’t been any promotion around the Heritage and Shaka’s Day festivities.
“I cannot confirm since the directive naturally comes from the Kwazulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture,” added Ngobese.
People come as far as Nongoma, Jozini and Msinga as well as various hostels in and around Durban and it is one of the biggest events on the royal calendar next to the royal reed dance.
According to Ngobese, traditionally the key note addresses on the day come from the reigning king of the Zulus, Goodwill Zwelithini, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu.