Celebrating 200 Years of the Zulu Nation

The Zulu amabutho (warriors)

The Zulu amabutho (warriors)

While the rest of the country celebrated Heritage Day on Saturday, those who consider themselves part of the Zulu nation commemorated their second centenary on the day that was previously referred to as Umkhosi WeLembe, or King Shaka Day. With huge numbers of Shembe followers dressed in all white, and others wearing traditional attire and wielding shields made from animal skins, the crowd of close to 40 000 people that gathered at Moses Mabhida Stadium made for a formidable sight.

King Goodwill Zwelithini

King Goodwill Zwelithini

Normally hosted at KwaDukuza on the North Coast, where the grave of King Shaka Zulu can be found, this is the first time that Umkhosi WeLembe celebrations have been held in Durban. The day also marked 45 years since King Goodwill Zwelithini took the throne, the longest serving Zulu monarch, with King Shaka having been in power for 12 years.

Images courtesy of iol.co.za

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