Thousands of people from in and around kwaZulu-Natal and other Provinces gathered in Nongoma, North Coast of KZN, to see for themselves the virgins who participates in the annual Royal Reed Dance. This event takes place in one of His Majesty’s Royal residence, eNyokeni Palace. Every September, His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini hosts thousands maidens and guests who attend the event. They come to celebrate with the King one of the important cultural events in the Zulu Nation’s calendar.
The purpose of the dance is to honour the girls who have remained virgins and to encourage other young maidens to stay virgins. Only the girls who have been tested for virginity are allowed to take part in the event.
How The Celebration Begins
The King’s daughters leads the girls to fetch the reeds from the riverbed and carry them to the King palace. The King welcomes the girls as they come to handover the reed before descending to the field where the entire event takes place.
The royal reed dance has proved to be popular as is evident from the rising number of people who attend every year.
International tourists have became popular visitors of the event. Community members, companies and government departments set up stalls to provide the maidens and visitors with food, snacks, water and other things.
The guests sits patiently at the grounds as they watch the girls fill up the half of the ground, singing and dancing. The children from the royal family stands in the front line with the girls from the Swaziland Royal house. The wives and the King then enter the ceremony accompanied by izinduna saying praise to him. All the males stand to welcome the King while the women sit down.
His Majesty makes a speech in which he encourages the girls to keep their virginity and to be proud of who they are. He hope that the celebration will continue every year. He also thank the maidens and their parents for being loyal to the Zulu culture and for following their girls to participate because without them there will be no reed dance. He also mentions that this reed dance event is important because it teaches young girls to protect themselves, especially from HIV and AIDS that is rife in our country. The day ends by the dancing and singing. The guests have a private party with his Majesty while the maidens and public are provided with food and drinks.
Umcimbi wezintombi wokuya emhlangeni ungumcimbi wesintu lapho izintombi zisuke zihlangene esigodini saseNyokeni endlunkulu. Njalo ngonyaka enyangeni yesishiyagalolunye izintombi ziphuma ngobuningi bazo zilibangise kwaNongoma lapho zisuke ziyogubha usiko lwezintombi. Isilo sifike sizamukele izintombi sibonge nokuziphatha kahle kwazo. lolusiko lugqugquzela abantwana bamantombazane ukuthi kumele baziphathe kanjani ukuze bavikeleke ezifweni ezinjenge sandulelangculazi kanye nezinye izifo zocansi ezithathelanayo.
Izintombi zikha umhlanga emfuleni bese ziwuhambisa endlukulu lapho zifike zicule amaculo aze bese ziyasina. Kusuke kukhona nezivakashi ezisuke zizobona umcimbi wezintombi.
By: Zanele Shange