Umkhosi WokweShwama

While uMkhosi woMhlanga is a celebration of young women, uMkhosi WokweShwama is a custom that recognises and reveres the strength of young men. The ceremony, which is customarily performed in December or early January was traditionally a celebration of the first fruits of the season, when the king blessed the crops after having tasted the new … Read more

The Reed Dance Continued

The annual Reed Dance took place earlier this month and there’s been a fair bit said about it. But what about the history or origin of the practice? Some websites report on the ceremony as a new tradition introduced by King Goodwill Zwelithini as a means of helping in the fight against HIV and AIDS, … Read more

Umkhosi Womhlanga, a Poem by Tunde Dada

Earlier this week we wrote about the reed dance ceremony that took place over the weekend at the Enyokeni Royal Palace. The reed dance, or uMkhosi woMhlanga, is practiced by both the Zulus and the Swazis as an annual celebration of their young maidens. Below is a poem about the ceremony that was penned by Nigerian author, … Read more

What’s in a Name?

As is the case with many cultures, Zulu names have meanings attached to them that reflect how the parents feel about their new-born child (e.g. Thandiwe, ‘Beloved’). Names can also relate to what the weather was like when the baby was born (e.g. Nomvula, ‘Mother of rain’), or reflect the religious beliefs of the parents (e.g. BongiNkosi, ‘Be grateful to God’). Their … Read more