Umhlonyane

Umhlonyane is a traditional ceremony done by the Zulu people for girls when the girl reaches the womanhood stage, (depending on what age they reach it). The head (normally a father) of the family slaughters a goat for this ceremony.  A week before the ceremony, the girl is kept in a separate room away from other people, where she will stay inside and comes out on the day of the ceremony. By the time she is in that room the elder women visit the girl to give advice and guidance on how to behave as a teenager (itshitshi – Zulu maiden).

Before the day of a ceremony, the girl’s friends (same age) come to stay with her until the next day. All the girls apply ‘white soil’ all over their bodies. In the morning they go to the river to wash their bodies. On their way back to the homestead they sing traditional songs that are relevant with the ceremony.

They sing songs like:
Khula, khula ngane yakwethu (grow up, grow up my sister)
Hhayi usukhulile (Yes, you are grown now)
Wokhula kuze kusho abantu (Grow up until people say you are grown)
Bathi khula (They say grow up)
Hhayi usukhulile (Yes, you are grown now)

They dress in traditional Zulu clothes for girls (izigege) and beads. They sing and dance in the homestead as a sign to show that the girl is still under parent’s supervision and guidance, until they give the girl permission to go outside and look for someone to marry. Neighbours and family members give the girl presents e.g. money, blankets and cloths. Then after that people can feast on meat and drink Zulu traditional beer.

By: Bongiwe Ndlovu

IsiZulu summary
Umhlonyane umcimbi wesintu owenziwa ngamaZulu, owenzelwa intombazane uma ingena ubuntombini (ukuthomba). Umuntu oyinhloko yomuzi ohlabela intombazane imbuzi. Iyalwe abantu abadala ngendlela yokuziphatha ngokwesigaba esingene kuso. Isikhathi esingangesonto ngaphambi komcimbi, intombazane iyahlukaniswa nabantu ihlale yodwa elawini. Kuthi ngosuku olwandulela umcimbi kufike abangane bayo abalingana nayo ukuzoyihlalisa kuze kufike isikhathi somcimbi. Zonke izintombi zigcotshwa ngesihlabathi esimhlophe emzimbeni kuthi ngakusasa ekuseni zihambe zonke ziye emfuleni ziyogeza. Endleleni uma sezibuya zihambe zihaya amahubo ahambisana nomcimbi zize zifike ekhaya lapho kunesigcawu khona. Amantombazane ahloba ngezingubo zawo zendabuko nobuhlalu, ziyasina zijabulise izihlwele. Uma sekuphelile bonke abantu bayadla kuphuzwe notshwala lwesintu. 

19 thoughts on “Umhlonyane”

  1. Ngicela ukubuza Uma kthiwa kmele wembulwe kuchazwa ukthin “uzalwe umbethe kmele wembulwe” kuyini Kona ukwembulwa

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  2. Ngicela ukubuza ubaba wam ufisa ukungenzela umhlonyane manje inkinga igceke lakithi lincane singakwazi yin ukusina ngaphandle kwesango

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    • Umhlonyane wenzelwa umuntu oseyintombi nto , ongaseyona intombi nto uyenzelwa uma kugcinwa usiko.

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  3. Thina esihlala elokishini, senzanjani ngoba isthebe asinaso, Kanye nomfula asinawo. Ngungathanda kakhulu to do umhlonyane for my two teenage girls. Mangabe uyayazi iAssociation/lapho kuhlolwa khons izintombi around Vosloorus, ngicela ungisize bandla ngama contact details. Makwande!!

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  4. Thanks for your blog. One Q – can you do umhlonyane for a last born without doing umhlonyane for girls before the last born – Thank You!!!

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    • Ngokwesintu kujwayele ukuthi kuqallwe komdala, ngenye indlela uyakhona ukwenzela oyedwa uma ungakaze wamthembisa owokuqala.

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  5. Hi ngicela ukubuza I am 26 and my sister is 23 but our father is saying he wants to do umhlonyane for us kodwa u mah wethu uthi he supposed to do umemulo because of our age .. ngicela usizo .

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    • Engakwazi ukunenzela kokubili uma ekholelwa ekutheni kufanele kuqalwe ngomhlonyane noma ukugcina usiko.

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