Among the Zulu, the belief in ancestral spirits (amadlozi or abaphansi) has always been strong. These are the spirits of the dead. The Zulus recognise the existence of a supreme being. UMvelinqangi (One Who Came First) or uNkulunkulu (Very Big One) is God because he appeared first. This supreme being is far removed from the lives of the people and has never been seen by anyone. No ceremonies are therefore ever performed for uMvelinqangi. Zulu people believe that the spirits of the dead mediate between uMvelinqangi and the people on earth.
In contrast to their known warriorism, the Zulus are very warm and amicable people at a personal level. Ubuntu (literally, “humanness,” “good moral nature,” “good disposition”) shapes the everyday life of the Zulu people. This comes from a notion that a human being is the highest of all species. There are hundreds of proverbs written about ubuntu. These proverbs relate to the treatment of people, good and bad behaviour, pride, ingratitude, bad manners, moral degeneracy, conceit, cruelty, obstinacy, pretense, helping others, and so forth.
“Sawubona” is usually enough of a greeting for strangers, but a formal greeting is more appropriate for those who are familiar. The formal greeting includes a three-times handshake, while asking about the well-being of the person and his or her relations (How are you? Ninjani?) . Taking leave involves the standard “Sala/Nisale kahle” (Remain well), and the other person responds by saying, “Uhambe/Nihambe kahle” (Go well). It is customary for juniors and the young to initiate the greetings when they meet their seniors and their elders.
Family Life (Impilo Yemindeni)
The Zulu term for family (umndeni) includes all the people staying in a homestead who are related to each other, either by blood, marriage, or adoption. Most rural households comprise extended families, brothers with their wives, unmarried sisters, children, parents, and grandparents all staying together in the same homestead. As a sign of respect, parents and elders are not called by their first names instead by their surnames.
The Zulu family is patriarchal; a man is both the head of the family and the figure of authority. It is not unusual for young men to have as many girlfriends as they wish. If they can afford it, they can take more than one wife when they decide to get married. Traditionally, women were not supposed to go out and work, since they were a man’s responsibility. Nowadays the status of Zulu women is slowly improving with more women receiving an education. Marriage is exogamous; marriage to any person belonging to one’s father’s, mother’s, father’s mother’s, and mother’s mother’s clan is prohibited. If it happens, the ukudabula (literally, “cutting of the blood relationship”) ritual is performed.
Zulu Summary: Inhlalo Yomuzi WaKwaZulu
Njengezinye izizwe ezingaphansi kwabaNguni sinemigomo kanye nemibandela esiyilandelayo. Njengokuhlonishwa kwabangasekhoyo phecelezi amadlozi. Inhlalo kanye nendlela ekuphilwa ngayo ingumhlahlandlela wesizwe esisakhula, yingakho uma thina sikaMalandela sicela indlela siyaye sibuze kwabaphambili. Indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili. Umuzi nomuzi kwinhlalo yakwaZulu, unoSokhaya okunguye mshayi mthetho ovikela umndeni wakhe. Ukuze uSokhaya aqiniseke ukuthi umndeni wakhe uphephile kwimimoya emibi uyaye achelele intelezi. Kushiswa izinyamazane, uma imimoya imibi ngendlela exakile kuyaye kuhlatshwe imbuzi ukushweleza kwabaphansi. Umhlahlandlela olotshwe phezulu utshengisa inqubo kanye nosikompilo lakwaZulu emindenini.
Ndlelanhle nina eniphezulu, ayihlabi ngakumisa ngigeqa amagula ngiyemuka yini!