Zulu Kings First Fruits Ceremony (Umkhosi Wokweshwama)

The ceremony

Young men (amabutho) kill a bull with their hands during the ceremony. The celebration of the first fruit takes place early in December. It is the first fruits celebration where people bring their first harvest for the year to the king. The celebration takes place at Enyokeni Royal Palace, Nongoma.

The Zulu Eco Adventures does a tour to this ceremony each year from eShowe. The annual first fruits ceremony is organised by the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education and Culture. This is a very important occasion in the Zulu nation because traditionally, the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini has to eat the first produce and pray to God (uMvelinqangi) to bless the land to produce abundant good food for his people. During this event, young men (amabutho) are invited by the king to participate in killing a bull with their bare hands.

What also makes this ceremony very important is the strong belief that it strengthens the King and his kingdom. The Zulu monarch uses this opportunity to talk to the nation, especially to young men and old, focusing on issues such as fighting the spread of HIV Aids, moral regeneration, preventing the abuse of women and children within their communities, and fighting poverty. Further, he addresses men on how they should conduct themselves as heads of their families and as role models in their communities. He also encourages them to lead their communities in agricultural practices in order to fight poverty. At the end everybody who came to the celebration enjoys the first fruits, traditional dance and music.

IsiZulu Summary
Umkhosi wokweshwama umkhosi owenziwa njalo ekuqaleni kwenyanga yeshumi nambili ngesivuno sokuqala. Lomkhosi wenziwa emzini komkhulu eNyokeni kwaNongoma lapho iNkosi uGoodwill Zwelithini edla khona ukudla kwesivuno sokuqala onyakeni esizweni sakhe. Lomcimbi ugqugquzelwa abezemfundo namasiko kwaZulu Natali nabezokuvakasha basuke bekhona kulomcimbi. Inkosi emva kokudla isivuno iye ibonge kuMvelinqangi ngesivuno esihle bese iyacela ukuthi ababusisele indawo abatshala kuyo ukuze ihlale ikhipha isivuno esihle njalo.

Source: info@eshowe.com

By: Zanele Shange

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