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By Citizen Reporter

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An honorary doctorate to be conferred on King Zwelithini

The doctorate is in recognition of the king's philanthropic work 'to alleviate poverty and suffering amongst his subjects'.


The University of Zululand (Unizulu) will confer an honorary doctorate in social work (honoris causa) on King Goodwill Zwelithini next month.

In a statement, the institution said the doctorate was in recognition of the king’s philanthropic work “to alleviate poverty and suffering amongst his subjects”.

“We are beyond delighted to be recognising His Royal Highness for his humanitarian endeavours,” said the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Xoliswa Mtose.

These endeavours include the king’s contribution to combating social ills that plague the youth in the province and founding the Bayethe Trust in 2006, which primarily focuses on deriving interventions on the impact of HIV/Aids in KwaZulu-Natal, Unizulu said in a statement.

Other efforts by the king to ensure the wellbeing of his subjects include reviving cultural practices such as the Umhlanga, the colourful and symbolic reed dance ceremony that, among other things, promotes moral awareness and AIDS education among Zulu women; revitalising Ukweshwama, an age-old tradition where HIV awareness is raised among young men and His Majesty’s promotion of the practice of circumcision, which has been globally recognised by the World Health Organization as one of the partial interventions to prevent new infections, the University said in a statement.

“The king is also the chairman of the Ingonyama Trust, a corporate entity established to administer the land traditionally owned by the king for the benefit, material welfare and social well-being of the Zulu nation,” the statement reads.

Rhana Naicker, CEO of the Bayethe Foundation, says the king accepts the honour from the university with humility.

“His Majesty is very humbled to accept this honorary doctorate because it is important to maintain the strong links with this knowledge hub. We have high expectations of the university to contribute to the education of our people and to advance research and innovation in ways that will support our aspirations and benefit our communities. This honour recognises our partnership, and is a testimony of Ubuntu concept that the king lives and breathes,” Naicker said.

In 1994, the king was awarded an honorary degree from the university.

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King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu