Traffic in the KwaZulu-Natal rural town of Nongoma on Saturday morning came to a standstill as members of the public descended on the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace to pledge their loyalty the new Zulu King, Misuzulu kaZwelithini.
Saturday’s Palace festivities forms part of the sacred entering the kraal ritual being performed by King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.
The ceremony, which sees the Monarch entering the kraal to report to his ancestors that he is now the ruler of the Zulu nation, paves the way for him to be officially crowned.
By around 10 am, thousands of people – who arrived on public transport, in private vehicles and on foot – were already inside the venue.
Clad in Zulu traditional attire, members of the Zulu nation sang and danced as they made their way to the Palace.
Menzi Madondo, who travelled all the way from Ladysmith, described the ceremony as “historic”.
Dressed in a full Zulu traditional outfit, Madondo said he took an early morning drive to Nongoma with his friends.
“It’s a big ceremony. Taking into consideration that the last time it happened was more than 50 years back, you definitely can’t miss it for the world. It’s an honour to live and tell the next generation about this ceremony.
” I’m happy to be here,” said Madondo.
Sbusiso Nyathi (57) from Nongoma said the mood has been excellent throughout the week leading up to the ceremony.
“We’ve been waiting for over a year for this. Everyone is in high spirits and as you can see, everyone is here and it’s a big ceremony not just for the Zulu nation but for the whole country,” said Nyathi.
In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially recognised King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the Zulu nation’s King-elect following the death of the new King’s father, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu – who died last year due to Covid-19 and diabetes complications.
However, some of the Zulu Royal Family members are opposed to King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s appointment.
Despite the Zulu Royal Family succession battles, Saturday’s ceremony has so far been peaceful.
The ceremony forms part of the new King’s coronation.
- Additional reporting by Sakhiseni Nxumalo