Prepare now for 200th anniversary of Zulus, says king

2011-09-26 00:00

THE Zulu nation and the provincial government should start now to prepare for the 200th anniversary of the Zulu nation in 2016, said Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.

Addressing thousands of people attending Shaka’s Day celebrations at kwaDukuza sports ground in Stanger, the king said that the founder of the Zulu nation, King Shaka, established the Zulu kingdom by defeating all other clans in 1816.

The king appealed to all Zulus to be proud of who they are and not to embrace cultures belonging to other nations to the detriment of their own.

He hailed King Shaka for having put the Zulu nation on the international map.

“It is said today that the word ‘Zulu’ falls amongst the top 10 well-known words in the world.

“As we celebrate King Shaka we also remember his warriors, other traditional leaders and wise people who were on his side as he forged this nation,” the king said.

This year’s celebrations were co-celebrated with Zwelithini’s 40th anniversary as the Zulu king.

He said he has learned over the last 40 years that “we need to forgive everybody who could have hurt or frustrated us on our way to fulfilling our obligation in this life”.

“As a kingdom we have a quest for knowledge gained from books, people and life.

“We should continue to take pride in who we are regardless of challenges we face.

“We should strive to be diligent, productive and independent and be suppliers of much of the goods we need or use.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, was determined not to miss the celebrations, and he introduced the king to the gathering before his address, despite having spent almost a week in hospital two weeks ago due to fatigue.

Buthelezi also took a role in leading the singing of traditional hyms with the king, Premier Zweli Mkhize, members of the Zulu royal family, amakhosi, amabutho (warriors) and other dignitaries.

Buthelezi looked healthy in his Zulu traditional garb as he wielded his isizenze (traditional axe) while leading the hymns.

Writing in his online letter on Friday, Buthelezi dismissed concerns that he will leave politics, as suggested in newspaper reports by his daughter, Phumzile Buthelezi, last week.

“I can assure those who expressed such concerns that it takes much more than a scratch to get Mangosuthu Buthelezi off the battlefield,” he wrote.

skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

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