Shembes' peaceful centenary

2010-03-15 00:00

THE Shembe Church’s holy Mount Nhlangakazi in the Ndwedwe area outside Durban might be declared a national monument, if things go according to a plan by the Ilembe District Municipality.

Ilembe District Mayor Welcome Mdabe revealed the idea to thousands of congregants of the Nazareth Baptist Church, also known as the Shembe Church, during the church’s centenary celebrations at the eBuhleni headquarters in Ndwedwe yesterday.

Despite divisions that have plagued the church for the past 30 years, its main two factions — the eBuhleni under Inkosi Vimbeni Shembe and eKuphakameni under Inkosi Vukile Shembe — managed to host two different centenary celebrations both sponsored by the provincial government at the weekend.

The eBuhleni celebrations were held yesterday, while the eKuphakameni’s were held on Saturday.

Speaking at the eBuhleni function, Mdabe said his municipality is prepared to join forces with all interested parties to ensure that Mount Nhlangakazi is declared a national religious monument.

The mountain, which is situated between two tribal areas in Ndwedwe, is believed to be where the church’s founder, Prophet Isaiah Shembe, “communicated” with the Holy Spirit on March 10, 1910, and received instructions to establish the church. The area is under Ndwedwe local municipality, which is affiliated to Ilembe District Municipality.

“We will definitely be part of the campaign so that people from outside can visit and see how we as Africans worship the Almighty. The Shembe church helped us show the whole world that we as Africans are proud of our heritage and religion,” Mdabe said.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize said the provincial government is prepared to ensure that this region is presented and promoted to the whole world.

“Prophet Shembe was a firm believer in peace and dialogue. Any activity aimed at marketing and promoting such beliefs, our government will support it.

“The government is also embarking on a campaign to market KwaZulu-Natal to national and international tourists as a religious tourism site,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize said Shembe church leaders played a crucial role in praying for different political leaders in the province over the past years to ensure there is political stability.

“As we move to the future, the church has a role to play in ensuring that all political parties work together in ensuring service delivery to the people.”

President Jacob Zuma and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini were expected to attend, but turned out to be too busy. Mkhize and IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi delivered speeches at both functions.

The eKuphakameni celebrations started with congregants circling the headquarters carrying flowers, which were later laid outside the mausoleum where all the past Shembe church leaders are buried.

Inkosi Vukile Shembe, Mkhize and Buthelezi conducted a wreath-laying ceremony at the exact site where Prophet Isaiah Shembe’s remains are buried.

Buthelezi praised Prophet Shembe’s teachings of abstinence until marriage and said they can play an important role in fighting the spread of HIV/Aids.

The eBuhleni function was graced by the presence of AmaNdebele king Ingwenyama Makhosonke II, who congratulated the church on achieving the centenary milestone and sticking to the traditions and teachings of its founder.

National Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Jeff Radebe, also delivered a message of congratulations on behalf of the national government.

Both functions were concluded with the traditional umgido (the Holy Dance), which was danced to the sounds of izigubhu and izimbomu (traditional drums and trumpets).

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.