Air of excitement as PMB women attend reed dance

2015-09-04 10:09
An estimated 10 000 maidens turned out for the uMkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) at Enyokeni Palace, outside Nongoma.

An estimated 10 000 maidens turned out for the uMkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) at Enyokeni Palace, outside Nongoma. (Vivien van der Sandt)

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Pietermaritzburg - There is an obvious sense of excitement in Pietermaritzburg, as hundreds of young women — among them university students and qualified professionals — are expected to depart for the annual reed dance.

The three-day event, which attracts tourists from abroad, will take place at the Nyokeni Palace, Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal, this weekend.

Cultural expert and founder of Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation, Nomagugu Ngobese said the Pietermaritzburg maidens will be leaving on Friday evening. “I’m expecting girls to fill 15 buses,” said Ngobese.

Ngobese said she had noticed an increase in the number of young women coming from urban areas who attend the event.

“You will be surprised to see how girls from townships and suburbs take pride in their culture. There are girls from Imbali, Willowfountain, Scottsville and other [urban areas]. It’s not only those coming from rural areas [who attend],” she said.

Ngobese boasted of having graduates who still come for virginity testing and attend the reed dance. “Some of them are engineers, social workers, teachers and nurses. We will be picking up a girl in Howick who is doing her masters in business law,” said Ngobese.

“Being educated does not mean that you have to lose your identity. It’s nice to know who you are and where you come from,” she added.

Over the years, the reed dance has been surrounded by controversy. “The problem is with those who come to the reed dance for the wrong reasons. Some of them play loud music and drink alcohol. That needs to be sorted out,” she said.

Ngobese said she was not concerned about those who say negative things about the young women.

“We have a problem with those girls who have thrown away their future cheaply. You will hear them saying all sorts of things about our girls. They will be claiming that they are not virgins. They need to give us a break,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  reed dance  |  culture

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