­Duduzile Zuma’s engagement ritual comes to Nkandla

2010-12-19 10:09

Christmas is coming early for the people of Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

On Wednesday, an umembeso (traditional engagement ceremony) will be held for President Jacob Zuma’s daughter, ­Duduzile.

The ceremony will see the family of Duduzile’s fiancé, Lonwabo Sambudla, bringing gifts for the Zuma family. ­

Sambudla, a businessman and former chief executive of ANC Youth League company Lembede Investment Holdings, paid ilobolo for Duduzile in September and the couple are expected to have a lavish white wedding next year.

Preparations for the ceremony began in earnest at the beginning of the month.

Heavy machinery being used to upgrade the president’s homestead – including the construction of a helipad – have been removed for the wedding.

Sources said that at least ten cows were expected to be slaughtered for the gathering, where hundreds of people – including high-profile dignitaries – are expected.

President Zuma’s brother, Michael, ­confirmed to City Press that the ceremony would take place on Wednesday.

He said: “The groom (Sambudla) has paid ilobolo and everything was done ­accordingly. We will be doing what our forefathers did. Umembeso is part of our culture, what our forefathers performed.”

On the day of the ceremony, the ­two ­families will also set a date for the young couple’s white wedding.

A traditional wedding, known as ­udwendwe, would also be discussed, and will take place before the main wedding.

Duduzile is currently registered at Wits Business School and is a founder of the Dudu Zuma Foundation for underprivileged women and children.

The ­foundation provides support through ­fundraising and various other initiatives.

Duduzile has a twin brother, Duduzane, who recently benefited from the BEE deal between Ayigobi Consortium and steel ­giant ArcelorMittal, making him a ­multimillionaire.

The twins were born to Zuma’s late wife, Kate.

A source close to the Zuma family said that Duduzile’s white wedding would come after her father has had his fourth wedding ceremony, expected early next year.

Zuma has three wives and is to marry his fiancée Gloria Ngema.

Last month, another of Zuma’s sons, Muzi, was traditionally engaged to his fiancée, Phumelele Shange, in ­Durban.

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