King Zwelithini’s sixth wedding, tight deadlines and 3G gridlock

2014-07-28 13:19

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Saturday. The Croc and I are in Ulundi. Again. We’re waiting, but not for the Commander in Chief. This time. The CiC’s here, but he’s not the reason why we’re waiting.

Today we’re waiting for King Goodwill Zwelithini, King of the Zulus. Personally, I’d rather be waiting for King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, the King of the Thembus. King Buyelekhaya is far more likely to puff and pass than the Zulu monarch is.

We’re waiting for His Majesty because it’s his traditional wedding. His sixth wedding to be precise. Not bad going, if you’re into that kind of thing. Marriage is not my thing at all. I tried it once. For about 13 years. It wasn’t cool, but to each his own.

His Majesty is 66. The Queen, Zola Mafu, is 27. Like I say, not bad going. I can understand the younger woman thing. Women my age hate me. I guess my financial status, man-child tendencies and inability to hold polite conversation at the dinner table grate them.

King Goodwill Zwelithini and Queen Zola Mafu of Swaziland during their wedding in uLundi. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/City Press

So we’re waiting. Being late is His Majesty’s thing. I guess it comes with being the king and all that. That’s just how it is. Here His Majesty is king, not the TV networks. The only deadlines are His Majesty’s.

I have ambivalent feelings about the whole king and chief thing. Being born in Belfast and seeing my family acting like muppets over a Queen whose ancestors colonised them has made me pretty unsympathetic towards monarchies.

Truth is, I was a pretty keen supporter of the UDF campaign in the 80s to get rid of them. I’ve always reckoned the only people who should be paid for by the citizenry are those working for us and those who can’t support themselves.

I’m also not much of fan of the idea that somebody can be born into a leadership position. I’m more of a voting kinda cat.

Then again, there are millions of South Africans who believe we should be paying his Majesty’s bills so we’re here. It is what it is.

His Majesty arrives. So does the Queen. The wedding dancing starts. It’s pretty impressive, even to a cynical republican.

Less impressed is the news desk. Deadlines are deadlines. There’s a mad flurry of SMSes, calls, Whatsapps and death threats flying. I hit the send button.

The Croc’s going crazy. The Croc’s trying to shoot and send while 15 000 muppets are Facebooking pictures of the royal couple. It’s 3G gridlock.

All the shooters have lost it. They’re spitting and cursing and smashing keyboards.

I try to tell the Croc the organisers have found us a way to file. He looks back at me with empty eyes.

He’s got some kind of shooter shellshock. He’s snarling. I hit the fence before I lose a leg.

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