King Zwelithini celebrates 60 in Zulu style

2008-07-25 00:00

Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini celebrated his 60th birthday by staging a colourful traditional ceremony outside his kwaKhethomthandayo palace near Nongoma yesterday.

The ceremony was the second in a series of events scheduled to mark the king’s birthday. The first one was held at his KwaDlamahlahla palace on Thursday and other scheduled events include a celebration at KwaKhangela palace, also outside Nongoma, and a gala dinner to be held in Pietermaritzburg next week. Another event set to draw crowds is the planned soccer tournament involving four teams playing in the PSL.

Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by over 3 000 locals and high-profile guests who included members of the Swazi royal family, amakhosi, and politicians such as IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Mtholephi Mthimkhulu the MEC for the provincial Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs (DAEA).

According to departmental spokesman Khulekani Ntshangase, the DAEA presented the king with 15 Nguni cattle and has planned other events to coincide with the birthday celebrations.

One such event is the land handover by the department to over 6 000 Nongoma residents. The ceremony is to be held tomorrow.

Yesterday’s ceremony was dominated by traditional song and dance by several cultural groups who provided entertainment.

The king, accompanied by amabutho, also took part in the dancing and singing. The celebrations continued through the night and were only scheduled to end early this morning.

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