Reed dance: In the name of the king

  • Not even a torrential downpour could dampen the spirits of the tens of thousands of young women and girls who turned up for this year’s uMkhosi Womhlanga or reed dance at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Enyokeni Royal Palace at Nongoma on Saturday (September 5 2015). PHOTOs: TEBOGO LETSIE.
  • The maidens marched in regiments, each carrying a reed – to symbolise their virginity and purity – to present to the monarch.
  • The event was organised by the KwaZulu-Natal arts and culture department, which was responsible for the youngsters.
  • President Jacob Zuma was reported to have been at the event. “The president was there as the king’s guest,” Zuma’s spokesperson Bongani Majola said.
  • Despite at least 38 Swazi girls dying last week in an accident en route to the reed dance in Swaziland, Zulu maidens’ spirits were high.
  • The annual Zulu reed dance is in its 24th year.