Umvoti maidens at Royal Reed Dance

2016-09-14 06:00
The Umvoti team of maidens at the Royal Reed Dance festival.                                                                        Photos: Gift Majola

The Umvoti team of maidens at the Royal Reed Dance festival. Photos: Gift Majola

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A TOTAL of 530 maidens from Umvoti were among the thousands at this year's Umkhosi woMhlanga held at

the Enyokeni Royal palace at Nongoma last weekend.

The Royal Reed Dance festival is a dignified traditional ceremony and at the same time a vibrant festive­ occasion depicting the cultural­ heritage of the Zulu nation­.

It is estimated about 33 000 were present this year to appear before King Goodwill Zwelethini and it is considered an honour to take part with virginity being the most important requirement.

In an address at a reed dance the previous weekend King Zwelethini, referring to the wanton and wasteful destruction of educational properties by students, said that his main concern were the parents who were not disciplining their children querying "why do parents leave everything to police and government when their children go wild?"

He called on government to form a forum with the universities and students to discuss issues.

The king also lashed out at the critics of virginity testing and the annual reed dance stating "they are hypocrites".

King Zwelethini emphasised that the Reed Dance festival is an opportunity to educate and inform the youth about vital social issues including practicing sexual morals and behaviours that prevent teenage pregnancy and lower the risks of HIV/Aids.

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