Ruling since 1986, Mtswati III became the youngest monarch in the world when crowned at the age of 18. I’d like to encourage other parents to promote this vital and important ceremony which instils good values and morals within our youth especially in this day and age. These are some items taken from the King’s Speech to the maidens at the Zulu Reed Dance in 2004. No one’s answer is certain. But women from other parts of Africa travel long distances to appear in the ceremony, just as Swazi girls travel to South Africa to participate in their Umhlanga. It is my wish that all educators promote the culture of the Zulus. “I’d like to thank my daughters for the role they have played in the success of this ceremony. Today however, the traditions have been modified slightly, allowing the girls to be shuttled to the riverbank after walking half of the distance; upon retrieving the reeds they again are allowed to be shuttled back half of the distance. When asked if these were all of the king’s wives, a guard to the king confirmed that these were his brides and that many more existed, but were not present. Zulu Reed Dance 2019 Mkhosi woMhlanga eNyokeni Palace – What to Expect. Carrying 40lbs of water on her head while walking up a steep cliffside, I said to the woman: I’m Training as a New Doctor in the Shadow of a Pandemic, Young People Are the Future—Too Bad Voter Suppression Might Keep Them from the Polls, You Should Be Watching Dimension 20: The Unsleeping City, The Rise, Fall, and Evolution of Africa’s Great Green Wall, I May Never Have Sex with Another Person Again, Building vegetable gardens and other innovations transform lives in South Sudan. Afterwards the maidens join in unison ululating and singing the Kings praises in a joyous mood. The Manzini market, just south of Mbabane, is said to be the busiest and most authentic market in the country. Tens of thousands of virgin Zulu girls and women travel to Nongoma in Zululand every year. Should the king want to make one of the maidens in the ceremony a new bride of his, he need only to point at her. When asked how many more there were, he replied: “more than I could count!” The number seems inconsequential to the people of Swazi. Outside of the city further is Hlane; where you cannot walk freely with the wildlife, but you can spot lions and other big game. It has been rumored in the media that the dance is often where the King chooses a new bride; while it is not the cultural significance of the ceremony, current King Mtswati III has chosen at least three of his current brides from the dance. With that, guards will collect her from the crowds and take her off to the palace, where she will be made a fiancé. We cannot forget all those who gave tirelessly and freely of their time to make this day a success despite difficult circumstances. The group of them swept back off the field once they had shown their appreciation to their daughters, hardly making a wrinkle in the day’s events. They range dramatically in age; in a single line a 4-yr-old with tassels dragged behind her that are longer than her legs; women standing on either side ranging from pre-pubescent teens applying hot pink lipstick, to women well into adulthood poised with the confidence of age. Peaceful, quiet, only interrupted by the call of a rooster or the laughing of children, a mother calling her boys in from the field, occasionally the yell of a hungry cow. Among its many charms, it can easily swallow you whole, leaving you lost or overwhelmed by choices. Young maidens are encouraged not to argue or respond immediately but to wish the suitor well on his journey back. They oversee, participate, and protect the sacred process. The girls are dressed in varying versions of the traditional wardrobe of Swazi women; royals are clearly marked with red feathers emerging from their headdresses shining like rubies when hit by the sun. The maidens of Swaziland come from four main regions: Lobombo, Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni. It is a position of respect, owning of authority, confidence, competence, and strength. It was rumored that one of his younger brides was taken, unlawfully, by guards of the king while she was walking home from school. As I said early, the original procedure in gathering the reeds for the ceremony was to walk the nearly 70 Km to the river bank and cut them down; once gathered they walk the 70 Km back to the camp and rest for one full day before presenting them to the Queen Mother. Large white shells wrapped around a woman’s neck signifies she is a daughter of the sitting King. This is why it is important to go for a test when you are involved in a relationship or are getting married. “We need a good foundation to promote a brighter and better future. We depend on you to be the future of this nation; because of you we have high hopes to stop the spread of this killer disease. After the festivities the King delivers a speech. Further north, agriculture is hidden in the hills approaching Piggs Peak. It is danced by men of any age wearing skins ( amabeshu ), headrings, ceremonial belts, ankle rattles, shields and weapons like knobkerries and spears. The king’s party awaiting the maidens’ arrival. No doubt this hike is still impressive. After a close run-in with an angry elephant at Hlane, Edwin and I were happy to have been driven around by someone who knows the area and how to get out of potentially unfortunate situations. Being here and talking to locals, it seems most wouldn’t question the respect they are to give their king; as well as the traditions held by the country that continues to be governed as an absolute monarchy. The girls participating are distinguished by their variations on traditional dress which represent the regions they traveled from. On tap in over 900 pubs in the UK from 11 October. The group seemed to consist of only ages 10 and under; babies, in the eyes of anyone I know from the U.S. The smells of meat being cooked and herbs meant for burning, singe your nostrils, while people shout out for you to look into their shop and try on their bracelets. Currently married to 15 women, and the father of 25; maintaining a royal kraal of 13 palaces and the royal fleet of top-of-the-line cars (even a $17 million private jet), there are those who wonder whether the tolerance for such excess will last much longer. They then bring them to the market for people to purchase. The march to the arena displays 40,000+ women in perfect step with one another, stomping and singing to the beat of their own march. Most of the maidens walked with swords; royalty usually wielded the real deal, while many others used lookalikes. The second phase is educating the young maidens ‘amatshitshi’ by their older sisters ‘amaqhikiza’ on how to behave in married life. This ceremony has been tirelessly celebrated by countless generations in early September of each year. Please note that the Zulu Kings Reed dance is now on the 9th of September ( Agriculture is one of the countries main sources of income, sugar and corn are the main crops in production, the majority of which come of Malkern Valley, or as it is referred to: the nations breadbasket. His lavish spending’s and lifestyle only befitting a king has been criticized publicly and constantly talked about by those in-country seeking a democratic solution to the state of the kingdom. If the father accepts the suitor the two families meet and gifts are exchanged as a sign of a cordial relationship. This war dance is untouched by Western influence probably because it is regarded as a touchstone of Zulu identity. Traditional ceremonies like this occur just beneath Swazi, in South Africa, as well. The Zulu Reed dance is an educational experience and opportunity for young maidens to learn how to behave before the Zulu King . When the ceremony was originally adopted by Swazi people in the 1840’s from the Zulu-speaking Ndwandwe clan, the women had to walk to and from the riverbank with no assistance. From what I’ve been told, the entirety of the ceremony does not have to be completed by those who choose to participate [and yes it is voluntary, as the announcer frequently emphasizes through the loud speaker during the festivities]. We are fighting against the high number of orphans, we know the Government and councils are constantly making us aware of ways to prevent the spread of this disease once one has it. The Reed Dance ceremony, is an annual Swazi and Zulu tradition held in August or September. Women from all over the kingdom, come together to participate in the Umhlanga Dance. In Swaziland, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless Swazi girls and . But it would appear that to the Swazi people, the earlier the better, and all ages are considered women. Some 80,000 children are believed to have been orphaned in the wake of such a crushing infection rate. And everyone avoids answering anything too directly or with any kind of authority; even if they are the authority. Umhlanga ceremonies are not only practiced in Swaziland. We see a nation that is vibrant, strong, has self respect and is respected. Thousands of maidens converge on King Zwelithini kaBhekizulu’s palace to dance to the delight of the King, loyal subjects and guests. Many, if not most, of the maidens participating in the Umhlanga, do so voluntary; “it is for their culture,” says an anonymous source whose sister was in attendance.