NONGOMA – At least 50,000 virgins gathered over the weekend in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where Zulu royalty hosted the annual Umkhosi Womhlanga known as the reed dance festival.
The event, arguably the biggest since the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted girls from parts of KZN, the Eastern Cape and even Botswana.
The provincial government and the royal palace initially provided 7,000 girls, but the final tally shows a total of 50,000.
This year’s Zulu Reed Dance Ceremony drew crowds that far exceeded expectations.
Thousands of girls left the royal palace in Enyokeni on Sunday after a successful reed dancing ceremony.
The day was filled with a performance of Zulu culture through song and dance by girls who had gathered at the palace to celebrate their womanhood.
Umkhosi Womhlanga, as the Zulu nation calls it, celebrates the purity of a young girl while preparing her for womanhood.
Its importance also lies in the fact that it promotes celibacy until marriage.
AmaZulu King Misuzulu Kazwelithini gave the opening speech and called on the young girls to lead by example.
Ingonyama Yezulu bemoaned the pandemic of GBV while noting the lack of unity within the royal household.
- Editor/ additional report via EWN