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South Africa and Swaziland Commemorate Umkhosi Womhlanga

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Weekend saw thousands of virgin ladies from KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Swaziland match to the eNyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma to commemorate the annual Umkhosi Womhlanga also known as the Reed Dance ceremony. The Umkhosi Womhlanga ceremony involves different chiefdoms in Zulu and Swasi and it lasts for eight days.

Photo Credits: African News Agency

Photo Credits: African News Agency

In a speech delivered at Nongoma the royal kraal, King Goodwill Zwelithini of Zulu welcomed the girls. He also took a swipe at the political class by cautioning them against their arrogance. “A lot of voters in this country accept their leadership as leaders that were voted for by the people, but by those votes the voters don’t mean the leaders are now superior to everything. In recent years we have noticed that their arrogance is increasing and some of them have become experts in issues they do not know,”

Photo Credits: African News Agency

King Goodwill Zwelithini introduced the Reed Dance in South Africa in 1991 as a way to encourage Zulu women to defer sexual activities until marriage. The maidens undergo virginity tests before selected for the ceremony and are bust naked for the most part of the ceremony.