Menu Close

King Misuzulu’s coronation in SA is the start of a new era

Add to my bookmarks
ClosePlease login

No account yet? Register

Share This Article:

Graphic: Wade Geduldt / African News Agency (ANA)

By Dr Gugu Mazibuko

The coronation of King Misuzulu marks a new chapter and a new era for the Zulu nation as it will be the first time in over 50 years that this is done. King Misuzulu’s coronation is very important because it is something that most of AmaZulu have never witnessed before because the last coronation took place in 1971, which was King Goodwill Zwelithini’s coronation.

A lot of changes have taken place in the world, because of technological innovations as well as globalisation. Therefore, one is expecting to see how different it is, as well as how differently King Misuzulu’s coronation will take place, as we all know South Africa was colonised by Britain.

In the past, we used to see Zulu kings wearing British attire during coronations. How different is King Misuzulu’s coronation from other nations? AmaZulu is one of the biggest nations and everyone is looking forward to seeing how the certificate issuing takes place. This will also be the first time a black president will be issuing the certificate to the monarch. Therefore, there is quite a lot that is new.

Having a king whose coronation takes place in the full glare of the world means there is still dignity, culture and language. To the king, it is giving him the power to lead the nation in a formal way now that his certificate will be issued by the president of the Republic.

As much as he is the custodian of the culture, language, customs and tradition of AmaZulu, it also means he is officially recognised by the government. The younger generation can easily relate to the new king because they see him as a young king, a modern king, a king who is technologically inclined. It’s easy for them to listen to him because they can easily relate to him.

This will give a lot of pride among young people and young AmaZulu. When the king made a powerful speech during the reed dance at eNyokeni Royal Palace recently, it was exciting, because he talked about the partnership he had formed with some experts in developing an app, to fight gender-based violence (GBV).

To the younger generation, they are not left behind because we are living in the internet and technology period. The king is now reaching out to everyone when he leads his nation. It means that the communication will not only be in izimbizo, but he will use all other avenues and platforms to reach out to the younger generation. The direction we think the king will take is to follow his father’s legacy. We believe he will ensure that the projects his father started will not disappear. He will make sure he revives some of them and also improve some of them to be in line with what is taking place at the moment.

Photo: Khaya Ngweya: South Africa’s Zulu nation king, King Misizulu is flanked by his brothers during Shaka Day celebration in KwaDukuza (Stanger) KwaZulu-Natal.

The other thing we think is going to be his priority, is to look at the social ills that affect his nation. He has made speeches on this issue already. Matters of GBV and raising boys in the same way girls are being raised. We have heard him addressing the nation about social ills and the app they have developed addresses the issues of GBV.

These include the foundation started by his wife, Queen Ntokozo Mayisela, which looks after young boys because they have identified a gap. There is a reed dance for girls where they are taken care of. Now they will make sure boys are taken care of. That is the direction we think the king will take because, without good young people, there will be no nation in the future.

We think his focus will be on young people to make sure they are well-raised. Regarding the level of support among stakeholders, it is not easy to say what support they are going to give because this ceremony is led by the Office of the President. I think most of the people will be invited by the Presidency.

However, it is well known that when the king is going anywhere, he is accompanied by amabutho, because amabutho ayingubo yobukhosi (the regiments are the blanket of the nation). They cannot be left behind. We expect a lot of amabutho, we expect the maidens to be there, we expect omama besivivane to be there.

Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) – In a historic day for the Zulu nation in South Africa, 20 August 2022, King Misuzulu, the successor to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini performs the ritual of entering the sacred royal kraal at KwaKhangalemankengane palace in Nongoma.

We expect the entire nation, the traditional leaders because they are in different regions looking after the king’s people. We expect them to lead different regions, amakhosi and izinduna, because they are one tier in the organogram of the traditional leadership. We also expect kings and queens from different parts of the world. King Mswati (eSwatini) will also be present.

This coronation will symbolise unity for the Zulu nation, because if we go back to the ceremony where Isilo sangena esibayeni (when the King entered the kraal) the attendance was good. People came in numbers to witness the monarch engena esibayeni.

That shows AmaZulu endorse and support their king. This is what is going to happen again at Moses Mabhida Stadium because it will show how unified AmaZulu are as a nation. Everyone is looking forward to the ceremony of King Misuzulu being given a certificate by the president of the Republic.

Mazibuko is a cultural expert from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.