The direct descendants of King Shaka’s mother Nandi are unhappy with the state of her grave. Her gravesite has become a symbol of royal embarrassment for over 200 years.

The power behind King Shaka is credited with moulding her son into becoming one of the most powerful leaders of his time.

But an age-old royal rift between the Mhlongos, Nandi’s family and the Zulu clan over damages for her pregnancy continues to haunt her spirit. Her family believes she was never recognised as a Queen.

Spokesperson Mhlathuze Mhlongo says: “The Zulu royal family have to come here and perform a ritual to officially take Nandi. They were not supposed to take Shaka alone without his mother so that everything will be in order.”

Nandi gave birth to Shaka out of wedlock. His father was Senzangakhona a chief of a small Zulu clan.

The then 29-year-old Shaka took over the reign from his father and later launched himself as a prolific military ruler.

He conquered many tribes and later formed the powerful AmaZulu Empire but his mother never received the recognition others say she deserved.

Her grave lies unattended and in a bad state. The Zulu royal family blames government for the state of the grave.

Amazulu King’s praise singer Buzetsheni Mdletshe says: “All the graves of prominent people are the responsibilities of government. I am not sure if Amafa in KwaZulu-Natal have other reasons not to take care of the grave.”

Amafa Heritage in KwaZulu-Natal which administers protected structures in the province denies that the grave is neglected.

It says a sculpture symbolic of Nandi’s status will be erected at the gravesite once the Mhlongos put their differences aside.

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