The AmaZulu royal family is set to perform a cleansing ceremony this weekend at the KwaKhangelamankengane Palace in KwaNongoma following the passing of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu.
The ceremony is traditionally performed to mark the end of the mourning period. King Goodwill passed away in March last year.
The AmaZulu Traditional Prime Minister – Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi – earlier this year announced plans to hold the cleansing ceremony this weekend. He says these were the instructions of the appointed monarch – King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini.
Buthelezi says the cleansing ceremony has to be led by the heir.
University of KwaZulu-Natal African Languages Professor Sihawukele Ngubane explains the importance of the cleansing ceremony:
“Ihlambo is an African indigenous cleansing ceremony and it is also a process of healing and in a way, it is therapeutic to the people who have lost their loved one. It also marks the end of mourning. It can be associated with the unveiling in the Christian community which also occurs after a year of the passing of the head of the family, it is very important because the African people believe that there is an afterlife. Once a person is buried, his spirit is brought back home, the significance of ihlambo is to bring back his spirit to look after the family,” says Ngubane.
Meanwhile, Ngubane says the cleansing ceremony brings the coronation ceremony of King Misuzulu one step closer.
“I would say so we are getting closer to the coronation ceremony because once ihlambo has been completed, it marks the end of mourning and it allows the family to continue with their lives after the long months of mourning. It means it is putting closure to the demise of the late King in preparation for the new King to take his position usually it should be conducted by the heir of that family,” says Ngubane.
AmaZulu Royal Family to conduct a cleansing ceremony over the weekend