The annual isiZulu traditional, Umkhosi Womhlanga, Reed Dance is taking place virtually for the second time in a row as a result of COVID-19.

Only 37 maidens were invited to participate in a scaled-down ceremony at the Zulu monarch’s Emachobeni royal palace at Nongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

On Saturday, AmaZulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini is commemorating the role that his parents have played in upholding the traditional Reed Dance. It’s expected that the maidens will light candles in memory of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekizulu and Queen Manthombi Ka-Sobhuza Zulu.

It is hoped that this ceremony will serve as a precursor to the Reed Dance later this month.

Spokesperson for the Zulu Royal House, Prince Thulani Zulu says, “The King will light two candles in memory of the Majesty and the Queen and there will be 37 maidens who will be holding candles and those candles will be lit were will be remembering a long journey of 37 years. The majesty will be celebrating a very same prayer at Enyokeni palace on the 11th of this month.”

Reed Dance to mobilise against gender-based violence and femicide: