SEKHUKHUNE – Sekhukhune Development Agency (SDA) had on Wednesday 14 October 2020 being showered with royal gifts from Prince Mangasuthu Buthelezi in his capacity as the Traditional Minister of the Zulu Nation and Monarch. This jubilant occasion was part of the SDA’s Bapedi Ancestral Flower roadshow which started on Sunday 11 October 2020 when King Thulare III of Bapedi Nation declared the Yellow Arum Lily genome that is exclusively endemic to Mohlake as Bapedi Ancestral Flower.

Since declared and decreed by King Thulare III the Bapedi Ancestral Flower was taken to the nation through the roadshow. On Tuesday 13 October 2020 the flower was blessed and planted by South Africa’s Living Human Treasure Xuu Ouma Katrina Esau in Kalahari, Northern Cape. In KwaZululu-Natal the Bapedi Ancestral Flower was planted by academics at History Department of the University of Zululand in eMpangeni to symbolise the institution’s commitment to advance the ancestral friendship between the Zulu and Bapedi nation as demonstrated by their Kings Cetshwayo and Sekhukhune I. In Ulundi the Bapedi Ancestral Flower was warmly received by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who is the living elder of the Zulu Monarch and a direct decedent of King Cetshwayo ka Mpande. King Cetshwayo of the AmaZulu and King Sekhukhune I of Bapedi ruled in an era characterised by direct conflict with the British crown, in defence of the land and their people’s honour.

In his acceptance of the honour to plant the Bapedi Ancestral Flower in the Zulu Kingdom, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said it was an honour that his aspiration of bringing to life the legacy of friendship of the two kings has been embraced and magnified.  

“I am honoured to plant the Bapedi Ancestral Flower from the land of King Sekhukhune here in Ulundi where my great-grandfather King Cetshwayo, the friend of King Sekhukhune ruled.

I am honoured to plant the flower that comes from the heritage of the the giant of Africa, King Sekhukhune I. King Sekhukhune reigned at the same time as King Cetshwayo ka Mpande, and together they fought against the colonisation of our land. They drew strength from one another for this fight, and although they both experienced defeat, they created ties between our people that cannot be broken. I am sure my great-grand father King Cetshwayo’s spirit is pleased with this gesture from Bapedi Kingdom” said Prince Buthelezi.

According to the leader of the delegation Mr Puleng Mmotla the Bapedi Ancestral Flower roadshow was devised by SDA to popularise the flower and attract participants for the Ancestral Friendship Tour in an effort to build a heritage tourism economy on ancestral friendships. The focus of the tour programme is to highlight and magnify evidence of conditions of peace and friendship among Africa’s ancient, pre-colonial and modern Kingdoms and societies.

The royal gifts received from Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in appreciation of the planting of the Bapedi Ancestral Flower in the Zulu Kingdom included IHAWU (shield made of classy animal hide), UMKHONTO (the spear), IWISA (knobkerrie), UMGOMO (the spine or handle for the shield) and ISITHOMBE (the oil paint image of King Cetshwayo). 

“The Bapedi Ancestral Flower roadshow has been an overwhelming success especially for the Bapedi and AmaZulu nation because His Royal Highness Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who was once the lone voice in raising awareness about this ancestral friendship, has now being joined by younger generation from his clan of KwaButhelezi and the Zulu nation. The friendship between King Cetshwayo and King Sekhukhune I is regarded as the friendship of the century owing to its quality, the sacrifices and commitment from both kings to help each other against all odds. We are going to give impetus to this work of celebrating ancestral friendships through the Bapedi Ancestral Flower and the Ancestral Friendship Tour to take place on 27 to 29 November 2020 in Sekhukhuneland” explained Mmotla

If you are interested to know more about Bapedi Ancestral Flower and the 2020 Ancestral Friendship Tour in Sekhukhune contact SDA Communications 076 360 2091.

IHAWU (shield made of classy animal hide)

To show the royal quality of the shield presented to King Thulare III, the design and pattern is the same one that was used in the days of King Cetshwayo as it can be seen on his portrait. A shield is a symbol of defence and cover. For centuries and across societies it stood for protection of the honour and renown of the warrior, his family, or his nation.  

UMKHONTO (the spear)

The spear is a spiritual gift, it signifies directness and honour. It has the power of life and death. The spear is psychologically that part of ourselves that is fertile and assertive. The spear also represents the masculine in dreams and is a phallic symbol (symbolise power).   

IWISA (knobkerrie)

For centuries Iwisa was used as a weapon by warriors and hunters. It is a short, heavy wooden club with a knob on one end mostly used for striking and throwing. The symbolism of the knobkerrie is to demonstrate the authority, capacity and confidence (molamo o kwala marethong). As such Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi enthuses confidence in Bapedi Kingdom and His Majesty King Thulare III.     

UMGOMO (the spine or handle for the shield)

The spine of the shield as a gift communicates balance, stability and support base for Bapedi in their quest to restore their Kingdom to its glorious stature in the days of King Thulare I, King Sekwati I and King Sekhukhune I.  

ISITHOMBE (the oil paint image of King Cetshwayo)

The portrait of King Cetshwayo looking back over his land in oil on canvas medium is deemed the most precious gift to celebrate the ancestral friendship between Bapedi and AmaZulu. It communicates King Cetshwayo’s love for his land and a memoir of victories and losses alike. 

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