The coronation of the newest king of the Zulu people in South Africa was held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday where thousands of people gathered to witness the handing over of the Certificate of Recognition by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Zulu King Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini.
The event had an estimate of 48,000 people in attendance, recognizing the presence of former Heads of State, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Ian Khama the former President of Botswana, King Mswati III of Eswatini and other notable Kings and Queens from other parts of the continent.
Awaiting the King’s presence, the Zulu warriors also known as Amabutho performed war dances for hours while maidens dressed up in traditional attire sang and danced chanting traditional songs, holding sticks, spears and shields made of cowhide.
King Misuzulu the 9th King of the 11-million-strong Zulu nation made his appearance before the crowd at wild cheering and praises of the people, wearing a costume of black ostrich feathers, holding a spear and a shield with a leopard skin cape over his shoulders.
The new king was anointed with oil by the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba and handed over the certificate by President Cyril Ramaphosa which signified that the South African government recognises Misuzulu as King.
After handing over of the certificate, Ramaphosa also gave a brief speech stating that the king “have picked up the mighty spear that has fallen and may his steady hand guide and bring stability to the kingship of AmaZulu”.
The King gave a vote of thanks to those who stood with throughout his journey to the throne while addressing the people. He was involved in a dispute over the throne among members of the royal family, one of which is his half-brother Prince Simakade who thinks he is the rightful heir to the throne.
King Misuzulu said “I am grateful for your support and immensely grateful for their support” to the loud shout of “Bayede”. He also thanked Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi for what he did as the Prime Minister of the Zulu monarch. The King vowed to promote peace and reconciliation and be a catalyst of the development of the country.
Prince Buthelezi also added that he is confident that King Mizsuzulu would fix what has been broken in the Zulu nation and fight its woes including poverty.
King Mswati III who is also King Misuzulu’s uncle addressed the crowd and wished Misuzulu well as he reigns as King.
However, the coronation was a ceremonial observance as King Misuzulu already ascended the throne after the crucial entering of the Kraak ritual in August.