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Monday, October 1, 2012


Zulu200 staged a spectacular historic pageant in brilliant sunshine at King Shaka International Airport near Durban on September 29, as part of the momentous build-up to the Bicentenary of the Zulu Nation in 2016…

The event was attended by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, along with members of the Royal Zulu household and many high profile invited guests, who were treated to a celebratory programme staged to honour the proud traditions of the historic Zulu Nation and its rich cultural heritage.

More than 1000 Amabutho paid tribute to their king, along with a roster of traditional Zulu dancers, singers and praise poets, with the celebrated South African vocalist, Sibongile Khumalo, as programme director.

Zulu200 was conceptualised and is managed by CEO Mandla KaNozulu and Chairman Duma Ndlovu. The initiative, which is endorsed by the Zulu King, seeks to enhance awareness of the multi-faceted historic and cultural landscapes that comprise the legacy of the Zulu Kingdom and its people. It will see the production of literary, audio and film materials, to empower and inspire citizens of KwaZulu-Natal through information, education and connectivity.

“After months of preparations for Saturday’s event, it was greatly heartening to find such whole-hearted support for this year’s Umgidi Welembe from so many people who, taking advantage of the fine weather, came from far and wide to be part of this historic occasion,” said Zulu200’s CEO Mandla KaNozulu. “This bodes well for our future plans each year, as we count down to the actual Bicentenary of the Zulu Kingdom in four years, which will mark 200 years since of the formation of the Zulu Nation by King Shaka kaSenzangakhona in 1816.”

Following the launch of the project in 2011 at King Shaka International Airport, this year’s pageant was supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, Ethekwini Municipality, the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Metro Rail and KwaCulture, will take place on 29 September 2012.

Endorsing King Shaka International Airport as a living monument to its historic namesake as the founder of the Zulu Nation, the Airport Terminal was dressed in celebratory cladding for the royal occasion. This drew a large crowd of onlookers who enjoyed the festivities, which started with a jubilant procession of hundreds of supporters attired in traditional garb.

“As the gateway to the Zulu Kingdom, King Shaka International Airport is deeply honoured to have been a part of this historical celebration – Umgidi weLembe. Saturday’s colourful festival reminds us of the rich heritage that we share as the people of this beautiful country. A heritage we are proud to be a part of,” said King Shaka International Airport Communication and Brand Manager, Colin Naidoo.

Adding a further dimension to the colourful occasion, a week-long exhibition of traditional Zulu art and craft was on display on the airport site preceding and leading up to Saturday’s day-long celebration.