In a historic and groundbreaking move, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has announced that Zulu Warriors departed today at 11h00 from King Shaka International Airport to attend the 135th King Cetshwayo Celebrations in Cardiff, Wales in the United Kingdom. The media is invited to witness the send-off.
The Zulu warriors, will be accompanied by the cast and the Zulu Royal Choir and will participate in the re-enactment of the Battle of Isandlwana. The Zulu nation is known the world-over for defeating the top generals of the British military forces, one of unchallengeable might at the time and having put an end to the Napoleonic Dynasty, one of the best known in European history.
The participation of the Zulu Warriors in the King Cetshwayo Celebrations in the UK will strengthen cultural ties between the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the UK. It should be remembered that in November 2011, His Majesty, King Goodwill KaBhekuZulu hosted Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Welcoming them at that time His Majesty remarked: “I am pleased to announce my invitation to the British Royal Household to the Annual Re-enactment of the Battle of Isandlwana. We hold this event every year in January. Over the years, it has grown to be more than just a battle re-enactment but a celebration of diversity, and a great contributor of tourism revenue to the region. I officially invite the British Royal Household through His Royal Highness to send a delegation to this important historic event between our respective countries.”
Premier Mchunu points: ““His Majesty continues to give our province the uniqueness and competitive edge. Our King is not only the direct heir and descendant of all the kings lying in the valley of Emakhosini, but is also the symbol of peace and unity of our people. We thank His Majesty for his guidance and for ensuring our participation in King Cetshwayo Celebrations.”
King Cetshwayo Celebrations are a prelude to the 140thcommemoration of the Battle of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift in January 2019. As the province we are embarking on a campaign to market this province to the UK.
Mchunu quipped: “Every year we welcome visitors from the UK and all over the world to the old Kingdom of the Zulu people. We want to increase the number of tourists who will attend the commemoration of the battle of Isandlwana next year, especially those from the UK.”
KZN is a home of a proud history and heritage of the people of South Africa in the fight against dispossession. Historical records show that the following battles were fought in this province – First War of Independence in 1881, Anglo-Boer between 1899 and 1902 and the Blood River on the 16 December 1838. All of these wars were fought by those who yearned for independence, political self-determination, protection of cultural identity and language. They wanted access to land on one hand and others were against the forceful seizure of their land.
Mchunu further emphasized: “Our participation in the celebrations in the UK should be viewed within the context of social cohesion. When we voted on the 27th April 1994 means that the tensions and conflict that we carried as South Africans carried over many decades was finally settled. We have created platforms for all communities to accept each other as equals. This was done through the national general elections based on equality and the principle of one man one vote.”
“The solution to South Africa’s conflict was achieved on the basis of accepting that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White. Similarly, the future of our country will be secured by respecting the fundamentals that supported its formation.”
“As we move forward as one nation united in diversity, we have to build an inclusive economy which creates jobs but more importantly an economy that reflects the demographics of the country. We need harness the cooperation of business in private-public partnerships for nation building and to enhance economic development, tourism and job creation in our province.”