Forty Venda girls aged between 13 and 22 have done their parents and the society proud by passing virginity tests at the weekend.
The Venda maidens were tested at the KeDitselana Multicultural Village in Vosloorus on Saturday. They were awarded medals by Vhamusanda Chief Luvhaivhai Avhatakali Tshivhase of Venda.
The virgins paraded throughout the day, watched by clan leaders from South Africa and from as far away as Swaziland.
The ceremony featured traditional dancing by clans such as Swatis, who travelled all the way from their mountain kingdom.
The event was attended by leading lights in entertainment and other sectors of society.
Duma Ndlovu, the producer of the Venda soapie Muvhango, was applauded when he was introduced to the audience.
Gabriel Temudzani, who plays fictional Venda chief Azwindini Mukwevho in Muvhango, was mobbed when he arrived at the event. He was part of the contingent from the cast of Muvhango to descend on the cultural village.
Mathole Motshekga, executive director of Kara Heritage Institute in Pretoria, told the gathering that people must preserve their culture and be proud of their languages.
Clan chiefs wore colourful traditional attire. They spoke about the value and importance of maintaining African culture and heritage, and traditions such as remaining a virgin until married.
But the moment of glory was when the bare-breasted virgins were called to the podium by Vhamusanda Chief Tshivhase to receive their medals.
They girls were applauded by their peers, including maidens from Swaziland, and by their parents for their exemplary behaviour in maintaining their virginity despite peer pressure.