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ANCWL backs Zulu king's bum 'cover up'

By unknown | Sep 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) has rallied behind Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini's call for maidens to "cover up" their waistlines during the annual reed dance festival this month.

Zwelithini has expressed concern that the traditional ceremony might lose its credibility if maidens continue showing up "half-naked".

More than 20000 virgin maidens descend on the Enyokeni Royal Palace at KwaNongoma in the Zululand.

At a series of events during Zwelithini's 60th birthday last month, he said he was worried about maidens attending the event with their buttocks not properly covered up.

The ANCWL has entered the fray saying the maidens should not expose themselves in public.

League spokesman Dudu Mazibuko says they support the king's appeal to get more women to join the cultural celebration.

"The king's call was to conscientise maidens about this practice, which at times has been disregarded by some maidens," Mazibuko says.

Some maidens complain that the king's call is aimed at destroying the reed culture.

Nomagugu Ngobese of Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development dismisses the leagues support for the king's sentiments.

She says if the women's league knew something about the culture, maidens would not have had to undertake six marches to protest against the government's suggestion that virginity testing be stopped altogether.

"The ANCWL wants to further its own interests," she says.

Ngobese says only those who understand the African religion should comment on the king's call. Proud virgin Nana Khambule also rejects the call to cover up their buttocks and breasts.

The festival is set for September 12.


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