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ZULU monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini has called for portraits of himself to be displayed at airports and stadiums before the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in June.
Zwelithini made the call yesterday to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government. He was speaking at the Pietermaritzburg Royal Showgrounds during the official opening of the legislature.
Zwelithini said: "The royal household is one of the tourist attractions in this country. It prides itself on its cooperative relations with government. Mr Premier, I wish to reiterate what I have said to this government, in that it would be good to have portraits of the king in public areas such as airports and stadiums.
"It would be good if those portraits could be displayed prior to the commencement of the World Cup as this spectacle will attract people from countries all over the world.
"This display will complement the Kingdom of the Zulu logo that people see as they arrive in Durban."
It was not the first time Zwelithini has made such a call. He first made it in 2004. The government then agreed but it was never implemented. At the moment, only portraits of President Jacob Zuma and Premier Mkhize are displayed.
Zwelithini also called on the government to elevate the king's palaces to the "level that befits the royal household".
"In that way, government will not be ashamed of showing our palaces to visitors," he said.
He then called on each and every resident to appreciate what it means for our country to be the focus of the world by hosting the World Cup.
"In our lifetime, we will never again have another opportunity to experience the World Cup because it does not come twice to the same country within a short space of time."
He also thanked countries such as Nigeria, Paraguay, Greece, Cameroon and Algeria, who have chosen KwaZulu-Natal as their base camps during the soccer spectacle.