A messenger for his subjects
Frank Maponya and Elijar Mushiana
Thousands of people in Limpopo flocked to the tiny village of HaMasia outside Thohoyandou for the inauguration of the new chief, Mbangiseni Masia, at the weekend.
A senior manager in Limpopo's department of sports, arts and culture, Masia was clearly delighted to be inducted as chief of HaMasia.
Guests were entertained by traditional dancers who paid tribute to the new chief.
Chief Vusani Netshimbupfe conducted the induction and named Chief Masia, "Nthumeni", which means "make me a messenger".
Family spokesman Dzuguda Kharidzha said Masia was taking over from his elder brother, Ramauba III, who died in 2005.
Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto said the government would continue to support traditional leaders because they had an in-depth knowledge of community issues.
"We want to see traditional leadership as modern institutions. We will continue to support traditional leaders whom we recognise," said Moloto.
In full view of all those present, Moloto handed to Masia a certificate recognising him as the real chief of HaMasia.
He was also given a chair, specially designed for chiefs, as an honour to show that "no one can come and unseat Masia".
"I condemn anyone who would want to oppose this chieftainship," Moloto said to applause.
Community member Azwitamisi Mashau said he believed Masia would rebuild all the areas which fell under his chieftaincy because of his enormous potential and dedication.
Shortly after the ceremony, Masia told Sowetan that he would work to improve his people's lives. He would establish a community development trust to encourage young people to get an education as part of building and developing the community.
"I need my people to be educated like I am because when people have an education nothing is impossible for them to achieve. I've no doubt that I'm going to rule my people in a manner that will satisfy most of them," said Masia.