Liberian royal title passes on

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Hail King Thokozani Dube.

Lucky Dube's 18-year-old son Thokozani is now king. He was given the royal decree in a ceremony at his Ngogo home in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday.

As the saying goes: The king is dead, long live the king.

The Information Technology student will be enrobed in the royal gown when he goes to Liberia and will be known as King Thokozani Tamba Taylor, after the late chief Tamba Taylor of Liberia who first conferred the honour on Lucky.

The title is one of the highest orders bestowed on people who have achieved significance in their field, besides leading an exemplary life. On the death of the honoured individual, the crown goes to his successor.

Lucky's first male child Thokozani, still shocked at the responsibility placed on his young shoulders, said: "It was totally unexpected. It's overwhelming. I really don't know how to feel. It puts me in a position where I have to think things through before I act because the consequences can undo all my father's good deeds.

"The crown goes through generations and if I don't do well, the kingship will be revoked."

Thokozani said he would not compete with his father.

"Lucky was in his own league. I cannot try to outdo him. I will pursue what I want to do and that will be enough for me."

Juli Endee, cultural ambassador for Liberia, travelled to South Africa for Lucky's funeral and the coronation of Thokozani.

Visibly emotional, she said: "We would like to register our outrage and to inform South Africa that we denounce violence and want to express our condolences to the Dube family. He was an icon in Liberia. We worshipped the ground he walked on.

"When Liberia was on fire and we needed a voice to articulate our frustration and tell the world that we did not want war, nobody wanted to come to Liberia. We don't blame anybody because we could not guarantee their safety."

Endee said when Lucky went to Liberia, friends and foes took to the streets to celebrate a legend.

"That day there was no shooting, people put their weapons away and danced in jubilation. People who had been in hiding for months came out.

"I can safely say that Lucky helped put out the fire. That day marked a turning point in our lives. Today we have a new president and things are looking up. And it's all thanks to Lucky."