Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelethini is now ready to finally tie the knot for the sixth time with his youngest queen - Zola kaMafu from Swaziland.

The royal family has confirmed that wedding plans are under way but did not say when the big day would be.

kaMafu has been living at the royal palace at Kwakhangela since 2000 and has a child with the king. She was 16 when she was brought to the royal family from her home and fell pregnant even before the ilobolo was paid.

It is understood that wedding plans were put on hold until aspects relating to the ilobolo payments were finalised. On Saturday at a welcoming ceremony hosted by the kaMafu family at Port Dunford near Esikhawini, KwaZulu-Natal, it was revealed that Zola, who is still in her 20s, will soon be given her own palace and rightful place beside the Zulu monarch.

It appears that while the ilobolo negotiations were finalised last year, internal disputes in the kaMafu family as to who should benefit from the iloboloheld up the proceedings. An uncle wanted the proceeds as did the mother. The family has now settled the matter and because the future queen does not have a father, her uncle Pastor Isaiah kaMafu will act as her father.

Prince Goodenough Zulu represented the royal family at the welcoming ceremony. He told the kaMafus that they were now ready to welcome the future queen officially into the royal family.

At the event the future queen was advised on how she should take on her future responsibilities within the royal family. The kaMafu women also advised her about her new role.