Festival brings people together

GET TOGETHER: MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu, Inkosi Israel kaMzimba Tembe and MEC for finance and economic development Zweli Mkhize at the festival. 08/02/09. © Unknown.
GET TOGETHER: MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu, Inkosi Israel kaMzimba Tembe and MEC for finance and economic development Zweli Mkhize at the festival. 08/02/09. © Unknown.

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The culture and traditions shared by black people all over the continent can play a big role in bringing those people together.

The Amarula Festival was celebrated on the outskirts of the poverty-stricken Ngwavuma area in northern Zululand on Saturday.

The yearly festival, which attracted thousands of people, was held at chief Mabhudi Tembe's royal residence.

The origins of this event go back to Swaziland, where the people brew traditional beer from amarula fruit and bring it to the chief's royal residence as an indication that amarula fruit is ripe.

The chief tastes the first harvest of the season and then declares that residents can officially brew amarula beer, drink it and sell it.

Tourists from Mozambique and Swaziland flock to Ngwa-vuma to taste the first beer.

The Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini sent his representative Prince Gibizizwe Zulu and other royal family members from the eMahashini royal residence to the event.

Lufto Dlamini, Swaziland's minister of foreign affairs who represented King Mswati at the function, said his country also celebrated the festival.

Finance and economic development MEC Zweli Mkhize said the government honours the ceremony. "Tradition brings people together and when people are united, they can fight the scourge of crime and other challenges," he said.

Local government and traditional affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said the festival also helps to revive cultural tourism.

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