Umoja takes on royalty in Mbabane

UMOJA will touch down in Swaziland today.

UMOJA will touch down in Swaziland today.

The singers and dancers of the world-acclaimed musical and its creators, Thembi Nyandeni and Todd Twala, perform at the palace near Mbabane.

"Swaziland has been extremely good to us, treating us like royalty. This tradition goes back to the struggle days when a whole lot of artists who could not perform in South Africa would be hosted in the kingdom," Twala said, referring to the likes of Peter Tosh.

"It's for this reason that Thembi and I felt that our show of gratitude is long overdue. The queen mother, the king and members of the royal family are ecstatic at this gesture."

Swaziland's tourism and environmental affairs minister Macford Sibande said: "Umoja represents good intentions by South Africa. Umoja is a good brand. We feel their presence in our beautiful country will help us market Swaziland a few days before the World Cup."

Sibande said the trip, which is in conjunction with Land Rover and Sowetan, starts at the queen mother's Ludzidzini Palace today, and ends with a performance at the king's palace, KwaLozitha.

Tomorrow, they will perform at the Victory Theatre in Orange Grove, Johannesburg.