Umkhehlo (Zulu engagement ceremony) is a rite of passage ceremony for a Zulu woman about to get married. Family, friends, neighbors, her in-laws come and rejoice and pin money on her hat, scarf, umbrella. This money is given so as to help her prepare for the wedding and buy gifts (umabo) for her in-laws.
Umkhehlo is slightly different from Umemulo (Coming of age ceremony). Umemulo is done by a girl’s father to thank her for showing good behavior and to mark her transition from just being a little girl to a woman – in Western terms this the 21st birthday celebration. Both rituals involve slaughtering a cow and dancing.
This event here took place in April 2019, deep in the heart of Zululand in an area called Encanyini, Melmoth.
Over the past few months I have been traveling in and outside Zululand doing storytelling and just admiring the beauty that is the Zulu Kingdom and its people. But what really got in the way of my blogging is my recent trips, with Zulu dancers, to Morocco in October, Vietnam in December 2015 and again Vietnam in February 2016. It has been a roller-coaster of excitement and I can’t wait to share the stories that I’m currently work on.
On before I forget, we are releasing a full-length music album (Beyond Zulu: Mkabayi kaJama) honoring the heroes and heroines such as Mkabayi kaJama. There are of course many other great songs such as Baba Nomama — a traditional Zulu wedding song (inkondlo) sung by a Zulu bride just before she says “I do” in a true Zulu tradition!
In the meantime enjoy the images from my recent trips in Zululand and outside of South Africa! For more images and videos; visit my company website Beyond Zulu Experience Check out Beyond Zulu YouTube channel