22 August 2017

South Africa: Zulu Warriors to Battle the British Army

Photo: Pixabay
Zulu traditional stick fighting

Zulu warriors will get to battle the British Army on their own battlefield when they arrive in Cardiff, Wales on Wednesday.

Armed with traditional Zulu spears and shields, the 75 warriors left for the United Kingdom on Tuesday to participate in the re-enactment of the Battle of Isandlwana at the 135th King Cetshwayo Celebrations in Cardiff.

The battle took place on January 22, 1879. The British Army was defeated that day when about 24 000 Zulu warriors attacked a British camp near Isandlwana Mountain.

More than a thousand British forces were killed, according to reports.

The warriors are accompanied by the cast and the Zulu Royal Choir.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said the celebrations are a prelude to the 140th commemoration of the battle, which will take place in the province in January 2019.

Strengthening cultural ties

"The participation of the Zulu warriors in the King Cetshwayo Celebrations in the UK will strengthen cultural ties between the people of KZN and the UK," he said.

"Every year we welcome visitors from the UK and all over the world to the old Kingdom of the Zulu people. We want to increase the number of tourists who will attend the commemoration of the battle of Isandlwana next year, especially those from the UK."

According to Mchunu, historical records show that the First War of Independence in 1881, the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902 and the Blood River War on December 16, 1838 were fought in KZN.

"We thank His Majesty for his guidance and for ensuring our participation in King Cetshwayo Celebrations," he said.

Royal Household spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu on Tuesday told News24 that he was already in Wales with other delegates from the Zulu Royal Household.

"We're so delighted to be invited to participate in the London celebrations," he said.

Speaking via WhatsApp, Zulu said they were warmly welcomed when they arrived on Sunday.

"They were happy to see the Zulu nation in their country however the real celebrations will begin tomorrow (Wednesday) when the rest of the delegates have arrived. That's when the real programme will begin," said Zulu.

In November 2011, King Goodwill Zwelithini hosted Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.


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