DURBAN – King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has officially been certified King of the Zulu people.

EThekwini Municipality was proud to welcome thousands of visitors and well-wishers from all corners of the world in celebration of the historic handover of the certificate to King Misuzulu kaZwelithini by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday, 29 October.

“Fate has decreed that I be King over the biggest nation in South Africa,” said King Misuzulu, and with the certificate from the country’s president in the King’s possession, nothing can be done to dethrone by him by those opposed to him.

“This marks a new reign for the Zulu king, a new official leader and King for the Zulu. As President of the republic, I am here to hand over the certificate of recognition to His Majesty, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini. I do so to fulfil my duty under our Constitution, which affirms the role of our kings and queens”, declares President Ramaphosa.

Although the title of king does not bestow executive power, the monarchs wield great moral influence over more than 11 million Zulus, who make up nearly a fifth of South Africa’s population. Amabutho, royal regiments, clad in traditional skirts, sang songs of praise for their king. Women wore brightly coloured broad-brimmed Zulu hats and traditional wraps, while young girls in pleated skirts and beads danced on the terraces in the massive Moses Mabhida stadium.

The new Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini was honoured by African leaders, including Eswatini Head of State His Majesty King Mswati III and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, among others, in an intimate gala dinner at the Durban International Convention Centre, after the royal ceremony.

Report and photos by Zoé Pillay