Monday, April 27, 2009

Nkandla: Jacob Zuma's Ancestral Home

Last year somewhere in April my wife, myself and two family friends went to Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal for the funeral of a woman who died rather unexpectedly on a visit to her ancestral home. She was a good family friend and we were obliged to travel the five hours for the purpose of saying our final goodbyes to her . The two ladies that went with us also come from Zululand. One hails from the same village as the dead woman and the other from Durban. We were blessed to have them with us as they helped us to understand not only the cultural practices and traditions of the area but also the proceedings at the funeral itself as well as the burial. There is great similarities in the way the Ndaus in the Chipinge area of Zimbabwe and the Zulus, at least the ones in Nkandla, bury their dead.
As a first time visitor to that part of the Zulu Kingdom, I discovered the generality of African spirit and character, the similarities as well as the differences between the Ghanaian culture and the Zulu culture.
KwaZulu-Natal is a really beautiful part of South Africa and I will encourage everybody to visit there once in a lifetime should the opportunity presents itself. We really fell in love with the place and the inhabitants.
It was an occasion rich in memory and poignant experiences. The journey was in itself pleasantly eventful. From the treacherous twists and turns of the road through the Amajuba mountain range which for all intents and purposes was, for me, a rigorous examination in the art of advanced driving to the beautiful scenes of the little towns and villages on the way.
I have just discovered that Nkandla is also the ancestral home of the President-elect of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma.
With the tourism potential of the area as it is and the ascension of Msholozi to the presidency of South Africa, I am tempted to say that Nkandla in a few years time will never be the same as I saw it last year.
In a way it will be sad to see the essence of rural living in Nkandla give way to modernity but who can question the desires of the people of Nkandla for their share of the fruits of South Africa's prosperity. Long Live Nkandla! Long Live South Africa!


Adaeze said...

You paint such a vivid picture of the setting and I'm wanting to fly there right now :-)
You are so right and I have thought the same myself so many times. Tourism is good for the country meaning its good business, creates jobs and draws investors, which is all something Africa as a whole really needs. South Africa is in my eyes the most touristy country in Africa, together with maybe Kenya. It's so sad to see how many beautiful places are just wasted a way because of money going into the wrong pockets. The Niger-Delta of Nigeria could have been a tourist paradise, instead it is the textbook example of the perils of oil production.
My husband and I also discussed the same subject when living in the village in the forest. The roads leadnig to the different villages are so bumpy and bad - and we heard news they want to fix them and we were happy for that, so that it'd finally be easier for us to go to our house and also take lesser time. But at the same time we realised, if the roads were to be so much better, everyone would run the place down and the peaceful tranquility we enjoy, the untouched nature would be gone.

posekyere said...

Thanks Adaeze!
You describe so vividly the challenges before all the nations of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Let us continue to do all we can to make our nations and communities better than they are now.
Bless You!!