Seven­ti­eth cel­e­bra­tion held at Nce­ma­neni

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Kings­ley Hol­gate

THE Zu­lus call the pre-dawn, ‘Mpondo zankomo’ – ‘horns of the cat­tle’, a po­etic ref­er­ence to the emerg­ing sil­hou­ettes of cat­tle horns in the kraal as the dark­ness of night gives way to the emerg­ing light of dawn.

After a night of Zulu cul­ture and dance at Shaka­land, the 70th ‘Landies through the Ages’ ex­pe­di­tion team was rudely awak­ened by Shaka­land’s en­thu­si­as­tic roost­ers try­ing to out-crow each other be­fore the stars had set!

Early morn­ing cof­fee on the camp­fire set the stage for an ex­cit­ing com­mu­nity con­ser­va­tion day at nearby Nce­ma­neni Pri­mary School to raise aware­ness of the plight of the rhi­nos through Rhino Art ed­u­ca­tion and an en­er­getic con­ser­va­tion­themed soc­cer match.

The day was also the tenth an­niver­sary of the Rhino Art project, which raises aware­ness of the un­re­lent­ing and sav­age poach­ing of Africa’s iconic rhi­nos.

It is im­por­tant to in­stil a pas­sion for wildlife among the youth, and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of learn­ers from Richard’s Bay High School made this an un­for­get­table day of con­ser­va­tion ed­u­ca­tion, pro­vi­sion of Rite to Sight spec­ta­cles for the poor-sighted, and early child­hood devel­op­ment work with teach­ers and pre-school chil­dren from the Nce­ma­neni com­mu­nity.

Head­ing north

For those who like a road less trav­elled, the team crossed the Phobane Dam wall and wound along dirt roads and through steep hills and deep val­leys rich in Zulu his­tory and folk­lore to the beau­ti­ful Ba­banango Val­ley with some of the most spec­tac­u­lar scenery in South Africa.

The jour­ney fin­ished at the Isan­dl­wana and Rorke’s Drift bat­tle­fields of the An­glo-Zulu War.

After five days of ad­ven­ture and great hu­man­i­tar­ian work, this sym­bolic 70th an­niver­sary ex­pe­di­tion that started with the cre­ation of a big Land Rover-filled ‘70’ shape on the fields of Stone­haven Cas­tle, came to an end as the hard-work­ing Landy team made their way home via the spec­tac­u­lar, twist­ing roads of Qhu­deni to the Tugela River.

Richards Bay High School learn­ers show­ing their rhino art­work are Salome Wal­ters, Ed­ward Bekker and Anna Muanza with Richard Ma­banga (sec­ond left)

The man of the match, Andile Shange cel­e­brates with his team mates after the very com­pet­i­tive soc­cer match Larry Bent­ley

Kings­ley Hol­gate as­sists at Mashozi’s Rite to Sight clinic

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