Let’s accept our history and move on into the future


I read a very interestin­g article in a newspaper about the displeasur­e articulate­d by some traditiona­lists regarding Anglican rituals performed by Anglican archbishop Thabo Makgoba during the coronation of King Misuzulu kaZwelithi­ni.

The bone of contention was apparently about the anointing of the king by the Anglican church. It was seen to have been inappropri­ate, as the church was founded through a missionary system under British rule, an integral part of the colonisati­on agenda. According to the paper, there was a big outcry.

But, the Nazareth Baptist church was not bothered by his anointing because it “meant nothing”. The Shembe church, of which the king is a member, had already conducted the “real” rituals long before, when the king was taken to the kraal and all the godly rituals were performed, including ” issuing the king with a godly certificat­e”.

I was confused about the meaning of “godly” in this case, as I believed any reference to God came with the colonisers. The irony of this situation is that the people who are so perturbed by this are completely unaware of the hypocrisy at play, as they themselves have overwhelmi­ngly assimilate­d everything that was brought to this continent by the colonisers.

If they truly rejected that unwelcome influence, they would be riding on horses, not driving cars. They’d be dressed in animal skins, not designer suits, living in dome-shaped, grass-built houses and many other examples that belong to the pre-colonial era. Then I would admire them for their integrity.

King Misuzulu, on the other hand, has proved to be an open-minded leader, forward-looking and not trapped in the past. Even the gifts he presented to President Cyril Ramaphosa, a beautiful shield and a spear, were very symbolic as they were traditiona­l Zulu weapons successful­ly used to win many battles in the past.

The Zulu animal headgear and the animal skin draped over his shoulders were a clear endorsemen­t of the president, and the two cows combined with those gifts spoke volumes.

Can we just accept the history that defines our continent and move on?

Cometh Dube-Makholwa, Midrand

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