"" SWAZI STYLE SCENE: Feature: Umhlanga Reed Dance

Monday, 15 August 2011

Feature: Umhlanga Reed Dance


It's our culture *rolls eyes*

Second term school holidays are the most eventful in Swaziland, what with  theUmhlanga Reed Dance and the Swaziland International Trade Fair. This year, the Reed Dance is on the weekend of the 28th August. It seems as though most families made their choices over the two major events and for some of us who have never attended the Reed Dance - shame on us hehehehe!

At some point, the nation was torn between the colourful Reed Dance being a ceremony aimed at preserving Swazi maidens and it being a violation of the Rights of the Girl Child.

Well, I had the pleasure of talking to a few ladies who have been to the Reed Dance and others who haven't and the views were quite interesting even though they preferred anonymity. So, I decided to scratch all the anonymous responses and got in touch with these two Divas; Mbali & Lindokuhle.

Before you crack your heads trying to figure out why I chose these two, I realised that they are opinion leaders in their own right and are very popular on the social networks so there must be something about them. Lindo had 4133 friends on FB while Mbali was sitting at 2730 at the time of publishing this article - now that's epic.  Any's, here goes:


The sexy Royal-Diva

Mbali Abdullah popularly known as Royal Diva in social media circles has never been to the Reed Dance because her dad never understood the whole concept. She said he always told her to focus on her school books and just didn't get why his daughter would have to walk 'naked' in front of throngs of people. Well, he's an Abdullah so perhaps he can be pardoned tltltltl

However, Mbali says she would be so envious of teh girls that took part; "especially when we came back from school holidays and those that had attended were talking about the excitement."

She says if her daughters would want to to take part in the Reed Dance, she would not bar themas long as i think they are old enough to look after themselves. *SHWEEET*



The stunnning Leendor
 For Lindokuhle Mthupha, who has been to the Reed Dance five times, Yep! 5 whole times, there's no doubt that she loves it whole heartedly or was she forced into it?

She quickly shakes her head and says "the experience is an outta Swaziland typa thingy...its great hey."
I roll my eyes and listen on as she goes on an on about her experience. In a way I wish I had done this...at least once even.

Though she says she'll pass this year, she will still go and watch on the final day when the girls shwcase thei dance moves before Their Majesties.

She says it takes a couple of months before the ceremony to prepare as you need to make sure you have all the necessary regalia i.e. Indlamu, umgaco, mafahlawane, umjijimba, lihawu, umukhwa etc.

Lindo adds that all things are dynamic, even Umhlanga. She says nowadays they rock their traditional regalia with diamond earrings and necklaces instead of the usual ligcebesha and even the indlamu (beaded skirt) comes with all sorts of bling accessories now. "Its more like Fashion week but Traditional Swazi style LOL," she explains.


This is THEN

This is NOW - the hairstyles, the shades yerrr! (check Lindo 2nd from left)

Regardless of being one for change, Lindo's a bit unhappy about the ceremony losing its originality as she says seemingly hip-hop tracks have replaced the usual traditional songs the maidens would dance to on their way to collect the reed. Hey, girls have ipods and i-phones and mp3 players now!

What I noticed were the sneakers; Pastry, Nike, Adidas, you name it! - I agree with Lindo that it is indeed  Fashion Week ... Swazi Style - mhmmm I love the sound of that!


Source: http://philipo.hubpages.com

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