The cultural phenomenon that is the Maidens’ Ceremony

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Umgubho WeziNtombi is the annual traditional Maidens’ Ceremony held in KwaNyuswa at the KwaNyuswa Traditional Council.

This year will see the 14th anniversary of the cultural event, which encompasses a leadership and motivational seminar, the sharing of indigenous knowledge and culture, dance and crafts workshops, in additional to the traditional Maidens Ceremony.

The Maidens Ceremony was originally conceptualised as an implementation of the vision of healer, Mr Madoda Gasa, to address social ills facing the youth, and in particular, young women, such as teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and crime in order to benefit the welfare of the community and society in general.

The event encourages young maidens to abstain from sexual activities until marriage or adulthood and educates them on a healthy and responsible lifestyle, good morals, leadership and income generating opportunities through the use of crafts and dance, as well as environmental awareness in an effort to reignite the lost agricultural and related traditional activities.

The visual arts and crafts, as well as dance workshops also teach the young maidens to use the art forms to pass on positive messages of acceptable social behavior to the nation.

The workshops and seminar form part of a 2-day event programme that lead up to the main Saturday event, the traditional Maidens Ceremony, which draws visitors.

The annual Maidens Ceremony happens in July each year and this year it will take place on 6 July 2019. Approximately 4000 participants are expected, including 2500 maidens.

The ceremony, which is culturally rich and insightful, is always bright and colourful too, drawing attention from travellers and photographers alike. This has placed the KZN South Coast’s Maidens Ceremony on the tourism calendar and enabled it to grow annually.

Those who would like to attend, should drive along the N2 towards Harding and turn right on D1084. Ugu South Coast Tourism branding will help you find the turn and the venue, which is at Dumabehlezi Enkanyezini, KwaNyuswa. The programme is due to start at 10am.

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