Traditional Zulu girl.

South Africa is rich with cultures in diversity I am Zulu person and I am proud of my ethnic cultural habits and customs.

Being born and bred in the remote areas of Nquthu has made me to relate myself closely to Umvelinqangi through my ancestors.

It is very important to know where ancestors live before communicating with them. Zulu person construct his homestead to form an arch shape.

Top roundavel on the arch, belongs to the ancestors and it is built to be above other houses on the left and right as shown below.

Zulu arch-shaped homestead.

Such hut should be quiet and immaculate. Goat is slaughtered and sacrificed to the ancestors and calling upon their names while burning an incense, would convene them to inhabit a roundavel that is newly built.

It is very crucial to watch trails of smoke while an incense is burning because it tells you if a ceremony is welcomed or not.

Burning of insence: impepho in Zulu.

Up-straight and white trail of smoke from the burning incense, conveys a solid message that your ancestord accepted a ceremony you have done for them.

If a smoke is green and scatters uneven in the air, that ceremony is like a party thrown for your friends and it is not acceptable to them.

Consulting traditional healers, would clarify what went wrong because he would use his powers invested in him or her to communicate directly with your ancestors.

Zulu tradional healer.

Ancestors inhabit that roundavel in the middle of an arch shape homestead and it serves as a throne of all other houses because it would be built above them.

Ancestors are capable to watch over your homestead while walking with you. They guide and protect you everyday but if you only honouring them.

Honouring an ancestor does not mean you are praising them as God but they are tasked to maintain solid relationship between you and Mvelinqangi.

Mvelinqangi is God and deserves all the praise.

Only a married man of his house has a right to burn an incense and speak to the ancestors. His sons and daughters are not in the position to liaise with ancestry until they get married traditionally.

Once his sons are settled down with their wives, they would build those ancestry roundavels and their father would conduct ancestry ceremonies to invite ancestors – to dwell in the homesteads of his sons respectively.

One of the reason why most of the Zulu homestead are built in an arch form is to accommodate kraal for cattle in the yard. Cattle kraal is built in the middle of an arch form homestead.

Why is it important to have a kraal with cattle at home?

It is very important to slaughter a cow and goats and sacrifice them to your ancestors frequently.

Cattle slaughtering.

When you are refraining to offer such sacrifices, ancestors might kill a person in your family, but if you have cattle at home, they kill any cow of their choice instead of any family member.

Ancestors sometimes get angry to cause imaginable havoc at yourself or home.

Ancestors enthrals when a sorghum beer is concocted and placed at their altar in the roundavel where they inhabit.

Zulu sorghum beer: umqombothi.

Traditional beer: umqombothi’s and meat’s aroma, make them to dish out fortunes for you and your family in abundance.

It is very crucial to offer sacrifices to thank your ancestors whenever you bought a new car, house, etc. Sometimes burning of incense is suffice to thank them.

Communicating with ancestors is not witch crafting or black magic but it is our own traditional methods to liaise with Umvelinqangi.

Not all people become ancestors when they die. Killers, rapists, thieves, self-conceited people, drunkards, womanisers, sorcerous etc. Do not become ancestors but they become ghosts that haunt earth for no purpose.

Our nation has been a victim of all sorts of menaces such land exploitation, colonization, life – threatening diseases, perilous natural disasters because we have forgotten our basics and regard our culture as demon or satanic.

A question is, Why I have to leave my traditional customs and habits and follow any other cultural genres?

Why do think your culture is better than mine?

Africans need to get rid of the bible teachings because it contains fairy tales that were made up for political affiliations by the west colonizers.

For example, J.W Colenso, Lewis Grunt came with a bible during the year 1400s to declare a war between a black man and his God: Mvelinqangi,

He then turned his back towards him ever since these men disrupted communication between Him and native South Africans.

Compiled by: Sizwe Mkhize


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