The skies were overcast the whole day yesterday as if to give people a break from the scorching sun witnessed the previous day.
It was the day of King Mambo’s royal wedding at his homestead in Mawabeni in Umzingwane District. The king was installed last year during a ceremony attended by 80 chiefs drawn from across the country.
Yesterday, people braved the chilly weather and put their best attire for the wedding. Many walked, some cycled while others drove to reach the homestead where two giant white tents were pitched to accommodate guests.
The ceremony started at around 2:40PM. By then enough food had been saved and there was still a lot that remained.
King Mambo born Mike Moyo who is also referred to as Ilitshe Aligiqiki, was ushered to his royal chair set up in the traditional Marquette which resembled a traditional hut decorated with yokes, hoes and shovels.
He was wearing a traditional vest associated with Zulu maskandi artists, a short which matched and brown shoes. Ululations accompanied his entrance as he was accompanied by three chiefs.
That he was happy was clear as he smiled to the crowds lifting his hand as if to bless the multitudes.
His bride, Queen Ndlovukazi, born Priscilla Percy Ndlovu, who is the king’s second wife was ushered inside the homestead accompanied by traditional dancers.
She was wearing a traditional dress with brown colours.
Once she took her place beside the King, the festivities started and various traditional groups and poets took turns to entertain the crowd.
The highlight of the ceremony was when the king and queen took the Jerusalem Challenge dance accompanied by Victory Siyanqoba dance group and they did justice showing that they had thoroughly rehearsed.
“I am over the moon for marrying my second wife uMandlovu. In our Lozwi/Rozvi culture, Kings don’t stop marrying. So, we might be here next year for another wedding,” declared the King in an interview with the media during a short break.
Asked if the queen will accept more wives, King Mambo said: “Once you are married to a king; they are educated about our culture so that they know what they are getting themselves into.”
King Mambo challenged men not to resort to “omakhwapheni” to help fight diseases like HIV.
“I want to encourage all men in the country to stop small houses. If you need another wife our culture allows us to do so. Let us do things that are lawful in our culture as African people. This helps us fight diseases like HIV,” he said.
King Mambo said he is worried about high divorce statistics in the country and said people must observe their culture.
“Families must have family courts to educate and bring peace to partners who are having marital problems to avoid the high numbers of divorce cases we are witnessing. During my ancestor Mambo’s time, women were respected and elders played an important role in building families,”he said.
Umzingwane MP Cde Levy Mayihlome hailed the move by the King and said there is a need for the country to open debate on the monarchy.
“There is no conflict in having a monarchy in a democratic country led by an executive President. Our constitution says we are a unitary state without a monarch but in other countries like South Africa they have many kings not just one.
“The monarchy is in charge of culture and tradition in that set up and it won’t affect a constitutional democracy. I do not see any conflict there. I believe we must have an open dialogue as a country about having monarchs. Our cultures are different. We have many languages and different cultures which must be respected so that we have unity in diversity as a people,” he said.
Chief Malisa of Silobela also said there is need for the country`s constitution to be revisited to address the monarchy debate.
“We want unity, peace and development in the country and it is kings who assist in bringing harmony because kings are apolitical. We know that our constitution at the moment has no room for a king but our ancestors have given us a king.
“The Government is encouraging us to revive our cultures and going forward we need to talk about it. We know that in the past Mambo ruled with Mzilikazi, those are some of the issues we need to talk about,” said Chief Malisa.
Chief Makoni of Rusape in Manicaland said there is need for the country to restore its past traditional set up.
“We want our culture to go back to where it was so that we benefit from the richness of this country. We are here to rebuild Zimbabwe and restore our legacy and once we do that, I believe Zimbabwe will be a prosperous nation,” he said.
In no time King Mambo and queen Ndlovu had changed into royal attires and the festivities continued. The dance floor was lit with people dancing in celebration.