UZULU ARTS AND HERITAGE NPO PRESENTS THE PRINCESS MAGOGO SEMINAR THE FIRST OF THE ZULU ROYAL WOMEN SERIES

MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
SON OF PRINCESS MAGOGO KA DINUZULU
INKOSI OF THE BUTHELEZI CLAN
TRADITIONAL PRIME MINISTER TO THE ZULU MONARCH AND NATION
AND PRESIDENT EMERITUS OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

READ ON HIS BEHALF BY HER GRANDSON
NTUTHUKOYEZWE ZUZIFA KA MANGOSUTHU

PZ Phakathi Hall, Ulundi: 30 August 2019

 

My mother, Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu, has been honoured many times since her passing in 1984. She would have been proud to receive the National Order of Inkhamanga in Gold, which was posthumously bestowed by President Thabo Mbeki. She would have been proud too of the first African opera ever written and performed, about her life and her talent.

But knowing how much she loved our people and our culture, I believe she would have been just as proud to see events like this being arranged here, in Ulundi. It is here that her grandfather, King Cetshwayo, saw his nation defeated, and it was from here that we vowed to rise again.

There is something deeply significant in celebrating Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu here, in Ulundi.

I therefore want to thank Ms Nomthetho Sibisi and the uZulu Arts and Heritage NPO for arranging this seminar on Princess Magogo. I am honoured to send my greetings and my support for this event. Sadly, I am not able to be with you in person to listen to the seminar. But through this message, read on my behalf, I hope you will feel my appreciation.

I have many reasons to be pleased when my mother is honoured. As a son, I am naturally proud of Princess Magogo, more so because she was an anchor in my life. After the death of my father, Inkosi Mathole Buthelezi, Princess Magogo ensured that I would be well-educated. Throughout my life, she taught me courage, humility and perseverance. More importantly, she taught me my faith.

It was Princess Magogo who insisted that I return to Mahlabathini to take up my position as Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan. I was deeply involved in liberation politics, as an activist in the ANC. I therefore sought the advice of Inkosi Albert Luthuli before heeding my mother’s call. But Inkosi Luthuli assured me that through the institution of traditional leadership, I would be able to serve my people well.

He was right. I have served as a traditional leader for more than sixty years, and I witnessed how the institution of traditional leadership preserves the cultural heritage of our nation. It is therefore important to me, as a traditional leader, to strengthen our ties with the past by reminding us of the remarkable men and women whose footprints lie in this soil.

Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu is one of those people. The footprint she left is deep and beautiful, for it speaks of our nation’s wealth. Not the fleeting wealth of money, but our wealth of tradition, artistic talent, and culture. We have a great treasury of history that deserves to be celebrated.

It is particularly appropriate that we celebrate this during National Women’s Month. As Women’s Month draws to a close, this seminar reminds us of the strength of South African women. Princess Magogo was ahead of her time in many ways. She was a woman in a man’s world, able to perform traditionally male responsibilities better than any man.

When she recited the praises of our forebearers, she was the last one standing, when every other praise-singer had exhausted his repertoire of praises. She knew our nation’s history in detail, and she could convey the pathos of a people with incredible skill. Through the music she composed and through her singing she brought the ideas, hopes and daily life of the Zulu nation to an international audience. Through her recordings, she gave to posterity a unique and special gift.

Just this week, Princess Magogo was celebrated at the University of South Africa with a Woman of Firsts’ Award. The effect of her decision to pursue music, regardless of anything else, was to open the way for other women to choose their own path.

Today, I love hearing from women how my mother inspired them to follow their passion. When eminent talents like Mrs Sibongile Khumalo speak about my mother’s influence, I cannot be prouder.

I wish therefore to express my support as you remember Princess Magogo. I thank the sponsors who have assisted, and I thank Ms Sibisi. But most of all, I thank those who came here today to listen to this seminar. May you be inspired.

I thank you.