JOHANNESBURG, August 13 – Maidens on Monday said they were ready for Umkhosi Womhlanga (Zulu Reed Dance) 2018 held usually in late August or early September.
EThekwini Municipality in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture held a Maidens Conference at Kwa-Ximba Sports Field on Saturday and Sunday.
More than 3000 maidens from all wards of the Municipality including Royal Household Representatives attended the conference.
The initiative was a build-up to the uMkhosi Womhlanga that will take place later this year and intends to educate and raise awareness on social ills affecting young women such as HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy.
eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said the Municipality would support all programmes that enhance cultural identity and moral discipline.
“We are proud of the House of Traditional Leaders for their stern leadership and commitment to ensuring that our cultural values are entrenched in our constitution. As this is Women’s Month we will continue to support this programme in order to ensure that the struggles of icons such as Mama Albertina Sisulu and Mama Winnie Mandela were not all in vain,” said Gumede.
Nontsikelelo Shozi, who represented maidens from across the Municipality added that it was important to be disciplined in today’s society for all young women.
“Today we are living in a society that is slowly abandoning its cultural roots and we should view ourselves as a beacon of hope for the nation. We should therefore delay sexual activity by all means even in the face of enormous pressures from our peers,” said Shozi.
The conference also provided empowerment opportunities with information on how to access higher education and selecting careers that will strengthen the economy. The focus was on previously disadvantaged young women from urban townships to rural areas.
The programme was concluded with the awarding of certificates to maidens who have maintained their virginity up the age of 21 and above.
Amakhosi ase Ndlunkulu and Executive Committee members were amongst those who attended the conference. (ANA)