Day four: Another long Umhlanga march

Friday is the day of the return march to Ludzidzini Royal Residence.

When I arrived, my group was already packed and we departed for the umphakatsi within a few minutes. I thought things would be happening soon, but of course, that wasn’t the case. There were thousands and thousands of girls there.

This was the only time I saw the timbali fed, and it was a massive operation. There were also dozens of people selling snacks of all kinds.

My group waited here for a few hours. So many girls came up to me to hear me speak siSwati, to ask me to be their friend, and to stare at me.

Finally, around 1 p.m., we lined up, and eventually the march began. There was a small crowd in Luyengo to watch us pass, and then we were off, down the middle of the road to Malkerns.

It took about 90 minutes to get to the first meeting point, where busses would shuttle the timbali to Mahlanya, and then they would march the last segment to Ludzidzini in the dark.

When we arrived at the meeting point, the busses had already left with the first section to arrive. I decided to turn around at this point, because I needed to be home before dark. There was no way I could get to Ludzidzini and back before nightfall.

In all, this was the least exciting of the days, but I was still happy to participate in a portion of the day’s activities.

This entry was posted in Africa, Peace Corps, Swaziland, Tradition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Day four: Another long Umhlanga march

  1. Pingback: Day seven: Dancing time | travelin' the globe

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