A visionary and a freedom fighter: President Ramaphosa pays homage to King Dinuzulu

President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded King Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo as a visionary and freedom fighter, who fought and greatly sacrificed for the freedom enjoyed by the country today.

President Ramaphosa was paying tribute to King Dinuzulu at the 110th commemoration of the death of the former Zulu monarch at KwaCeza Sports Field in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The President commenced the commemoration by paying his respects at the King Dinuzulu Memorial in Emakhosini, where the honours of a wreath laying ceremony took place.

Reflecting on his legacy, the President said it was an honour that the late King’s life is being celebrated at a time when the country is also celebrating 30 years of democracy and freedom.

‘…The honour is even greater in that as we commemorate and celebrate the life of King Dinuzulu, we are also celebrating 30 years of democracy and freedom in South Africa.

‘It is a freedom that many, including iSilo uDinuzulu, fought for and greatly sacrificed for. We are here to pay homage to Inkosi Yama
khosi, a visionary and a freedom fighter, who, despite the yoke of oppression and bondage inflicted on him and his people, never wavered,’ President Ramaphosa said on Saturday.

The President said like many before him and elsewhere who led their people in fighting against colonial invaders, his fight was not only for one group of people, in one area. He said it was a collective struggle for freedom for all the oppressed people of South Africa, even though his battle theatre was in KwaZulu.

‘Since the colonisers first arrived on our soil, our forebearers, the Khoi, the San, the amaXhosa, the amaZulu, AbeSotho, Batswana, BaVenda, BaShangane, ba Dzonga, BaPedi, the Xhu and the Khwe, Ama Swati all took up arms in defence of our sovereignty, in defence of the land, and in defence of our people.

‘Long before the founding of the African National Congress in 1912, it was traditional and indigenous leaders at the forefront of the resistance against colonialism,’ the President said.

The President further elaborated
on King Dinuzulu’s love for education and music, which went on to have a big impact on the Zulu Royal Household.

He said that he embraced education and his children, including Princess Magogo and her brother King Solomon, were all sent to school.

‘He became deeply involved in the arts. Earlier in his life, he had been a prolific composer of Amahubo esiZulu. On St Helena [where he was exiled], he played the piano and the organ, and developed a love for church hymns that he sang in isiZulu and English.

‘This love for music led to the spread of choral music and other transitional styles like isicathamiya, maskandi and others, which are unique to the Zulu Kingdom,’ he said.

President Ramaphosa described King Dinuzulu as one of the country’s greatest forebears.

‘On this 110th anniversary commemoration of one of our greatest forebears, we must ensure that the story of this son of the African soil is not lost in the annals of history, but that it continues to be told by generations to come.

‘As government depa
rtments, provinces and municipalities, we continue to embrace our cultural heritage and liberation history,’ he said.

The President told the gathering that liberation tourism has a key role to play in developing the economy of the province and the country as a whole. He called on the private sector to be part of this endeavour aimed at preserving the story of South Africa’s liberation.

‘It is important that these events and activities be translated into sustainable socio-economic endeavours aimed at job creation in the related sectors.

‘It will also be important that our academics and intellectuals are engaged in the documentation of our history. For us to know where we are going, we have to know where we come from as a people,’ he said.

President Ramaphosa emphasised that with the foundation laid by forebears such as King Dinuzulu, the country shall overcome poverty, inequality, unemployment and underdevelopment.

‘We are mindful that the struggle for liberation was waged by those who were robbed of enjo
ying their own youth, as was the case with Inkosi uDinuzulu.

‘We shall not fail to make them proud. We shall ensure that their struggle and sacrifice was not in vain. We shall ensure that we leave no-one behind,’ he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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