My Drakensberg – Zulu Village

 

In April 2013, Sheila, me and our Johannesburg family were in the Northern Drakensberg. In the course of our visit, Richard, my son-in-law, arranged an invitation to an Ihlambo Cleansing Ceremony at a local Amazizi Zulu village. Ihlambo or Inhlambuluko ceremonies are used in traditional African communities as “cleansing” and reconciliation rituals to assist in bringing individuals and groups together and to set past

grievances aside.

For example, after a death in a family the various members renew their mutual commitment and the spirits of the departed are placated and reconciled with the living. The elders are traditionally involved in leading the ritual and facilitating the process of cleansing and renewal, which often takes place about a year after the death of the loved one.

This particular ceremony was held on behalf of Mr Themba Ngcobo, whose wife had passed away. Besides being one of the village elders, Mr Ngcobo is also coach and sponsor/owner of the local soccer team, the Drakensberg Junior Aces.

Mr Ngcobo
Mr Ngcobo

To commemorate the event and thank Mr Ngcobo & the community, I have published a photobook, 2 copies for Richard and me and 3 more: 1 for our host, 1 for the village and the last for Mr Nelson Mdu who facilitated the arrangements.

To help defray expenses and to assist the Village, I have also created an enhanced e-book and pdf book on Blurb, entitled, “My Drakensberg: a wide-angle meander though the gentler side of the greatest mountain range in South Africa”. All profits over and above the very basic costs are to go to the Village soccer team and thus promote village identity and mutual goodwill.

The e-book for iPad and Apple Mac users is over 60 pages long. It is a leisurely exploration of the Drakensberg as I have encountered it sporadically over many decades, and includes some personal anecdotes and history of the region. It records the different seasons and the surrounding villages and farms as well as the actual ‘Berg. I’m sure you will enjoy the text but more especially the images and video documenting the beauty, variety and majesty of our Drakensberg. The PDF version is designed for Windows and Android based devices.

For instructions on how to purchase and download either the eBook or the PDF go to the blog and the relevant post on this site entitled, unsurprisingly, My Drakensberg. Read carefully; it’s worth the extra precautions.

Mike Berger

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Peter Turchin

Peter Turchin

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