Young Women in Contemporary Zulu Society

by Sandra Klopper
University of Cape Town

Dr. Sibongile Zungu, shown here receiving gifts from people living in the Amatikulu district, wears beaded garments to express Zulu identity, South Africa. Photo by Sandra Klopper.

Although she was raised in an urban environment, Dr. Zungu moved into rural KwaZulu-Natal after marrying her late husband, the son of a Zulu chief. Once there, she was given beadwork and other items of dress by the members of the Ibandla lamaNazaretha living in the ward controlled first by her father-in-law and, later, by her husband. She also went through an umemula/ukwemula "coming-of-age" ceremony before her wedding, at which she wore traditional dress.