Young Women in Contemporary Zulu Society

by Sandra Klopper
University of Cape Town

Jacob Zuma (left), the ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal, and ANC parliamentarian, Mike Sutcliffe (in dashiki), with a representative from the USA embassy in South Africa, at Reed Ceremony in 1997. Photo by Sandra Klopper.

Political developments in South Africa had an enormous impact on ceremonies of this kind, however. Tension between the king and Chief Mangosuthu Buthulezi, his self-appointed adviser, encouraged the Zulu monarch to align himself with President Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) government. This explains why, in 1997, the ceremony was attended by Jacob Zuma (left), the ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal, and Mike Sutcliffe (in a dashiki), an ANC parliamentarian, accompanied by a representative from the USA embassy in South Africa. This shift in loyalties also accounts for the decision to transform the ceremony into a multicultural event that included schoolgirls from Indian and white backgrounds in 1995.