“AS long as I am still the ruler here, all of you are expected to participate in all activities such as the cultural events of the Kingdom and this is a must.”
These were the strong words uttered by Mbilaneni Chief Malambule to his subjects during a meeting held at the umphakatsi. The chief made it clear that whether one was a resident through kukhonta or indigenous people of the area, everyone was expected to toe the line and respect all the traditions and cultures practised in the Kingdom.
The chief, who seemed to be seething with anger, told the close to 400 residents who attended a mass meeting he had called to address them on topical issues such as the importance of youth participating in national events like Incwala, stated that he expected no one to claim he or she had a right to participate or not to participate in important national duties.
He pointed out how disappointed he was when seeing that boys from the area shunned the recent Incwala, where tingatja from his chiefdom only numbered to less than four boys.
The chief said ‘kuhlehla’ should not be mistaken to enslaving anyone but it was a good cultural practice meant to benefit the youth themselves.
“No one should claim he or she has a right to decide if he or she attends these ceremonies. I am expecting all the boys to attend ceremonies such as Lusekwane and Incwala.
“I found myself having nowhere to hide during the recent Incwala when I had to identify a group of tingatja which was expected to accompany me. I found that less than four of the boys attended and I turned a laughing stock to other chiefs whose boys came in numbers,” said the chief.
The chief said he was aware of the challenges the area was facing but was quick to point out that he would not tolerate a community which would fail to show respect of the Kingdom’s good cultures.
“Not a single one of you calling himself or herself a subject of Mbilaneni should fail to participate in such events of such magnitude. It is a must, let this be clear. Only when I am no longer your leader when maybe you are going to do as you please,” said Malambule.
The chief said he was aware how some of the people were respectful and paying allegiance to their leaders.
He said he expected the year 2014 to be a turning point for the Mbilaneni area, where everyone would strive to see the community excelling in everything. He said residents should start working as family for the area to achiev all its goals.
“Let 2014 be 2014 for us. Let us all make sure we excel in what we do. Even with the youth, I am aware that there are those who are good. I know of some of them who always make themselves available in all activities of the umphakatsi.
That is greatly appreciated, but they need to up their game by also fully participating in national ceremonies such as Incwala,” said the chief .
“Ngakwata matima uma ngitfola kutsi babe-bane kuphela bafana lababuya kulomphakatsi. Ngatjela Thikazi kutsi kufanele kwentiwe lutfo,” he said, meaning he was so much infuriated when seeing that less than four attended the Incwala and advised Indvuna Thikazi that, something needed to bedone to punish those who shun natural events
... fines each homestead E20
homesteadS with boys who were supposed to be part of ingatja, Chief Malambule had ordered that they pay E20.
The chief decided to reverse the earlier fine his libandla had effected, where it was ruled that for each boy existing in any homestead, he should to pay E20. During a meeting with the residents, the chief said the penalty should be E20 per homestead not per boy.
“I should not be misinterpreted. I mean if there are four boys in a family, it should be E20 and even if there are 10 boys, it should still be E20 per that homestead, including when there is only one boy, the penalty would remain at E20. I hope I am understood,” he said.
Just immediately after the chief had pronounced the penalty, there was sigh of relief from many as some had anticipated that the E20 fine suggested by the libandla through Indvuna Thami Thikazi would still stand.
Thikazi seated next to the chief when the decision to have the E20 per homestead or family be paid for failure by their boys to join other tingatja during Incwala. The chief highlighted that by his decision to fine E20 per homestead, he was not overruling his libandla which had wanted this be applied per boy.
“Don’t take advantage of this as in future, you are not going to be that lucky. I have not decided to be merciful to those who failed to attend the Incwala but I am trying to make it clear that what happened was an embarrassing thing.
“It should not happen again,” said Malambule.
The chief, who is a soldier based at Mbangweni Army Barracks had first wanted the residents themselves to decide on what should be done to help address the matter of the youth failing to attend national events.
It was after giving the residents a chance where most of the speakers supported the idea that a fine was to be effected and nothing else.
Others even mentioned that since this was a national event supported by elders, there should be no one, therefore, shunning it.
“The chief has been lenient to us and we should be thankful. In other areas those defying elders, are fined cows. It is not debatable, when a word has been issued by a chief, we should respect it. No one should be defiant.
“It has also been a known arrangement that when you are committed and failing to attend, you forward something. It may not be money but something which can be a provision (umphako) for those to participate,” one of the speakers said.
On the other hand, Indvuna Thikazi said the residents should be thankful to their ancestors for not seeing the chief maintaining the earlier fine the inner council had suggested.
“It is true that we had agreed that it should be E20 per boy not per homestead. But now that the chief has decided to be lenient on you, we accept that it should be per homestead.
Thank your lucky stars as I would have loved that the fine stands as was, that is E20 per boy not per homestead,”said Thikazi.