Tag Archives: rituals
January 17, 2014

Woza eNanda Walking Trail – cultural & social points of interest


Loyiso, Sanele & Mlu

What can one see and experience along the eNanda Walking Trail?

Below are some explanations and opinions provided by Mlu Mthembu, Loyiso Ntsalaze and Sanele Mvuyane from Inanda, but please contribute your own knowledge by leaving a comment or e-mailing us at enandaonline@gmail.com.

Follow these links for more information about plants along the trail or small shops and informal businesses.  For more information about the Woza eNanda Walking Trail trail initiative, check out our regular updates.


Dube family home

Dube family home

Dube family home

John Dube built this home, near the Ohlange Institute, in 1921. It is still occupied today by his only surviving daughter, Lulu Dube.

Follow this link for an interview with Lulu Dube.






Township homes may all look much alike at first sight, but are in fact displaying a great variety of building styles, shapes and materials. They reflect the aspirations and prosperity of the homeowners, but also cultural beliefs. For instance, a round hut on the premises indicates that a traditionalist (non-Christian) lives here; white border stones are used by Shembe believers. Tires on roof tops are believed to protect the home from lightning strikes and people sometimes store other items of top of the roof for protection from thieves. Even the most modest shack may be equipped with a satellite dish.

Listen here for more:

Stones and tires on the roof

Satellite dishes

Round huts

RDP houses

Horns on the wall

Upgrading a home

Fruit and vegetables

People in eNanda grow vegetable in every available spot of land around their home. Most common crops are meali (corn), pumpkin, beans, sweet potato, madumbi, etc. Mealis are especially important as a staple diet. Fruit trees – mango, avocado, bananas, pawpaw, and grapefruit are especially common in the vicinity of the Shembe settlement.

About mealies 

Goats and chicken

Goats and chicken are roaming around everywhere, because they are not only a source of meat, but important for ritual purposes. Goats represent the link with the ancestors and are slaughtered when ceremonies are performed. Among the chicken, only the black and white chicken are sacrificial animals, each for a different purpose. The goat’s horns are displayed above the door or on a pole around the homestead after the ceremony and pieces of skin are worn on people’s wrist.


Black and white chickens


Children’s games

Children in eNanda have few toys, but they can be seen having fun with their own kind of games. Amagenda is a game played with small stones; udonkey is played with tennis balls. Then there is street soccer with very small goals and special rules;  uqithi involves climbing up into a tree and vumvum is a toy made out of string and a pierced flattened bottle-top.

Children’s games

Street soccer


Street names and house numbers

Street names may be taken for granted in the city, but were only introduced in some parts along the trail as late as last year. Previously, homes were simply numbered and now, the old and the new numbering system coexist. Some people proudly decorate the new street number on the wall of their home.


Some interesting snippets

IMG_8151Imbizweni – place of judgement: This old fig tree at the Gandhi Settlement was used as a meeting place for community elders to consult and pass judgement.






IMG_8006 Shoes hanging from the overhead lines once referred to drugs being sold around here, remember Loyiso, Mlu and  Sanele, but this meaning has changed today …








IMG_8077Piles of wood stored next to a house indicate that the family is preparing for a ritual.







IMG_8052 Wrecks or old cars are found at various homesteads.  They might be keepsakes in memory of their owner …






IMG_8119 Preparing skins for clothing and ritual purposes is a highly developed skill…







IMG_8175 At this inconspicuous homestead, not far from the Gandhi Settlement, traditional Infene dance performances take place at the weekend at the end of each month.






Dead trees could be an indication of witchcraft, as a neighbour may have sent lighting.

House music is very popular and may be heard coming out of various homes.



There are many NGOs in the area and some of them could be potentially be visited with prior arrangements. More information about them will follow shortly.




This is a GPS capture of the routes we took from Ohlange to Phoenix and back, mapped onto Google Earth.

track 1





Compiled by Sabine Marschall 17/1/14

November 29, 2012

Rastafarians at Mzinyathi Falls

Durban Green Corridor is organizing tours to visit the Rastafarians at Mzinyathi. Click here to find out more.

November 15, 2012

Zulu beer

Zulu beer is traditional beer which is known as uMqombothi but also called IsiZulu; it is a big part of the Zulu culture.

It is tradition to make Zulu beer, from the past, our fore fathers made Zulu beer and was passed on from generation to generation. A ritual is not complete without Zulu beer; in fact it has never been without Zulu beer. It is the foundation of every ritual, no matter how small it is. Remembering the dead, weddings, umemulo and other rituals Zulu beer is made, it is very important. When remembering the dead or when visiting a gravesite, one may make Zulu beer even if they are not going to slaughter an animal.

It is believed that the ancestors will not recognise the ritual that one is performing if Zulu beer is not part of it or they will not recognise it, it is believed to be done for the ancestors. It may be a way of communing with the dead. As they also used to make it, it is a way of connecting with them as they believed in it. When making Zulu beer, we are communicating with them, it is a source of food for our ancestors, it is what they used to drink it and so it is significant.

Women make Zulu beer, usually the mother of the household and the daughter-in-law (makoti). It is her duty as a makoti to make Zulu beer for her in-laws, she creates a good name for herself if is able to make good Zulu beer.

Zulu beer after boiling

When still in the process of making the beer, it is stored in the kitchen, at a warm place for it to have sour-like taste and covered with a net for it to inflate. That is just the mixture of maize, sorghum, millet and warm water, which is before boiling; the sour-like taste will show that it is ready for boiling. After the whole process, one beer pot is store ‘emsamu’, which is where incense will be burnt together with the meat and other food.

Anyone is allowed to drink Zulu beer, whoever wants to, from the older people to the young people. And the one who made the Zulu beer has to take the first sip.

Zulu beer is made on every ritual, it is made for any occasions, umemulo, umhlonyana, weddings, funerals, even for a party and also for just remembering the ancestors or when visiting the gravesite of a dead family member.

The main purpose of Zulu beer is to commune with the ancestors, to remember family that has passed on, to celebrate and Zulu beer is tradition.

The beer pot is made of clay; women make it and put it on fire for it to be firm. It is tradition to drink Zulu beer from the beer pot; it is specifically made for Zulu beer. It is covered with a lid made with the same grass (imbenge) that is used for the grass mat, it the lid is upside down, it shows that the beer pot is empty.

Ayanda Ngcobo (October 2012)