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LUDZIDZINI – Maidens have said Ludzidzini Royal Residence was a better place to be. In random interviews after the thousands of maidens received their farewell gifts from Their Majesties, they said they were not prepared to leave the place as yet, due to the welcoming environment.

They received chicken portions, bread and juice. Just last week during the start of the annual ceremony, the young girls received sneakers, T-shirts and sanitary pads before their commissioning by His Majesty King Mswati III.

“We thought we would spend another week with Their Majesties for Independence Day. You are hardly homesick if you are treated with warm hands. We will always remember this place,” said the maidens as they left with their food parcels. The maidens returned to their various royal kraals after partaking in the seven-day ceremony. While at the event, the maidens were provided with showers and meals. They arrived at Ludzidzini and Ngabezweeni Royal Residences on Tuesday, where they registered for the annual Umhlanga Reed Dance Ceremony.

They were ferried to the royal residences by 80 buses which were hired by government.  On Wednesday, they assembled at Ngabezweni Royal Residence where they were commissioned by the King to cut the reed at the swamps at Bhamusakhe and Mpisi Farm.

The reed which was cut on Thursday was kept at the camps. It was then taken back to Ludzidzini Royal Residence on Friday, after which the maidens relaxed on Saturday. The regiment delivered the reed at Ludzidzini Royal Residence on Sunday, where they then proceeded to the arena to showcase their chastity before Their Majesties. Monday was a public holiday which was strictly reserved for dancing.
In an interview at 5:33pm yesterday, acting Imbali Overseer Sijabuliso Ndzinisa said some maidens remained at camp because it was late for them to travel.
“Some maidens will be transported tomorrow (today) because its late. We have since stopped all the buses from transporting the maidens for safety reasons,” Ndzinisa said.
A Siphofaneni businessman popularly known as Dumisani, also made a huge contribution to the maidens. He donated fizzy drinks and loaves of bread for the girls.

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