EVEN the cold weather couldn’t dampen the spirit of the maidens. They had one thing in mind and that was to get ready for the big event.
Maidens from different parts of KZN gathered at KwaNyuswa Village, Ezinqoleni near Port Sheptone on Saturday as part of their annual preparation for the Umkhosi Womhlanga, also known as the reed dance.
The 12th edition of the KwaNyuswa mini-reed dance took place this weekend and every speaker preached the same message – remain a virgin until marriage.
The maidens were tested to see if they were virgins. Those who were found not to be virgins were not allowed to participate.
Those who were confirmed to be virgins were marked with a white stud on the foreheads.
Organiser Madoda Gasa (46) said: “When I woke up in this cold weather I wondered if these maidens would go to wash in the river, but they insisted and I agreed. I hope they get steady marriages.
“Those who are here today, please go back and encourage those who didn’t come to be part of this event next year.”
Speaking on behalf of the maidens, Zinhle Mthembu (22) said she started taking part in the event in 2004.
She said: “I wasn’t forced. It was my own choice and I don’t regret it. I will break my virginity only when I get married.”
Gogo Nokwenziwe Mbotho (75) from KwaMbotho, Harding said she has been testing girls for over 30 years.
“The girls who are tested are too scared to associate themselves with boys because they know the possible dangers. They are respectful.”