King Shaka International Airport: 15 October 2011
I stand here proud of my heritage as a Zulu, as a traditional leader and as a servant of my nation. As we prepare to launch the celebration of 200 years of existence of the Zulu nation, we have reason to be proud of our identity. Our nation was forged through the military genius of King Shaka ka Senzangakhona, who unified a divided people to create a strong nation.
Our unity has been fiercely defended by warriors and kings for two centuries. It has faced many threats and sustained many attacks. We have been artificially divided into kinglets by the British colonial forces, and set against one another with politics, ideologies and strife. But our nation has endured. For the sum of the Zulu nation is greater than its parts. We are more than a grouping of people with a shared heritage.
The Zulu identity transcends a mere description of our culture or traditions. It speaks of more than the institution of traditional leadership or the even institution of the monarchy. There is an intangible element that cannot be broken, diminished or ignored. It is the spirit of our nation, the spirit that infuses each one of us and binds us together no matter our differences of opinion or cause. That, I believe, is the strength of the Zulu nation.
Throughout 200 years, our enemies have learned that the indomitable spirit of the Zulu nation cannot be crushed through conquest on the battlefield or exile of our kings or the emasculation of our amakhosi in the governance of our people. Not once has the Zulu spirit been conquered. Not once have we lain down and given up. And we never will. Because there is something stronger within us than our own frail courage. Something that binds us, something that braces us.
As we prepare to celebrate 200 years of existence, we celebrate the spirit that was birthed through King Shaka ka Senzangakhona. We celebrate the kings and warriors down the line of history, to this present moment. And we celebrate the long reign of our present king, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, who is the present incumbent on King Shaka’s throne.
My loyalty to the Zulu throne is something I have cherished in my heart of hearts during the reign of my late first cousin His Majesty King Bhekuzulu Nyangayezizwe ka Solomon ka Dinuzulu. I served him and the Zulu Nation with all my heart and mind until the end of his life. It is something I have continued to cherish during the reign of our present King. I have served my present King with the same loyalty both before he even ascended the throne, and after he did so. I am not here to blow my own horn, but my works in the service of the Monarch and the Zulu Kingdom speak for themselves. Not even the present vicissitudes can alter that. I shall weather every storm in the service of the Monarch and Kingdom. This is my life. We are an important component of the South African Nation and our contribution to the building of the South African Nation is second to none.
As the traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and the Zulu nation, I am proud to
fulfil my historic responsibility of serving His Majesty our King. May he guide us further on the path of unity that is our heritage.