Thanksgiving Service in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary
of the Reign of His Majesty the King of the Zulu Nation

 Introductory Remarks By Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Inkosi Of The Buthelezi Clan
Chairperson: Zululand District Local House Of Traditional Leaders
Traditional Prime Minister Of The Zulu Monarch And Nation


KwaKhethomthandayo Palace: 29 October 2011 

 

I wish to thank Bishop Gabriel, our Bishop for bringing us together this morning in a service of thanksgiving. We have had several opportunities to gather in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the reign of His Majesty the King of the Zulu Nation. But there is significance in our coming together in the House of God to give Him glory and thanks for preserving our King and extending his reign.

It is my privilege as the traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Monarch, and at the request of Bishop Gabriel to present His Majesty the King. I have done this for many years, in many different forums. But this morning the gravity of my responsibility is accompanied by a sense of joy. For today I see clearly that it is not simply the works of man, no matter how remarkable, which steer the course of nations. It is truly the work of God within us.

As we celebrate 40 years of His Majesty’s reign, I am reminded of the lineage of faith within the royal household. It was my maternal grandfather, King Dinuzulu who became an Anglican during his exile on the Island of St Helena. He demonstrated that he was a Believer during the unfortunate civil war between Usuthu and the Mandlakazis. As a very young man King Dinuzulu had Rev Mthimkhulu who was his chaplain at the Ndunu battle who prayed for him and his Regiments. His daughter, my mother, Princess Constance Magogo kaDinuzulu, witnessed his faith from an early age and grew up with hymns and psalms. The songs of David were always on her lips and she recited many of them by heart whenever we had family prayers.

I thank God that she imparted to me an understanding of faith in Christ. I was raised in the Anglican Church and prepared for confirmation by Bishop Alphaeus Zulu, who became a mentor and close friend. The Church became a home to me, a safe haven in many storms. I therefore know what it has meant to His Majesty our King to have a home in the Anglican Church. As a leader, one relies on the prayers of the faithful and the support of brothers and sisters in Christ.

I do not think it a coincidence that my grandfather converted. Salvation is a plan carefully worked out by the Almighty; a plan that encompasses generations. In Romans chapter 8, the Apostle Paul writes –

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 
30
Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

Never before in the history of our nation has a king reigned for this number of years. This speaks of a new era, a new time of stability. I thank God for granting our King good health and wisdom, and for keeping him on the throne for 40 years. I assure His Majesty that we, his family, pray continuously for him. But it is not only our prayers that have been answered. Indeed, God has answered the prayers of many people in granting our King a long reign. He has many supporters, both within and outside our nation.

This morning’s thanksgiving service stirs emotional memories for me. I recall the fact that I approached Bishop Alphaeus Zulu when His Majesty the King got married. There are many years of history connecting this church with the royal family. On this occasion, I thank Bishop Gabriel and this congregation for their prayers and support. You have done so much for our family, and have become our family in Christ. Thank you for celebrating with us.

As I present His Majesty our King, I take the opportunity to thank him for serving our nation so faithfully for four decades. He has reigned through a turbulent time in history, a time that has seen our country transformed. But, as our King knows, the promised land is still ahead. There is much still to be done.

Just as we pray for continued strength and health for our King, we trust that his prayer is the prayer of King Solomon. We know from 2 Chronicles 1 verse 10 that King Solomon prayed to God and asked, “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

Our King has proven that God has indeed granted him wisdom. May we, his people, continue to benefit from God’s gifts.