Wreath laying at the Monument and Grave of King Shaka Zulu and the unveiling of a bronze bust of His Majesty, kicked off an all-inclusive Shaka's Day and Heritage Day celebrations held in KwaDukuza today.
Described as a first of its kind in this country, the bronze bust is an initiative of the world renowned philanthropist Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu. Mabheka Zulu as he is affectionately known has embraced the Zulu culture and heritage having been mentored by His Majesty over the past 15 years.
Mabheka Zulu commissioned this bronze bust, which is located at KwaDukuza Museum in honour of His Majesty for his contribution towards nation building.
An excited KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu paid tribute to Mabheka Zulu stating that he was instrumental in promoting peace and social cohesion in line with the teaching of His Majesty.
Mchunu remarked: "His Majesty has over the years been the advocate of peace and reconciliation. When intolerance threatened the fragile peace that had been achieved after years of political violence here in the province, Isilo meticulously brought together leaders from all political parties."
"He has showed determination to instil a patriotism culture that emphasises the importance of putting all South Africans first in anything leaders of government do."
"We are heartened by His Majesty's dedication towards the creation of sustainable livelihoods and his message that people should be an integral part of the fight for the eradication of poverty rings very loud."
"We appreciate His Majesty's on-going support for all socio-economic development programmes. Isilo has continued to interact with various leaders and sectors to seek support for the provincial government programmes amongst the business, church and different other stakeholders in our society."
"In addition, the introduction of the western influence brought in Christianity, while the arrival of Indian indentured labourers introduced the Hindu, Islamic and other faiths from the east. Similarly, the Jewish and Italians have enriched the spectrum of faiths and religion in this province."
"Through the social cohesion programme we want we get as many communities as possible, across all racial lines, to participate, in activities that are aimed at celebrating our culture, our heritage and national days reflected in our calendar."
"We have reiterated in many platforms that the unity of all the people of this province can be achieved if we celebrate together national days such as Reed Dance, Diwali, Rosh Hashan, Eid, Umkhosi WokweShwama and Ramadan."
"His Majesty, as our father will lead some programmes of social cohesion and moral regeneration- especially focusing on our culture to revive Ubuntu. We value the support from traditional leaders and other leaders of society including religious leaders and captains of industry. We all have a responsibility to build a stronger KZN through strong families with community leaders playing their role."
"Working together to build a stronger province economically and socially will be the fulfillment of the dreams of the pathfinders of this freedom who are too many to mention."