This Zulu song is sang by girls during Umemulo. “The Ukwemula ceremony takes place when a girl desires her marriageable state to be formally recognized by her father. The ceremony indicates approval and permission by the father to the girl to be married. In Zulu culture, “umemulo is restricted to older girls who had chosen not to indulge in sex before marriage, but now wish to seek their fathers permission to enter into serious relationships with a view to marriage”( Dube, 2011).
“The Zulus believe that ancestors bless their offspring with children because the umemulo was performed to inform them about her new state” (Magwaza, 1993). There are other cultural reasons why the ceremony is highly regarded amongst the Zulu speaking people. It is also an opportunity for the father of the girl to “publicly thank his daughter for having behaved herself, i.e. for having respected her elders by not talking and\or behaving rudely towards them, as young people commonly do nowadays and having listened to her parent’s advice on how to conduct herself” (Magwaza, 1993).

The girl’s rite of passage ceremony is wildly celebrated amongst other cultures in South Africa and it is called with different names i.e. Intonjane (Xhosa), Dombani (Venda), Lebollo la basadi (Sotho) and Vukhomba (Tsonga). The ritual also differs according to each culture, in some cultures you will find initiates as young as seven years old while others only allow older girls.

Dube, M., 2011. The Tourism potential of Zululand North of the Tugela River with special reference to Zulu culture and history. Degree of Masters. KZN: University of Zululand.
Magwaza, T., 1993. Orality and its Cultural expression in some Zulu traditional ceremonies. Degree of Masters. KZN: University of Natal.