Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Stay With The Zulus

A few of my loyal blog readers know I went to stay with the Zulus for a few days in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Yes, that's true. And they absolutely want me to write about it because their fantasy world ran wild. I even heard something about the adventures of Tintin with The Great King Shaka Zulu. I'll tell you about my experiences.
I was in Durban for a good cause, to attend the opening of the 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council in the new ICC Durban Arena. One of the world's most impressive new convention facilities. It was Nadine Williams of Durban Africa and Linda Ngcipe of Tourism KwaZulul-Natal who convinced me to travel to the north of the province for a few days after the congress to visit Shakaland, among other things. The Zulus make up the largest community in South Africa and nowhere else in the country is a traditional culture as pronounced as it is in this region.
Do you remember the TV series 'Shaka Zulu' from 1984 that was filmed here? In Shakaland you can still see the set and witness demonstrations of traditional Zulu custums. Initially I thought 'another typical tourist attraction', which it is, but the director of Shakaland Protea Hotel made me change my mind. He had something in store for me: a new programme for incentive groups. A Shakaland Teambuilding programme, completely customizable, under the watchful eye of the village chief (photo right). I've learnt how to seduce young water carying Zulu girls, but a lot more than that. Umlabalaba: an ancient Zulu strategy game whose team members themselves become the ‘pawns’… Trust your instincts: a blindfold game born of hunters having to make judgments in pitch darkness… Running rabbit: a hunting game that requires judgments to spear a moving ‘mock rabbit’ running down a hill… and a lot more. And believe me, I didn't hit a single rabbit! But I kinda felt like I was in heaven. After all, Zulu means 'heaven'.

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