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The leader of the Zulu nation, King Goodwill Zwelithini, died on 12 March, 2021 aged 72. 

Goodwill Zwelithini has been praised as a straight talking king. The king was a proud defender of Zulu’s traditional culture. 

The king, Goodwill Zwelithini, was born in 1948 and came into power in 1971. He was the direct descendant of King Cetshwayo who led the Zulu nation against the British army in 1879 war. 

Goodwill Zwelithini was a father of 28 children from 6 wives. He is credited with reviving the Umhlanga or Reed Dance in 1991 which had been prohibited by the white-minority government. 

Photo: King Goodwill Zwelithini

The Umhlanga was a celebration of virginity but the late king stated that it was also used to raise awareness about HIV/AIDs in KwaZulu – a province with the highest AIDs prevalence in South Africa. 

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