Nelson Mandela: son of Qunu returns to the soil

first_imgThe Mandela family graveyard in Qunu, the small rural village in the Eastern Cape where Nelson Mandela grew up, and where he will return on Sunday. Cattle graze the rolling hills outside Qunu, watched by a young man dressed in the traditional clothing of initiation. As a boy, Mandela also herded cattle here. (Images: Rodger Bosch, Media Club South Africa. For more images, visit our photo library.) READ MORE • Mandela on Media Club South Africa • Nelson Mandela: the world mourns • Nelson Mandela – a timeline  • Barack Obama’s tribute to Mandela  • Watch: World reacts to Mandela’s death • Infographic: Mandela family tree • Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom • The women in Madiba’s life • Tutu leads memorial at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory • Photo gallery: South Africans celebrate Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela was once asked what God he prayed to. His answer was at once witty and profound: “That is between me and my God.”On Sunday 15 December 2013 Madiba will be buried in Qunu, the small rural village in the Eastern Cape where he grew up. The funeral itself will be conducted by a Methodist minister, the faith he embraced while imprisoned on Robben Island. But Mandela was also formed by the traditions of his Xhosa upbringing, so his interment in Qunu will follow Xhosa rites.Mandela, once a herdboy on the rolling hills outside Qunu, will be buried in the soil that formed the man he became. At his birth his parents, like all parents of his era and tradition, would have buried his umbilical cord in the soil of the family kraal.Burial in Qunu is not a sentimental gesture. The Xhosa believe the deceased must be brought home to be reunited with their ancestors and to sleep in the ground they were taken from. The philosophy is that life is circular, that you return to the beginning at the end.Mandla Mandela, as head of the family, will remove all mirrors and pictures of his grandfather from the home. Mark Mandita, education officer at the Amathole Museum in King Williams Town, explains that the removal of the mirrors and pictures are a mark of respect for the deceased. “It’s meant to help usher the dead into the world of the living dead. These rituals are important to the family. The Xhosa believe not performing them will lead to ill fortune and bad omens.”The tradition of bezila nathi (they mourn with us) requires the family to feed whomever comes to say their final farewell. The meal, prepared by family elders, consists of a slaughtered cow boiled without seasoning, and has to be eaten before any other meal is served. “The meal is for the benefit of the dead, to welcome their soul back home,” says Mandita.Umkapho, the speeches and prayer that accompany the meal, is a time for the living to pass on messages to the ancestors. It is a period of reflection, when the ancestors are implored to remember the living and to help guide the deceased to heaven. To a large extent, it is a ritual reserved for men. Xhosa custom, the explanation goes, is that there is no need for women as they already know the way to heaven.Beer, meat and flowers are put out to welcome ancestral spirits, while a burning candle keeps malevolent spirits in the shadows. More traditional families keep children away from the funeral, as it’s believed they are more aware of the afterworld. Madiba will be interred with a blanket or robe and, traditionally, a walking stick or his pipe. The belief is that he is still with us and his afterlife should be comfortable.The burial is followed, usually the next day, by a ritual dousing with water and herbs to cleanse the mourners of any evil spirits that may still linger. The family will also decide on how long the mourning period, or ukuzila, will last.“Mama Graça will lead the family in this time,” Mandita explains. As Mandela’s widow she will wear black and be expected to stay at home. When the mourning period ends the women of the family will burn her mourning garments and dress her in new, bright clothes.This ceremony is called khulula izila (take off from mourning) and, in modern tradition, has become associated with the unveiling of the tombstone. Mandita explains that the two are not the same. “Custom dictates a stone is placed at the head of the grave to identify the place of rest, but this has nothing to do with the end of the mourning.”The final step in the mourning period is the umbuyiso ceremony, usually held a year after the funeral. This is a celebration of the deceased becoming an ancestor, a spirit with the power to help and protect the grieving family.“It is when the abathembu bring home the soul,” Mandita says. “A cow is killed and the meat cooked as the deceased enjoyed it. The meal is enjoyed in the home. It’s a celebration welcoming them back to us.”These rites are important to any Xhosa, Mandita says, even to the educated man who embraces another religion. “For the Xhosa education is measured by the quality of your wisdom. And all wisdom is founded on your identity as abathembu.”last_img read more

Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad

first_imgRiled up by the losses, Kingad has no shortage of motivation when he kicks off Team Lakay’s bid at ONE: Hero’s Ascent at Mall of Asia Arena where his stablemate Geje Eustaquio is defending his flyweight strap.“I’m really eager to bounce back after what happened to Joshua and Kelly,” the 23-year-old Kingad, who is facing Tatsumitsu Wada of Japan, told reporters Tuesday after the press conference at City of Dreams.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I feel like I’m excited and angry at the same time. I just want to win this bad.” Stakes are higher for Kingad this time, with the winner of his bout entering the Flyweight World Grand Prix where eight of the best in the division will face off in a last-man-standing format for the world title.From the looks of it, the Grand Prix tournaments will be one of the highlights of the year for the promotion as the fighters they get to test their mettle against ONE’s newest prized recruits.“I really prepared for this because there’s a chance to be in the Grand Prix,” said Kingad. “I’m really ready for this bout.”ADVERTISEMENT Rafael Nadal puts Stefanos Tsitsipas in crosshairs after slaying giantkiller Frances Tiafoe Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusationscenter_img Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Seeing two of his brothers fall just sparked a fire inside Danny Kingad, who is all the more determined to deliver Team Lakay its first win of the year on Friday.Edward Kelly and Joshua Pacio failed in their campaigns in ONE: Eternal Glory last Saturday in Jakarta as Team Lakay lost its strawweight belt after Pacio dropped a split decision to Yosuke Saruta in the main event.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READlast_img read more