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Over 60 000 imbali registers
By MKHULISI MAGONGO - SWAZI TIMES-26-Aug-2009
LUDZIDZINI – Throngs of imbali were on a high note yesterday as they arrived to participate in the annual Reed Dance.
They were ferried in government trucks from across the four regions of the country to Ludzidzini and Ngabezweni Royal Residences.
The records show an improvement from last year’s event where about 60 000 registered.
In an interview with Indvuna yeMbali Nothando Nhlengetfwa, she confirmed that their records show a big improvement from last year, as some areas have grown in numbers wholesomely. By 5pm yesterday, both residences had already registered more than 30 000 imbali each.
“Although we can’t confirm how many have registered for now since the process is still ongoing, we are proud to say the records show an improvement than last year. We are looking at more girls by midnight as they will register till that time of the night. Actually, some will arrive tomorrow, so the figures will definitely rise when they leave for Ngabezweni where they will be commissioned,” said Nhlengetfwa.
The Indvuna praised the tindvuna of the various imbali for arriving at the residence safe and keeping the exact number they have wanted- that of having four tindvuna per chiefdom. She said they were looking forward to a fruitful and better Reed Dance this year without any complications and scandals.
“We just pray and hope that the girls will behave themselves to the betterment of the event and make it a memorable one. We will be monitoring them into every step of the way and make sure they behave themselves all the way,” she added. Nhlengetfwa also highlighted that they were still waiting for imbali from South Africa as they had confirmed their participation.
Health officials were already on service as they attended to a certain number of girls who complained of stomach and headaches on arrival yesterday.
They said it was a norm that the girls visit their mobile hospital and it gets worse during the walk from Ludzidzini to Ngabezweni and some usually hurt themselves along the way and need treatment when they reach their destination.
On a business note, business is already booming around Lobamba, as stalls were visited now and again by the imbali. Some of the items flying off the shelves are clothes which are sold at cheaper prices, socks, food and drinks.
Imbali is expected to leave today for Ngabezweni, where His Majesty King Mswati III will in turn commission them to go cut the reed at two places, to be announced by the king.
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