A beautiful day in Winterveld, Pretoria, and people are dressed in their beautiful Ndebele regalia. The Ndebele culture is known for its breath-taking artworks and colourful attires.
It’s Thabile’ Mahlangu’s coming of age ceremony, “ukuthomba” a process that took a whole two months to complete. “I feel great, wearing the Ndebele girl’s outfit. I feel so beautiful in the outfit”, says Thabile.
After two months, “umhlubulo” then takes place. That symbolizes the successful completion of this rite of passage ceremony. Gifts are exchanged and Thabile Mahlangu is given a new name. Her new name is Sphenge.
Thabile’s parents believe so much in education so it was of utmost importance to them that Thabile first matriculate before going away for two months to be part of “ukuthomba” They say culturally Thabile was supposed to be part of the process in grade 10 but they had to postpone it until matric because they believe that education is the key to success.
Mahlangu’s parents are beaming with joy and pride. Not only did Thabile complete “ukuthomba” successfully but also passed matric with flying colours – getting a whopping 4 distinctions.
The future certainly looks bright for Thabile. We wish her nothing but the best in all her future endeavors
Well Done Sphengo!!!
By Sinenzolo Mondi – Nduku