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Tembe Royal Council gears up for Umthayi Marula Festival

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Umthayi Marula Festival, A festival fit for royalty. KZN Agriculture & Rural Development Umthayi Marula Festival, A festival fit for royalty.

Festival to host Business and Economic Development Summit for the first time

February 4, 2019

Staff Reporter

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Preparations are currently underway at the Tembe Traditional Authority’s Emfihlweni Palace in Kwanganase north of KZN, for the ninth edition of the Umthayi Marula Festival.

The festival will be launched at an official media launch on Tuesday, 05 February at the Kosi Bay Wetlands Park in Manguzi. The full festival programme will be unveiled at the launch.

On February 23, next month, 48 Izigodi (Villages) are expected to present their Marula harvest and brew to iNkosi Israel MabhuduTembe in an ancient tradition spanning over two hundred years, known as Umkhosi Wamaganu. This ceremony will be preceded by a series of other ancestral and cultural activities as part of the bigger Umthayi Marula Festival which has become a signature heritage and tourism promotion event on the KwaZulu Natal calendar.

For the first time this year, the festival will host a Business and Economic Development Summit which is expected to attract business leaders, investors and political leadership from KZN as well as neighbouring Swaziland and Mozambique.

The Summit will seek to identify investment opportunities as well as strategic linkages and partnerships to boost the local Agri-tourism as well as Farming and Agri-processing sectors. The Summit will be hosted by the Tembe Royal Council in partnership with the KZN Provincial government.

‘We are looking forward in excited anticipation to welcoming visitors from all walks of life as well as tourists and investors to this year’s festival and to our beautiful Kwangwanase. We are particularly excited about our programme which whilst remaining true to its original culturally rich offering, has evolved to incorporate a segment that seeks to drive a specific local economic development agenda.’ Said iNkosi Israel Mabhudu Tembe.

‘We are looking beyond our traditions and customs and presenting a programme that will propel our people forward and ensure that each year, we stage a bigger and impactful festival.’ he continued.