This is the viral footage of a shield-wielding toddler performing a traditional Zulu dance.
The video was filmed at the boy’s home in Midrand in the north-eastern South African province of Gauteng.
Netizen Sbusiso Mabuse uploaded the footage to Facebook and one million people have seen it while 16,000 shared the clip to their accounts.
In footage, the cute toddler is holding a small Nguni shield and feather duster as he exquisitely performs the so-called Shembe dance steps.
Complete with animated facial expressions and hand movements, the tiny tot throws down the shield and duster and performs several high kicks to the delight of filming parents.
According to reports, the traditional dance is commonly practised by the Nazareth Baptist Church, founded by Isaiah Shembe in 1910.
During Shembe’s lifetime, it was the largest African-initiated church on the continent.
A self-proclaimed prophet sent by God, Shembe started his religious career as an evangelist and faith healer and within 10 years he built up a large following in Natal with dozens of congregations across the province.
In addition to his preaching and healing, Shembe was known for composing numerous Zulu hymns and sacred dances – such as the one performed the South African toddler in the video.
Netizen ‘Wendy Burger’ commented, ‘How cute is this?’ Henrietta Kingston said, ‘He is dancing with the stars, what a cutie!’
The story of the Zulu people and their kingdom goes way, way back. Long ago, before they were were forged as a nation, they lived as isolated family groups and partly nomadic northern Nguni groups. These groups moved about within their barely-defined territories in search of good grazing for their cattle.
As they amassed livestock, and supporters family leaders divided and dispersed in different directions, while still retaining family networks.
The Zulu homestead (imizi) consisted of an extended family and others attached to the household through social obligations. This social unit was largely self-sufficient, with responsibilities divided by gender.
Men were generally responsible for defending the homestead, looking after cattle, manufacturing and maintaining weapons and farm implements, and building dwellings. Women had domestic responsibilities and raised crops, usually grains, on land near the household.
Zulu people refer to themselves as ‘the people of the heavens’ and they are the largest ethnic group of South Africa, with an estimated 10 million Zulu residents in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zulu people refer to themselves as ‘the people of the heavens’ and they are the largest ethnic group of South Africa, with an estimated 10 million Zulu residents in KwaZulu-Natal. isiZulu is the language of the Zulu people and about 10 million residents are fluent in the language. In the 19th century they merged into a great kingdom under the leadership of Shaka.
Disputes between men within the tribe are publicly addressed through stick fighting. The duel is over as soon as blood flows and the winner then tends the wounds of the loser. In the event of death, there is no charge as long as the rules were abided. In 1879, Zulu warriors had their greatest success in warfare against 1,500 British troops.
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