Oh Great Rhino, Rest now – Tribute for King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu
(Son of BhekuZulu kaSolomon)
The University of Zululand mourns the sudden passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
The University has twice conferred honorary doctoral degrees on the King as a fitting affirmation
of His Royal Majesty’s sterling roles as a nation builder‚ wise leader, philanthropist and visionary
leader who invested in changing people‚ institutions‚ South Africa and Africa at large.
May the Horn now paw the air howling goodbye
Yes, may the wounded silence touch the air with our tears.
May the Horn, solemn, and its throat filled with our sadness
Shake the air, poke time and the sky from the great hill,
With a sombre shrill – King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is no more.
Tell time to stand still if he or she wants to
We could not care less for motion – King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the Great Zulu King is gone.
May the curtain of the sky open wide
May the Great Beyond prepare his palace – for a King is in passage –
we weep; we grieve – he must take his place among
The great illustrious African kings and queens and ancestors.
The eagle of time and the mystery of life has robbed us greatly!
And so we weep, and so we stand stupefied – tears pouring upon
Your name, son of Bhekuzulu kaSolomon…
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is no more!
So, tell everyone, across all the Great Rivers of our Africa,
That the Great Rhino is on a journey to the land unseen.
Cast your voice onto the air, and let it be known
that South Africa is mourning today
The great African son’s day is done.
Do not forget to begin at the Rift Valley, and let your call
Glide, in its mournful mood, upon the back of the Nile;
Speak to the pyramids too, the first failed ones and the great ones that stand
Tall and ever great, like Pillars of Times – the Pyramids know
The power and prowess of our Kings and Queens – so, tell them then,
That our Great King is now sleeping forever from this earth,
And never to return to the world of the living, the way we saw and knew him.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu kaSolomon is no more.
The Great Rhino that wrestled against social ills is gone.
The Warrior King whose pointed spear-like vision saw him Banish the wild-fire of HIV/AIDS and cut it drastically.
The custodian of Zulu customs and traditions now sleeps.
Our African Prometheus, who gave his people the torch of wisdom,
Vision and staunch god-like work for his own has now retired to silence.
And the dark cloud is now upon us, for our light bearer now fold his arms
From the works of this world.
Weep not Africa, for the King has not really died,
For his great works have made him immortal; his contribution
To society will stick on the shelves of time to forever.
Oh mother earth, comfort us, cradle us as we battle to accept.
But King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu looks upon us, from the blessed shores
Of the great, the land of our ancestors – he lives in Us!
And his name says to us to unite, for he was a man who
Toiled for the unity of his people – oh Great Rhino we hear you even now.
Go tell it around the world that the King is on a journey.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the Great uBhejane whose horn of wisdom
Was ever pointed – his wisdom still breathes among us.
His rhythm has always made the social and leadership isiqiwi
A place of great reformation, transformation and innovation.
And now Inkonyane kaNdaba, ongangezwe lakhe is no more.
He leaves us all weeping and feeling orphaned
Who will guide us now?
The African sun is stunned; we are stupefied –
King Goodwill Zwelithini Bhekuzulu is no more.
What is the nation saying now?
Do we let the gold standard of leadership that the King left go into oblivion?
Do we let the customs of the people fade and become irrelevant?
Do we fall into a limbo and forget the King’s great works?
We must stand up now and band together
And raise the banner of Africa coming into greatness
We must remember King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu now.
We must ask ourselves – What would the King have us do?
We must be aware that like many kings and queens, his spirit lives.
His unseen presence is watching us – we must honour the King now.
The great uBhejane is gone; the King is on a journey.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu usekhotheme…
Call everyone from the highways and hidden corners of the world
Call them home to join us as our faces are downcast Call everyone, to come and see us, African children,
The children of Azania, sons and daughters of Abenguni
We are becoming orphaned bit-by-bit – our father has taken
His last sleep, and he follows many of our kings and queens
To the place where no one ever returns from – his journey has begun.
Come and see oh world, a great tree, a significant embalmer
Of African wisdom has fallen.
The great post of African knowledge and power has toppled over.
There is wailing across the land.
Even the dogs are whimpering.
The rivers are still.
The ocean has taken a solemn sombre lull.
Son of BhekuZulu kaSolomon has left us – and we weep.
The custodian of African custom and traditions and
Pride is now sleeping.
The Royal Shield, the wise Zulu Spear of Wisdom has left us.
The warrior King ukhotheme manje.
uMdlokombane, uBhejane phuma esiqiwini
Inkonyane ka Ndaba
Ongangezwe lakhe… the great One of our Kings is no more.
African child, children of the formidable Abenguni, weep not now.
Your father is not really gone – for great kings never really die.
They only sleep, and now he is sleeping, he is going to join his fathers,
And wonderful mothers.
Yes, great Kings like Zwelithini Goodwill kaBhekuzulu, the African stars of leadership
Do not die. They multiply through our difficulties, our troubles,
Our memories and our holding forth of their names, which carry our histories.
Weep not then, Africa, the king is now a great invisible lion,
A great star is our sky.
And he will guard us if we keep him and his great contributions
Alive in our minds, through and beyond time – live long King Zwelithini Goodwill kaBhekuzulu!
Live on in our sighs over your great and god-like work whose fruits we now enjoy – You have
given us all your heart, you have played your part,
Excellently and powerfully.
Live on and long in our hearts, for we love now ever more, like you are a dream.
Yes, to keep your legacy alive is our dream of the future. That we live now
In our pride and love for who you have been to the African people – visionary.
We celebrate you now, as we will always.
We love you now; your memory has begun to flower in our minds
Oh how great you are and you will forever be, Great Son of Africa.
King Zwelithini Goodwill, kaBhekuzulu kaSolomon, take your place
Among the great Africa stars that shine forever in our sky.
Take your place beside King Shaka – iLembe, King Cetshwayo, King Sekhukhune,
King Faku, and many others, even those from across the continent.
King Zwelithini Goodwill kaBhekuzulu, rest now, great Son of Africa.
But his not wasted, the great social worker, an alchemist of African greatness.
We celebrate you today, we doff our hats to you, Great Rhino!
Loyal Royal Spear of the Zulu nation.
Oh sleep now, journey well…
Sleep, O’ sleep well now, sleep well you our beloved eagle of the Mind!
ALWEHLANGA OLINGEHLIYO HLANGA LOMHLABATHI
Professor Mogomme Masoga
Dean: Faculty of Arts
15 March 2021
University of Zululand