eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park
Valley of the Kings
eMakhosini, meaning "the Valley of the Kings" is the birthplace of the Zulus, "the people of heaven". King Shaka spent his early youth in the Valley and many of his forebears are buried here, including kings Zulu (Nkosinkulu), Phunga, Mageba, Ndaba, Jama and Senzagakhona. Many battles of historical significance occurred in the Valley. The Zulu king Dingane clashed with Voortrekkers who wanted new lands in the Zulu kingdom. Voortrekker leader Piet Retief and a group of his followers were put to death here. They are buried at kwaMatiwane, the Hill of Execution.
The home of King Goodwill Zwelithini, the only powerful monarch left in modern-day South Africa, is in the eMakhosini, which also falls within the black rhino's historical range. King Goodwill is even compared with a black rhino in some of his "praise songs".
Spirit of the eMakhosini
The Spirit of the eMakhosini is a spectacular monument sitting high on a hill from which Zulu kings have throughout the ages been able to look out over their territory. The monument consists of a circular platform decorated with bronze plaques showing scenes from Zulu life. On that is a huge imbiza , or beer pot, made from bronze.
Surrounding the pot there are six horns and an elephant tusk, which symbolise the seven kings buried in the valley. The horns represent those of a black rhino, an Nguni cow, a kudu, an eland, a reedbuck and a bushbuck, all animals that have lived in the area alongside the Zulu people.
Across Africa, the beer pot symbolises people coming together in friendship.