Zulu Language & Culture

Language & Culture Zulu, known by native speakers as IsiZulu, is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa.

It is a member of the Nguni language group (other Nguni languages are Xhosa, Swati and Ndebele).

These languages are spoken by more than 20 million people.

Despite the proliferation of languages in South Africa, Zulu remains the language with the largest number of speakers.

It is spoken by approximately 8.3 million people in South Africa, as well as by populations in Malawi, southern Swaziland and Lesotho.

In KwaZuluNatal, which is the largest province in South Africa, Zulu is the dominant language.

Zulu is also the most commonly spoken language in the southeastern parts of Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces, as well as in the northeastern part of the Orange Free State. Zulus live in both rural and urban areas of southern Africa.

Every year, they hold ceremonies, including Heritage Day and the Reed Dance Festival, that keep their culture and traditions vibrant and alive.

One of the most distinguishing features of the Zulu people is their beadwork, which is known throughout the world for its beauty and intricacy.

The beadwork encompasses a symbolic language that may include reprimands and warnings, messages of love and encouragement.

Another important facet of traditional Zulu culture is the belief in sangomas, the divine healers of the Zulu people.

Sangomas are thought to have supernatural powers of communicating with the ancestral spirits on behalf of the people.

This and other traditional beliefs continue to play a significant role in the lives of many Zulus.