IN PICTURES| 'Kings, queens and heads of state' gather in Umhlanga for Heritage Day

24 September 2020 - 14:48 By Lwandile Bhengu

Kings, queens and heads of state — draped in their traditional regalia — gathered at the Pearls of Umhlanga on Thursday to celebrate Heritage Day.

Though none of them were in actual attendance, the life-size wax figures of various Zulu kings, late statesman Nelson Mandela, the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former president Jacob Zuma, Queen Elizabeth II and others form part of a 13-figure exhibition currently on show at the Pearls mall in Umhlanga.

The exhibition is the work of Durban artist Lungelo Gumede who is renowned for creating wax masterpieces of some of the most powerful people in SA and the world.

His broader collection includes the likes of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the late Chadwick Boseman.

“As an artist, I decided to involve other clans and not just Zulu clans that is why I have Nelson Mandela in a Xhosa outfit ...

“In SA, we don’t only have Zulu and Xhosa people.

“We also have English people that is why I included Queen Elizabeth. As well as our neighbouring country Swaziland,” said Gumede.

Wax figures of former first ladies Sizakele 'maKhumalo' Zuma and the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Wax figures of former first ladies Sizakele 'maKhumalo' Zuma and the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Image: Supplied

The full exhibition features King Cetshwayo, King Dinuzulu, Zulu warrior Bhambatha Kamancinza, late Shembe leader Vimbeni Shembe, Swazi King Mswati III, former first lady Sizakele ‘maKhumalo’ Zuma, Prince Harry as well as Jacob Zuma, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

“I captured them (Zuma, King Zwelithini and Buthelezi) during Umkhosi weLembe which is what we are celebrating today, King Shaka commemoration,” said Gumede.

Gumede previously painted Barack and Michelle Obama, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Queen Latifah and John Legend, all in traditional wear.

His wax exhibition will be running until the end of October.

“It’s just for the public to come and view the statues and enjoy them and learn more about heritage,” he said.

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