Dancing Zulu ‘Regiment’ a Hit at Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
A KwaZulu-Natal dance troupe has left audiences on the international entertainment stage calling for more after their foot-stomping performance at the most recent edition of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The troupe, known as the Ngombamakhosi is the resident act at Mooi River’s Hartford House, situated on the the Thoroughbred racehorse stud farm, Summerhill Stud. They were among hundreds of Commonwealth and international participants at the Tattoo. The acclaimed event, now in its 56th year, is watched by a TV audience of millions around the world.
Hartford House chief executive Cheryl Goss said the Ngombamakhosi’s choreography had earned them invitations to perform in Malta and Las Vegas later this year. “They are a tribute to the value of preserving the cultural traditions of our local people and the best illustration of the many unique things South Africa offers both local and international travellers,” said Goss. “They have exceeded our every expectation, and they’ve been exemplary ambassadors for the country.”
She said the cost and effort of getting the troupe to Scotland at relatively short notice had been enormous. But the “appreciation and acknowledgement they received in Edinburgh had them in the ‘box seat’ for the prized performance of the festival”, she said.
Goss said the act following the Ngombamakhosi was suspended after the international audience gave the Zulu dancers a standing ovation, rising as one “in thunderous appreciation for a non-stop two-and-a-half minutes”. She said a week before the troupe was accompanied by the BBC to the host city of the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow.
There they were the central attraction at the Lord Provost’s post-Commonwealth Games celebration, “holding up traffic for the duration of their show”. “Again, adulation reigned,” said Goss.
Ngombamakhosi is the name given by King Cetshwayo to the regiment that routed the British at Isandlwana in 1879.