“Haibo”: Men’s Modern Zulu Ukugida Dance-Off in Auditorium Draws Attention

“Haibo”: Men’s Modern Zulu Ukugida Dance-Off in Auditorium Draws Attention

  • It is always an exciting affair when proud Zulu people gather to perform ukugida (a ritual dance)
  • The traditional Zulu dance, more than pure entertainment, is primarily a part of summoning amadlozi (the ancestors)
  • A video of two men putting a modern spin on ukugida as they went head-to-head in a dance-off did the rounds online
Zulu ukugida modern dance-off catches attention
Two Zulu men did the most when they went head-to-head at ukugida inside an auditorium. Images: Rajesh Jantilal and @Am_Blujay
Source: Getty Images

Zulu people are among the proudest of their culture, heritage and language among South Africa's ethnic groups.

Colourful traditional Zulu culture

It is little wonder that traditional affairs tend to be colourful — whether at a ukuthwasa (the process of becoming a healer) ritual or umemulo, a coming-of-age ceremony for women.

Two men elevated the notion of being an Ibhinca — a person practising traditional Zulu culture, not least by listening to Zulu folk music Maskandi — to another level.

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X user @Am_Blujay shared a video on the platform showcasing the pair.

The caption read simply:


The two-minute-and-forty-six-second clip shows the men taking turns impressing the crowd with their flamboyant interpretations of the dance form.

One seems to have a particular affinity for wild, high kicks with an extended leg lift, while his execution seems more rushed.

The other, clearly a crowd favourite, given the loud cheers that trail his display, appears more easygoing, executing ukugida gracefully and with smooth elegance.

Their styles are complemented by the traditional Zulu song sung by the crowd.

Occupying half the auditorium, they are heard clapping rhythmically to match the tempo of the dance and vice-versa.

It is unknown which tertiary institution the video was taken.

Modern traditional scenes split Saffas

As it circulated on social media, the video garnered nearly 195,000 hits and over 2,200 likes.

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Briefly News collated a few interesting reactions to the post below.

@GI_Irvin aired:

"If King Shaka were alive today, I doubt that he would see this as normal behaviour."

@Sifisov1 observed:

"That kick to throw all the way to 2025 if he can catch you."

@amoqupation commented:

"Sooo, this guy can kick you without even turning? Yesses."

@KatNcala wrote:

"I wonder if I can do this … but then again, I don’t feel like ending up ko Medi Clinic."

Swati woman’s traditional dance mesmerises

In related news, Briefly News reported that a stunning Swati woman showcased her traditional dance moves on TikTok in another stunning traditional display that lit up the timeline.

Her graceful movements as she showcased her culture captivated viewers, with the mesmerising performance sparking admiration and awe.

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Source: Briefly News

Tshepiso Mametela avatar

Tshepiso Mametela Tshepiso Mametela is a seasoned journalist with eight years of experience writing for online and print publications. He is an evening/weekend editor at Briefly News. He was a general news reporter for The Herald, a senior sports contributor at Opera News SA, and a reporter for Caxton Local Media’s Bedfordview and Edenvale News and Joburg East Express community titles. He has attended media workshops, including the crime and court reporting one by the Wits Justice Project and Wits Centre for Journalism in 2024. He was a member of the Forum of Community Journalists (FCJ) from 2018 to 2020.