Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A cave and a legend

This is the beautiful parsonage at Oswathini. Unfortunately
there is no water or electricity in the house. As far as I under-
stood, no one lives in the house presently.
On my short visit to South Africa I also visited a precious place, which I have heard of for a long time. The cave at Oswathini. The Dean of Umngeni Circuit, in the South Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, Very Rev. N Myaka, have often spoken about this place. It is not far from Pietermaritzburg, were we lived 2½ years. But we never got there.

On Monday however, I was close enough to make it happen. I had been participating in the ordination service at Umphumulo Diocesan Centre and went together with one of those who were ordained, Rev Selom Klu, to Ndwedwe, where he lives. His host family, Mrs Lindiwe and Rev. Umbuso Simamane graciously received me in their home. In the morning, just before I returned to Sweden, Rev. Simamane took me and Selom to the cave. It was in deed a precious pilgrimage.

The entrance of the cave at Oswathini.
According to the legend a young girl in the late 1800s converted to Christianity and hid in the cave. Her name is not known but she is referred to as
which in IsiZulu means ‘young girl’. It is the words Jesus says to Jairus’ daughter according to Mark 5:21-43. Her surname was however Nsele.

Her father, Qanana Nsele, according to the legend, was not happy about her decision to become a Christian. That was the reason why she had to hide. She was tragically killed by a rock that fell over her. The father might have been causing this accident. According to legend, as it was told to me.

When we were there we said a prayer together giving thanks for this example of a young person, who had enough integrity to stick to her own beliefs. I understand why the youth of Umngeni Circuit like to come and pray in the cave.
Rev Selom Klu shows me the altar where Ntombazane used to pray.
The cave is not far from Appelsbosch, a mission station started by Rev. Jonas Fredrik Ljungqvist from Sweden. I have tried to find any reference to the Oswathini cave in his letters or in the minutes of the Church of Sweden Mission, but failed. It is strange that he never wrote about this. Or have I missed some of the material? If I find time in the future it would be interesting to do some research on this legend.
The brother of Rev Simamane, Rev Simamane and Rev Klu showing the rock
which allegedly killed Ntombazane.

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