Church honour for AmaMpondo prince

Amampondo prince and seasoned government spokesman Mlimandlela Ndamase celebrated Easter in style as the Methodist Church admitted him into the Young Men’s Guild (YMG).

MEN OF THE CLOTH: AmaMpondo prince Mlimandlela Ndamase, second left, leads seven of the men who ascended to the status of being enrobed with the red waistcoat of the Young Men’s Guild by the Methodist Church of Southern Africa in a service held at Buntingville on Saturday Picture: LULAMILE FENI

This is an honour bestowed by the church to teach young men loyalty to Christian teachings, purity of life and generally acceptable family values.

The guild, dubbed “Amadodana” in Nguni, has more than 25000 members across the country, and also promotes abstinence from vices such as alcohol, drugs and gambling.

Ndamase, along with other seven new guilders, were given the honours at Buntingville Circuit in the Clarkebury District on Saturday.

But it was Ndamase, 34, who got all the attention on the day which was the church’s way of showing respect to the young royal.

He was supposed to have been enrobed last year along with his cousins – Western Mpondoland King Ndamase Ndamase and Chief Ntadoyesizwe Ndamase – but due to his government commitments, he could not make it.

Buntingville Methodist Church is one of the first mission stations established after 1828 when the first missionaries arrived to interact with King Faku of AmaMpondo.

After this initial meeting, King Faku sent a group of 77 men to Grahamstown to formally invite the missionaries to set up a station in the Mpondoland.

Speaking to the Dispatch after the ceremony, Ndamase said the Methodist Church is his spiritual home.

“I have deliberately taken this step to commit myself to the work of the church and to cement the relationship I have with the creator of all things.

“It’s also a step that builds on the legacy of the Ndamase Royal House and its relationship with the Methodist Church which we see as a spiritual inheritance left for AmaMpondo by King Faku.”

King Ndamase’s spokesman Prince Mlamli Ndamase said the prince’s decision to study to become part of the YMG is in line with the commitment that states that traditional leaders must lead by example. —