The royal village of Khetlhakone clings to the green hillside below the Modjadji Nature Reserve. This little-known national park in the subtropical province of Limpopo is named after a dynasty of Rain Queens. Their magical power has ensured the well-being of the local Balobedu people since the 19th century.
There have been great women in history, but Yaa Asantewaa was one of a kind, Cameron Duodu reminds us of the story of the 'mere woman' who 'fought against the cannon' during the British colonisation of Ghana.
University of Pretoria and the Modjadji Dynasty collaborate on research project into rainmaking customs
The University of Pretoria (UP) has joined hands with the Balobedu community to start a research project in the form of drama productions aimed at collecting and recording traditional mythologies, stories and traditional customs surrounding rainmaking associated with the Queen Modjadji Dynasties.
Spring is here and it is time for rain-making in the royal kingdom of Modjadji, South Africa. Except that the legendary 'rain queen' is dead and her daughter and heir, Masalanabo, has been spirited away by the little girl's father, who believes her life is also in danger.
The regent of the Balobedu in Limpopo, Prince Mpapatla Modjadji, has received a precious gift - a baby girl who could become the next Rain Queen. Modjadji fathered the child with his cousin Mokgawa Modjadji and the baby was born in hospital in Modjadjiskloof yesterday.
South Africa's Rain Queen has gone to an early grave. The young woman was said to have power over the elements and the flow of rivers. Her tribe, the Bolobedu, are divided over the cause of her recent death at the age of 27 and suspect the 400-year-old dynasty, immortalised by Rider Haggard's novel She,...
Late Sunday night, hours before the funeral for Makobo Caroline Modjadji VI, Rain Queen of the Balobedu, shouts of alarm rang from the mountaintop redoubt that had been her home. The simple building that housed the Rain Queen's body was on fire. As omens go, this was pretty bad.
t's pouring - not just raining - for the Balobedu since the death of the tribe's head, Rain Queen Makobo Modjadji VI. Her funeral will not be held on Thursday as planned because two rival royal councils claim the right to organise the funeral.
Ramotswa, Botswana - The village elder holds up the skin of a leopard against a vast, cloudless sky. A hush falls over the crowd of thousands. It is the symbol of absolute power. For generations it has passed from father to son - but on this day it spills over the head and shoulders of...
Africa's legendary Balobedu tribe enters an era of modernity and scandal this week following the crowning of its youngest rain queen, a descendant of the female monarchs who inspired the phrase "she who must be obeyed".
"The rain is out of control. It never stops," Alfred, a Northern Province hotel porter, said. "Ever since the Rain Queen died in June things have been bad. In fact, they started deteriorating when her daughter died. Something must be done."
POLITICIANS liked to visit the Northern Province of South Africa, one of the poorest parts of the country. It enabled them to blame their predecessors for the poverty there, and to receive applause for promising a better future. The province was also the home of the Bolebedu, a small tribe but with a rather impressive...