The Lovedu tribe (also called the Balobedu), a Sotho-Venda group that in 1500 settled in the north of what is now the Limpopo Province of South Africa, has the distinction that it is the only tribe in Africa still ruled by a female monarch.
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.
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."