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."
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...