Joy filled the air around Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe Sunday afternoon as the bride to be of Inkosi Gomani V, Inkosanati Rishaladza Khanyisa Mathebula, jetted into the country from her homeland, South Africa, in readiness for their royal wedding slated for November 2 this year.
At around 12:05 pm the South African Airways plane carrying Mathebula and her entourage touched down at KIA as the excited Maseko Ngonis cheered and jubilated outside the VIP lounge of the airport.
Who could blame them? They had waited for over six years for a queen at Nkosini Headquarters of the Maseko Ngoni at Lizulu in Ntcheu and the waiting is near its end.
Wearing a long hot pink dress and a pink, green and yellow headband and spotting a contagious smile, the tall and slender model-like Mathebula looked elegant in the bright sunshine of KIA.
Again, many Maseko Ngonis could be forgiven for failing to notice that the Ngwenyama had come in some five minutes after the plane had touched down as their eyes were waiting to have a glimpse of the future queen.
It might have been some 12 days to the royal wedding but it felt like the wedding day itself as hundreds of Maseko Ngonis, clad in their traditional animal skin attire, welcomed the queen to be.
Many people could be forgiven for not noticing her long and pointed black designer shoes as her dress perfectly covered her heels.
On some occasions, she could be seen smiling as she listened attentively to the sweet words from Gomani.
Traditional leaders, ingoma dancers and the youth all came in their large numbers to have a glimpse of the queen who had stolen the heart of their king.
The two love birds had a brief photo session and inspected some traditional dances before they were whisked away in a dark-blue Toyota Fortuner which was followed by a convoy of other vehicles on its way into Lilongwe.
One of the members of the royal family, Samson Gomani Chikuse, said they were happy to welcome the future queen.
“We are extremely happy to have received the queen. It shows that our king has grown,” Chikuse said.
Officiation of the royal wedding is slated for Ntcheu CCAP on the morning of November 2 before a reception in the district.
The Maseko Ngonis are expected to have a double celebration as they will combine the wedding reception with this year’s Mhlangano wa Maseko Ngoni, an annual traditional festival.