Sunday 23 November 2008


Left: Boabab Hill near Pafuri, Limpopo Province in South Africa, home of the Rain Queen.

From Saskatchewan, Canada to Benoni, South Africa (famous as the birthplace of Oscar winning actress Charlize Theron) the weather gods have gone mad! Hot when it should be cold. Cold when it should be hot. To use that classic quote: “Wazzup, weather gods?!” (Moonrat: 2008)

Here in South Africa the reason may lie in the fact that the four-hundred-year-old hereditary throne of the Rain Queen is empty. The Modjadji, then twenty-seven, died in 2005 leaving a young son and daughter. As this dynasty is matrilineal, only the Modjadji’s eldest daughter can inherit the throne. But, as this young girl's father is a commoner, she has yet to be accepted by the Royal councillors of the Balobedu tribe as the new Modjadji.

The Rain Queens have given blessings to South African leaders for centuries. The great warrior king of the Zulu tribe, Shaka, and world icon Nelson Mandela have been recipients of the Modjadji’s influence. Her special powers include mystical rain making abilities and the protection of her people in times of trouble. In a country where water is usually a scarce resource and where violence is too easy, the Rain Queen's gifts are held in high esteem.

But how safe are the sacred cycad forests and the giant boababs that surround Ga-Modjadji? With no Rain Queen currently on the throne, our local weather patterns have become warped and our shiny new political ideology has become corrupted.
The (weather) gods must be crazy.

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