(*Referred to as The Great British Stuff Up… to quote an official speaking at the Re-enactment.)
The sun came out. But not enough people came with it.
Cardiff Castle – a spectacular venue and in the coursing heat of the last day of summer, we saw the Battle of Isandlwana replayed. We heard speeches addressing the contemporary relevance of this violent occasion. We heard of the move from land grab to tourism; of enmity to friendship. Good speeches but hard to hear in fact as many of the people around me talked all the way through them.
So many chose to experience this remarkable and apposite performance through their phones and not through their own eyes and senses. Such a pity so many of us no longer look and listen and absorb in the moment any more. So many wandered off before the performance had finished – pity, they missed the Zulus and their Royal family chanting, singing and mingling with the crowd.
Where is the respect for the people who have travelled so far to share with us their culture and their skills, history and time? Where is the respect for ourselves to return that compliment?
Our guests deserved better and the organisers too.
It was also a pity that Cardiff Castle insisted n charging entrance – although the Re-enactment itself was free. The performance started at 4pm so it was not as if the Castle would have lost a day’s revenue. Sometimes generosity has its own reward and our guests should have had a bigger turn out.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I cannot thank the organisers enough for giving us the most impressive and life-affirming hand-shake between two nations, Wales and Zululand, after all these years.