The KwaZulu-Natal government has paid the highest honour to a civilian for his unique role in fostering socio-cultural relations between Africa’s over 10-million strong Zulu people and the pioneering Indian community while consistently uplifting both indigenous communities and promoting peaceful co-existence.

Overwhelmingly inspired by the publication of a biography and pictorial that chronicles the life and times of Prince Mabheka Zulu publicly acknowledged by the newly-crowned King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini as the first Indian member of the Zulu Royal Family – KZN’s Premier Ambassador Nomusa Dube-Ncube has highlighted the extraordinary role Ishwar Ramlutchman, in which the Stanger-born businessman has single-handedly played a powerful role in the past 20 years, and had welded relations with the legendary monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, and how his philanthropic and humanitarian work had uniquely endeared him to the eight monarch to a zenith of being officially adopted as the king’s son into the Royal Zulu Household with full Zulu Royal orders and member of the Zulu Royal Regiments (Ezinyosi):

‘’The book chronicles Mabheka Zulu’s considerate and compassionate nature – his rise to the challenges and to support and take care of the downtrodden of the earth – irrespective of their colour, creed, race or religion.’’In an official communiqué, the head of government, said: “Mabheka Zulu’s embrace of the Zulu culture and customs shows that there is more that unites us than that which divides us. Mabheka Zulu is an epitome and a living example of social cohesion in action.

People like Mabheka Zulu make our province a better place to live in.’’‘’Your story is not just one of individual achievement, but rather a testament to the power of collective action and the importance of working together to make the world a better place.‘’We are also proud of you for being a unifying figure who is committed to the ideals and vision of a united, non-racial, equal and prosperous society.

In you we discover the spirit of a patriot who loves all South Africans and who celebrates all our heroes, black and white. Congratulations on recording this important history and preserving it not only for yourself but for posterity.’’The Premier said the epic edition should be available in libraries and homes.The cover features an excellent portrait of Ramlutchman in formal attire with his royal regimental orders and Gopio International badge pinned to his lapel.

The back cover features him in full Zulu war regalia, spear and shield, with the king’s regiments.A four-page centerpiece message from King Goodwill provides an amazing insight into Ramlutchman’s all-round demeanour, selflessness, humility, patience, charitable heart and a resilient human spirit.The launch was attended by Queen Nompumelelo Zulu, members of the Royal Family, dozens of VIPS, including billionaire businessman Vivian Reddy and his celebrity wife, Sorisha Naidoo, political and religious leaders, guests and family members at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Umhlanga.

Deputy Health Minister, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, gave the launch the ANC’s badge of honour, saluting the unique relationship between the philanthropist and the late monarch.Apart from the man of the moment, the IFP’s veteran founder, traditional prime minister and president emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, delivered a stirring address that traced the poignant journey of Ramlutchman, born into poverty in Lot 14, Stanger,his father’s death leaving him destitute and jobless, taking on a driver’s job, but rose spectacularly to straddle the spiritual world and was guided by the spiritual heads of the Divine Life Society which he brought closer to the monarch that resulted in the eminent swamis building schools in deep-lying rural areas and other needy facilities.

While the profiling storyline reveals insights into Ramlutchman’s rags to riches time lines, it is a book in which a picture speaks a thousand words: He has engaged hundreds of personalities here and abroad and they are honoured in photographs with well written captions marking and mapping the journey of the boy who would be prince – from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and the monarch who changed his life.

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