About Makobo Modjadji, Rain Queen, VI
According to legend, a Kranga chief named Mugodo was warned by his ancestral spirits of a plot by his sons to overthrow him. He had them killed and told his daughter Dzugundini, that according to the wishes of the sprits, he must marry her and father a girl child. By doing this he ensured that the new heir to his throne would be a Queen and thus a new dynasty of woman founded. The ancestors bestowed onto the princess rainmaking powers, which expanded the wealth of the kingdom. When Dzugundini gave birth to a son fathered by her father, the child was strangled. Her second child was a girl, which signalled the start of the female dynasty.
Makobo Modjadji, Rain Queen VI (2003-2005)
Makobo Constance Modjadji VI was crowned the 6th Rain Queen on 16 April 2003 at the age of 25, after the death of her grandmother, Queen Mokope Modjadji. This made her the youngest Queen in the history of the Lobedu tribe.
Makobo was the only Rain Queen to be formally educated. As mentioned, her mother was the designated successor, but died two days before her grandmother Mokope Modjadji. On the day of the coronation, a slight drizzle fell which was interpreted as a good omen. The coronation was an elaborate ceremony but it is believed that Makobo only reluctantly accepted the crown.
Though respected for her abilities and lineage, Makobo was seen as too modern to be the next Rain Queen, which may have been why there was such a long delay before she was crowned. Custom dictated that rain queens live reclusive lives, hidden in the royal kraal with their “wives”. However Makobo Modjadji liked to wear jeans and T-shirts, visit nearby discos, watch soap operas and chat on her cell phone.
Modjadji also had a boyfriend, David Mogale, who was believed to have fathered her second child. He is the former municipal manager of Greater Letaba Municipality. He was rumoured to have moved into the Royal Compound. This caused great controversy with the Royal Council as the Rain Queen is only ever supposed to mate with nobles who the Royal Council themselves chose. Mogale was banned from the village, and the Rain Queen’s two children were never been recognized by the Council.
Makobo was admitted into the Polokwane Medi-Clinic with an undisclosed illness on the 10th of June 2005 and died two days later at the age of 27. There is a lot of controversy surrounding her death. Some villagers believe she died from a broken heart because her lover David Mogale was banned from the royal village. Mogale himself claims that the royal council poisoned Makobo as they saw her unfit to hold the much revered position of Rain Queen, and this was the easiest way to have her removed. Hospital staff believed she died of AIDS whilst others are concerned with the disappearance of Makobo’s brother Mpapatia, last seen on the day of Makobo’s death.
A fire broke out in the local chief’s house where Makobo’s coffin was being kept before her funeral. The fire was extinguished before Makobo’s coffin suffered any damage, but the event seemed to arouse more suspicions of foul play surrounding Makobo’s death.
Officially Makobo died of chronic meningitis.
End of a Dynasty?
There has not been a new Rain Queen chosen since Makobo died. Because Makobo’s daughter, Princess Masalanabo, is fathered by a commoner, the traditionalists are not likely to accept her as the rightful heiress to the Rain Queen Crown. Therefore, there are worries that the 200 year old Rain Queen dynasty may have come to an end.