Blessings of Inkosazana

A rainbow forms over the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, after the public viewing of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s casket. (MATT DUNHAM/AP)

I love rainbows. They are bright, beautiful and colourful, and they appear after the rain, so I get to admire their beauty, while enjoying the smell of the wet soil. Rainbows also remind me of the Zulu Goddess, Inkosazana. Whenever a rainbow appears, I hope that it is a blessing from Inkosazana.


Inkosazana is a young and beautiful Zulu Goddess of rain and agriculture, and is associated with rainbows. A rainbow in isiZulu is called, “Uthingo LweNkosazana” (“Nkosazana’s Arch”). She is also the patron Goddess of girls and young unmarried women, and is invoked at girls’ puberty ceremonies. Zulu maidens are usually addressed with the title, “Nkosazana”, to celebrate the Goddess Inkosazana, and their own divinity. Zulu Princesses are also addressed as, “Nkosazana”.

Nkosazana Mist

This beautiful and mysterious Goddess, appears only to girls and young women, during misty days, dressed in a string of white beads, a white garment, or a very powerful gown that evokes colourful visions of a rainbow.


Inkosazana is the personification of nature. That’s why you will find her in rivers, mountains, forests, caves, in a bed of reeds and cultivated fields. She is called upon, by young women, during Spring to bring fertility to the land by sending rain.

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