The plural form, "izibongo" (clan names), refers to praise poetry, a traditional Zulu artform in which the fame of a person is extolled. Izibongo are classically performed in public in a dramatic style, and usually reference the ancestry of the person being praised.
Since the advent of democracy in South Africa, politicians -- particularly presidents -- are often accompanied to public events by their izimbongi (singular "imbongi"), or praise poets. The poets' performance sets the scene for a political speech or ceremony. In former times, these poets only accompanied traditional leaders, such as monarchs.
- Masuku, Norma (November 2005). "Perceived oppression of women in Zulu folklore: a feminist critique" (PDF). University of South Africa. p. 14
- Turner, Noleen http://alternation.ukzn.ac.za/Files/docs/01.1/07%20Tur.pdf
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