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The devotees climb the mountain as part of their annual 10 day pilgrimage. The church was founded in 1913 and is one of the largest African traditionalist churches in Africa.

They walk up to 68kms barefoot praying, worshipping, singing, dancing and camping on their four weeks stay at the mountain.

The Shembe Church is the oldest independent indigenous Church in Southern Africa.

ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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A follower of the Nazareth Baptist Church dressed in a traditional attire from the Ekuphakameni group, also known as the Shembe Church, climbs the Nhlangakazi Holy Mountain in Ndwedwe, 85 kilometres north of Durban, on January 7, 2024. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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Devotees of the ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church in their colorful attire take part in a dance festival during their annual pilgrimage. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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Women dressed in traditional attire of the Nazareth Baptist Church, from the Ekuphakameni take part in a cultural dance. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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Young maidens of the Nazareth Baptist Church. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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Women devotees dressed in traditional attire. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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Men dressed in traditional Zulu attire. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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A devotee of the Nazareth Baptist Church dressed in a traditional attire prays at the Nhlangakazi Holy Mountain in Ndwedwe. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)
ekuPhakameni Shembe Nazareth Church Annual Pilgrimage Dance Festival
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(Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP)

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