Rain Queen Makobo Modjadji VI, dies after a sudden illness


By Staff Writter

GA-MODJADJI-On 12 June 2005, Rain Queen Makobo Modjadji VI died in a hospital in Polokwane in the Capricorn District.

Makobo Modjadji VI born in 1978 was the sixth in a line of the Balobedu tribe’s Rain Queens. Makobo Modjadji VI was crowned on 16 April 2003 at the age of 25, after the death of her predecessor and grandmother, Queen Mokope Modjadji.

This made her the youngest Queen in the history of the Balobedu tribe and the first Rain Queen to have received formal education, and went on to complete high school.

On 10 June 2005 Makobo was admitted to the Polokwane Medi-Clinic with a then-undisclosed illness; she died two days later at the age of 27.

Rain Queen Modjadji VI is a direct descendent of one of the royal houses of Monomotapa, which ruled over the Zimbabwean people in the 15th and 16th century.

The legend of the Rain Queen has been told for centuries, as even Shaka Zulu is said to have asked for her blessing. As the name suggests, the Rain Queen is responsible for bringing rain, and directs an annual rainmaking ceremony in her royal compound.

Previous BaLobedu Monarchs

1.Queen Maselekwane Modjadji I (1800-1854)

2.Queen Masalanabo Modjadji II (1854-1894)

3.Queen Khesethoane Modjadji III (1895-1959)

4.Queen Makoma Modjadji IV (1959-1980)

5.Queen Mokope Modjadji V (1981-2001)

6.Queen Makobo Modjadji VI (2003-2005)

7.Regent Mpapada Modjadji (2007-)

Princess Masalanabo with President Cyril Ramaphosa making her first public appearance on at Mokwakwaila Stadium since the death of her mother, Rain Queen Makobo Modjadji.

The Rain Queen survived by two children, a son and a daughter.

Balobedu Royal Council announced on the 7 May 2021 that the son of the late and last Queen Makobo Modjadji Prince Lekukela Modjadji (24) as the next King of the Balobedu tribe.

The announcement came as a shock to Balobedu as it was widely known that the succession to the position of Rain Queen is matrilineal, so her younger daughter is the heir, and males are not entitled to inherit the throne at all.

In a sudden turn of events the queen to be Masalanabo (16), who was expected to be crowned Queen Modjadji VII, the “Rain Queen”, when she turns 18 will now play her role as the “Kgadi” to the Prince Lekukela as agreed upon by the council decision, which happens to be the high-decision-making structure.

The government of South Africa recognized Princess Masalanabo as the future Rain Queen in a 2016 memorandum and she was expected to officially receive her certificate when she turns 18, as minors are not allowed to be traditional leaders.

Prince Lekukela will be inaugurated in October 2022.

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