The story of Modjadji, The Rain Queen

Makobo Modjadji, known as Makobo Modjadji VI, The Rain Queen, born in 1978 and passed away in 2005. She was the sixth in line of the Balobedu tribe’s rain Queens.

Modjadji, or Rain Queen, is the hereditary Queen of Balobedu, a people of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The succession to the position of Rain Queen is matrilineal, so her elder daughter is the heir, and males are not entitled to inherit the throne at all. The Rain Queen is believed to have special powers, including the ability to control the clouds and rainfall.

It is believed that Makobo Modjadji and her predecessors had the ability to control the clouds and rivers. Makobo Modjadji was crowned The Rain Queen on the 16th of 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 situated in the mountains of Tzaneen.

Makobo Modjadji was the daughter of Princes Makheala, and was the only Rain Queen to be formally educated. She was crowned The Rain Queen two years after the death of her mother, Makheala, and the previous Rain Queen, her grandmother Mokope Modjadji.

Her mother, Makheala Modjadji, the designated successor of Mokope, had died two days before Mokope had died; therefore Makobo Modjadji was selected as The Rain Queen. 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 accepted the crown reluctantly.

Although respected for her abilities and lineage, Makobo was seen as too modern to be the next Rain Queen of the Balobedu Tribe, which may have been why there was such a long delay before she was crowned. Custom dictated that the Rain Queens lives reclusive lives, hidden in the Royal Kraal with the Royal wives. Makobo Modjadji, however, liked to wear jeans and T-shirts, visit nearby discos, watch soap operas and chat on her cellphone.

Makobo also had a boyfriend who was believed to have fathered her second child. He is believed to be the former Municipal Manager at the Greater Tzaneen Municipality. He is also rumoured to have moved into the Royal Compound to live with her. 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.

Therefore, the former Municipal Manager of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality was banned from the Village, and the Rain Queen’s two children have never been recognized by the Royal Council.

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