News Release

Ukhozi FM Radio and KZN Visit Ranch to Catch Pioneer Day Spirit

The Ukhozi FM and KZN group learn about the western pioneer heritage of the United States by donning cowboy hats, yodeling and riding horses.

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Sibusiso Buthelezi, Mrozo Buthelezi and Bonga Mpanza from Ukhozi FM Radion in Durban and Justice Mchunu from KZN Premiere’s office, plus Church escorts, Bishop Graham Sabela and Sipho Duma, PA Director from Durban and Kenneth Mofokeng from Welfare Services in Johannesburg were caught whooping it up, as they prepared for Pioneer Days in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Their trek to the ranch started with shopping for cowboy hats where they learned the proper way to wear the hat, as well as various yodeling techniques. After all were properly attired in their cowboy hats, they gathered outside to celebrate their own Zulu heritage by performing some traditional Zulu dances and songs.

At the ranch, they were greeted warmly by Carl and Lynette Cook and their family. There they were taught how to mount a horse, hold the reins and ride the horse. They then were taken on a horseback ride through the prairie…just like the pioneers of old.

Pioneer Day is an official holiday celebrated on July 24th in the U.S. state of Utah, with some celebrations in regions of surrounding states originally settled by Mormon pioneers. It commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois and other locations in the eastern United States. Parades, fireworks, rodeos, and other festivities help commemorate the event.

Pioneer Day is considered a special occasion by many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Pioneer Day, some members walk portions of the Mormon Trail or reenact entering the Salt Lake Valley by handcart. Latter-day Saints throughout the United States and around the world may celebrate July 24th in remembrance of the LDS Church's pioneer era, with songs, dances, potlucks, and pioneer related activities.

While the holiday has strong links to the LDS Church, it is a celebration of everyone, regardless of faith and nationality, who emigrated to the Salt Lake Valley during the pioneer era, which is generally considered to have ended with the 1869 arrival of the transcontinental railroad. The Intertribal Powwow at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City honors the rich cultural heritage and contributions of the area's Native Americans, helping Utahns to gain a deeper understanding of the region's history. 



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