Ishwar Ramlutchman, the only Indian to be adopted as a prince of the Zulu Kingdom has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making India proud and has expressed his willingness to contribute in the socio-economic development of motherland India.

In a Telephonic Interview with Indian Observer Post, Ishwar Ramlutchman, South Africa’s only Indian-origin Zulu prince who was conferred with triple degree honour two months ago, admired the works of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has made us proud. People of Indian Origin or PIOs across the world and particularly in the African countries love and respect Mr. Modi for the honour he has given to us the Indian origin people by his historic contribution in the development of India.

Mr Ramlutchman, who has been involved in several philanthropy works ranging from save Rhino campaigns to distributing uniforms and stationery to underprivileged kids in South Africa, said, post COVID-19, I am planning to come to India to explore what I can contribute to our motherland. One of his priorities has been to improve water and sanitation services to disadvantaged communities, in consultation and collaboration with local authorities.

ACADEMIC ACCOLADES ISHWAR RAMLUTCHMAN MABHEKA ZULU Ishwar Ramlutchman is the only Indian who has been adopted as a prince of the Zulu Kingdom. The Zulu people are the largest ethnic group and nation in South Africa with an estimated 10–12 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

In a rare recognition of his unheralded and long-standing yeoman service, philanthropy and bridge-building role-playing in South Africa – especially in rural and peri-urban KZN - three USA-based institutions - Los Angeles, LADC and IOA – conferred three prestige honorary degrees on behalf of the National Congregational School of Theology.

Ramlutchman received the triple honour – an honorary doctoral degree in Humanitarianism and Conflict Resolution, an honorary master’s degree in Christian Religious Studies, and an honorary professor’s degree in Humanitarianism and Community Development recently.Lauding the contribution of Ramlutchman, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, the reigning King of the Zulu nation under the Traditional Leadership clause of South Africa’s republican Constitution, said in a message.

“When I adopted Ishwar Ramlutchman, I gave him the name of Mabheka Zulu. The name Mabheka means the one who cares for my people. This was done after his heroic dedication and achievements in serving the poorest of the poor in the Kingdom of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.”

“Mr Ishwar Ramlutchman at such a young age has done so much in serving the poorest of the poor during the days of the Swami. We feel joy and pride when we see how he has a mind to continue what he learnt from his Master. By his actions of promoting peace and stability in our country clearly indicates that his heart is only for the betterment of our people. “I often say that he is a new model with a high mileage”.

We congratulate you as you have been appointed as a member of the trust of the Royal Household”.King Goodwill had said in his speech at the inaugural ceremony while appointing him as a trustee of the Household Trust of Royal Zulu Monarch.King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekazulu, who comes from a long line of Zulu warrior-kings, adopts the boy from a neighbouring north coast town and names him Prince Mabheka Zulu: ‘’When I adopted Ishwar Ramlutchman, I gave him a name of Mabheka Zulu.

The adoption of dedicated and diligent subjects in the Zulu Kingdom was always done by my predecessors: Kings Shaka, Cetshwayo and Dinuzulu, to name a few.’’‘The name Mabheka means the one who cares for my people. This was done after his heroic dedication and achievements in serving the poorest of the poor in the Kingdom of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal,’ King Zwelithini said at the graduation ceremony recently.

Dressed in full academic colours and regalia, professors and peers presented the triple honour of honorary doctoral degree in Humanitarianism and Conflict Resolution, an honorary master's degree in Christian Religious Studies, and an honorary professor's degree in Humanitarianism and Community Development on behalf of the National School of Theology in South Africa.

Ramlutchman’s family and his mother – were filled with a sense of pride and joy as they witnessed his glory hour in the midst of important guests –ranging from the elders from the Amakhosi, to those who heard the king pour praise on his princely son were KZN Finance MEC, Ravi Pillay, Professor SC Shabalala, Professor MR Ngalo, Reverend Ivan Naidoo, Dr Dolly Makhathini, Dr Mbongwa Nzama, members of the Nazerath Baptist Church, Inkosi Mqoqi Ngcobo of AmaQadi and friends and relatives.

‘’It was truly unimaginable and a very humbling hour of honour. I always let my work speak for itself without expecting any rewards, accolades or awards, bouquets, though my culture of generosity, love and kindness does sometimes attract brickbats from the negative spheres of professional jealousy, envy, lack of integrity, racism and narrow-mindedness,’’ Ramlutchhman told Indian Observer Post.‘’These honorary academic awards has spurred me on to redouble my philanthropic and corporate social responsibility efforts by continuing my volunteerism and humanitarian work at grassroots levels.

‘’At the same time, I will not be far away from the leadership of our country to ensure that we work doubly hard to promote social cohesion, race relations, cultural heritage and intra-cultural celebrations and commemorations between the Zulu, Indian and other communities where are our citizens, compatriots and comrades continue to build new bridges.

‘’In this long, trying, frustrating and painful though peaceful journey, I have learnt that poverty and the poorest of poor in all communities is not a bridge too far for me to cross.’’Recalling his boyhood, he said: ‘’Life was difficult and challenging in this poor community, but the struggles they experienced didn’t breed animosity or racial tension.

‘’We did exactly the opposite. Poverty was the common denominator that galvanized a sense of unity among an odd blending of Zulu-speaking African and Indian neighbours.‘’It may be a far today, but we co-existed in harmony, peace and respect.’’A long standing dream came true when Ishwar Ramlutchman had the distinct pleasure of meeting former President and world icon Mr Nelson Mandela.

Mr Mandela was undoubtedly a huge inspiration to Ishwar and recalling that meeting he says was one of his most precious and treasured moments permanently etched in his memory. He was also privileged to interact with President’s, Religious leaders and Leaders from various countries where they have shared the same platform at numerous events and cultural celebrations.While talking to Indian Observer Post Dot Com, ISHWAR RAMLUTCHMAN retraced this selfless soul’s one-thousand-mile journey from a wood-and-iron house in Stanger’s Lot 14 to the Royal Palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Forty-four years ago, he came into the life of Seetha and Ramlutchman Kissoon, His parents named him “Ishwar” - a philosophical concept in Hinduism meaning “God”.BORN to poor, working-class parents within a sprawling Indians-only community of Lot 14 in Stanger, a northern most town within the Kwa Dukuza heartland of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, famously etched globally as the ancestral home of Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize laureate for peace, Ishwar Ramlutchman refused to allow his proletariat social status bar him from achieving prosperity, peace and progress.

But with his chequred life, came tragedy for a young man with a dream to uplift his family and communities from poverty and social injustices. He was left devastated by the death of his father in his final year of schooling that wrecked his future studies. Ramlutchman’s father passed away at the age of 39 and her mother couldn’t afford to send him for tertiary education.He then picked himself by his boot straps; he migrated to the industrial hub of Empangeni.

Within this hub, he learned technical skills, metal work, welding and engineering.Within years, he got into business and slowly emerged to prominance in entrepreneurial circles of the new country.He got the opportunity to meet with former South African President Jacob Zuma, Goodwill Zwelithini, King of the Zulu Nation, and Consul General Of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla.At the same time, he made his pilgrimage to the shrine of his spiritual masters and mentors - Swami Sivananda and Swami Sahajananda of the Divine Life Society of South Africa and India.

‘’My spiritual gurus taught me many values, principles and ethics of which humility, as a hallmark of a human being, was paramount.Up to this day, he lives by a single mantra: “Service to mankind is Service to God.”Religiously secular in outlook, Ramlutchman is as comfortable in a Hindu temple, church or synagogue.Amidst business success and a new wealth status, he always remembered to make poverty history;

“If you commit yourself to doing good, strength from God will come to carry you through your weakest moments.”In his long journey, he was humbled when he was introduced to President Nelson Mandela.Ishwar’s acceptance by the African community has allowed him to experience their culture first hand in addition to receiving a set of traditional African Tribal attire, complete with shield and spear, as a gift. He wears them to grand celebrations and occasions.

An avid admirer of Ishwar’s humanitarian work amongst all races has earned him much respect from His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini.In a message read out, King Zwelithini has lauded Ramlutchman, saying: ‘’Mabheka has become instrumental in rebuilding fractured lives of the poorly served people. Through numerous food, clothing, libraries, community halls, wheelchair distribution programmes, including the sponsorship of bursaries for underprivileged children, Mabheka has made big difference in the lives of my people.

In a country with a history of violence, it is commendable that Ramlutchman has erected many temples and churches to promote culture and belief in spirituality.‘’He has built low cost homes for destitute families, provided water and sanitation for needy communities.’’Added the monarch, a former Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology:

‘The dictum that people of exceptional leadership, intellectual and spiritual power are ahead of their time rings true for Mabheka’s life’s journey we are celebrating.‘’Indeed, over the years Mabheka has become an additional member of our family whom I always refer to as indodana yethu, our son. His commitment and promotion of social cohesion, nature conservation and respect for everyone’s cultural heritage and religion has earned him our respect.’’‘’Today we are filled with joy and pride to see Mabheka continue to serve the people of South Africa.

’’Environment and wildlife conservation is also a major concern that deserved his attention and involvement. Whilst embarking on sustainable development programs and projects, he is of the belief that we must never ignore the fact that man and environment complement each other. Our continued existence is only recognised and possible through balancing respect for man, wildlife and natural environment.

South Africa is indeed a beautiful country and the envy of many a nation. We must constantly strive to protect, promote and preserve this magnificent heritage we proudly call our home thus serving as the Ambassador for Ezemvelo Wildlife KZN makes this possible. His life has brought much honour and pride to his dear mom and paid tribute to his late dad. He is constantly encouraged and supported by his wife, Eswari.

Receiving awards and accolades was never his mission or focus in life but most significantly they never compare to the joy and satisfaction of helping an individual in dire need. For Ishwar this is just the beginning. He hopes to be a motivation and an inspiration to encourage people he meets to share in this dream of improving the lives of others and especially those that are most unfortunate.


  • Humanitarian Award by South African Government RSA 2004, By Dy President , Jacob Zuma
  • Humanitarian Award by The Provincial Government  KZN by Premier Sbu Ndebele
  • Humanitarian Award by The City Of Umhlathuze
  • Humanitarian Award by Uthungulu District Municipality
  • Humanitarian Award by Umkhayakude District Municipality
  • Humanitarian Award by Prince MG Buthelezi, House of Traditional Leaders
  • Hindu Business Leadership Award by the South African Hindu Forum
  • Sri Ganesha Award by the South African Hindu Forum
  • Business Excellence Award by MEC For Finance and Economic Development KZN
  • People's Choice Award from Zululand Chamber of Business Foundation - 2007
  • People's Choice Award from Zululand Chamber of Business Foundation - 2010
  • Award from South African Police Services, Richards Bay -2010
  • Heritage Award from Amafa Heritage Council for the Installation of Peace Pillars.
  • Amman award by the Mount Edgecombe Temple
  • Khwaja Ameenudeen Foundation of South Africa (KAFSA) Community Award
  • New Global Indian (NGI) Community Service Award
  • GOPIO Community Service Award in Kochin during Pravasi Bhartya Divas in 2013
  • Glory of India Award and Certificate of Excellence by IIFS
  • Appointed Trustee by Rev Jessie Jackson founder of Rainbow Push Coalition Africa foundation - New York.
  • Honorary Patron - Divine Life Society, Rishikesh , India
  • Chairperson 1860 Legacy Foundation Northern Zululand.
  • House of Shaka Award, Isihlabane Award
  • King Goodwill Zwelithini Royal orders

Ramlutchman is also an executive vice-president and Africa coordinator of GOPIO International, who had single-handedly together with the local members organized the 2016 Business Convention.

‘’I believe a unified Indian approach alongside African compatriots and socio-economic partners here and across the 54-nation continental bloc, and especially including the blue ocean economy and eco-tourism hubs of the Indian Ocean Rim countries, will pave the new route for meaningful economic growth, social growth and cohesion and political stability, to take root into thriving businesses and intra-trading.

‘’As GOPIO International, we cannot proceed into the future in a vacuum. While not diluting our core values, we have to become more pro-active in engaging the economic sector, government and civil society to ensure that the economic cake is evenly spread among socially and economically marginalized communities.

“This business gathering of like-minded people and compatriots must provide the stimulus needed to combat one-sided globalization, the legacies of the colonial-apartheid era, the stereotypical north versus south trading imbalances, unequal economy, junk status of developmental democracies and countries battling sagging economies, burdensome debts, high joblessness and grinding poverty.

’’PHOTO CAPTION1. His Majesty the King, King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuZulu , King of the Zulu Nation and Proffessor Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu2. Profeessor M R Ngalo, Professor Shabalala and Professor M X Xulu Confers Honorary Doctorate, Professorship and Master’s on Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka zulu. Courtesy - Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka zulu 

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