Brief history of the Ndwandwe
I will now give you an instalment of the Ndwandwe clan’s history which links to amaShangane and amaJere. The Ndwandwes are a subgroup of the Nguni people who populate sections of Southern Africa. King Zwide was the chief of the Ndwandwe clan from about 1805 to around 1820 and he was the son of Langa, a Ndwandwe Chieftain (that is why the Nxumalos’ praisename is Zwide kaLanga or Mkhatshwa). He was ambitious in expanding Ndwandwe supremacy and was a prominent rival chieftain to Chief Dingiswayo of the Mtetwa as mentioned before.
Dingiswayo’s famous general and protege, King Shaka of the Zulu Kingdom was also his great rival. Around the time Zwide became Chief, the Ndwandwe were growing in military power. Legend has it that Zwide’s mother, the Great She Elephant Queen Ntombazi was an Isangoma (witchdoctor). Zwide, like Shaka sought to expand his borders, and in 1818 he had destroyed the power of the Mthethwa Kingdom and overran the neighbouring Khumalo Kingdom and executing their King Mashobana KaMangethe his son-in-law. However MaShobana’s son and heir Mzilikazi escaped from the Ndwandwe and sought refuge with Shaka.
Remember that Shaka had also reformed the remnant Mthethwa clan under his rule. Zwide knowing this, planned to destroy the Zulu Kingdom in order to secure Ndwandwe domination of Zululand. However in 1820/5, he led his army into battle against the Zulu at the Battle of the Mhlathuze River. Unfortunately for Zwide his forces were crossing halfway across the Mhlathuze River when the Zulu forces attacked, the Ndwandwe army was scattered but Zwide wasn’t killed in that battle. Shaka and his impi then set out to go and kill Zwide before news had broken out that his (Zwide’s) army had been defeated. When they approached the gate they were chanting Zwide, Zwide, Zwide making them think it was their army aproaching the gate. and thus gained access. When they entered Zwide’s homestead they outnumbered his royal guard and killed Zwide. After King Zwide’s death, the Zulus marched to the Ndwandwe capital attacking it and taking the Ndwandwe by surprise.
The Zulu victory was the beginning of the Mfecane or the scattering. Zwide’s generals fled North establishing their own Kingdoms, such as the Gaza Kingdom formed by General Soshangane. Soshangane is the redoubtable chieftain who broke away from the hegemony of Zulu King Shaka and carved out a Nguni empire of conquest (Gasa or Gaza) in what is now modern-day Mozambique. Allied with the remnants of the Ndwandwe tribe in 1819, Soshangane fled after defeat by Shaka. He moved north into Mozambique, absorbing or conquering numerous followers. His army overran the Portuguese settlements at Delagoa Bay, Inhambane and Sena, and he extracted tribute from the Europeans. A punitive expedition sent by Shaka to liquidate his former rival was seen off in 1828, and Soshagane consolidated his empire. After the death of Soshangane around 1856, Soshagane’s empire was embroiled in succession disputes.
The final ruler Ngungunyane, was defeated by the once tributary Portuguese in 1895, and the Nguni Gazan empire collapsed. Soshagane, it must be said, is one of a number of outstanding figures that rose to prominence during the Mfecane.
The other military commander of the Ndwandwe army was Zwangendaba kaHlatshwayo, (c1780-1848), head of the Jere or Gumbi a Ngoni clan, which itself formed part of the larger emaNcwangeni alliance in what is now north-east KwaZulu-Natal. As mentioned above, in 1819 the Ndwandwe alliance was defeated by the Zulu army under Shaka at Battle of Umhlatuze River, near Nkandla. Many of the Ndwandwe fled, and over a period of about 20 years Zwangendaba led a small group of his followers north through Mozambique and Zimbabwe to the region around the Fipa Plateau, between what is now Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. That is why we also have amaShangane in Giyani which are now about 1.5 million but this group is called amaJere. In this region he established a state, using Zulu warfare techniques to conquer and integrate local peoples. Following Zwangendaba’s death in 1848, succession disputes split the Nguni people into five groups, some of whom moved to new territories. In Malawi, there are the following Nguni groups: Jere Ngoni of Mchinji under paramount chief Mpenzeni (whose actual residence is close to Chipata in Zambia) Jere Ngoni of Mzimba under paramount chief M’Mbelwa Maseko Ngoni of Dedza under paramount chief Kachindamoto and Kachere Maseko Ngoni of Ncheu under paramount chief Gomani Maseko Ngoni of Cholo under paramount chief Vumbwe It is interesting too that this breakaway after the defeat by Shaka led to the formation of the Swazi people whose clan name is Dlamini. That is why the Swazi people dont use the letter “Z” in their language unless they absolutely have to. The Mfengu who do not consider themselves Xhosa albeit they speak isiXhosa also came out of this break away as so does the AmaHlubi whose language is semi Xhosa-Zulu.
Authored by Musa Xulu
Edited by Tim Nxumalo
Bathi bekhatshwa ngezinde,
Mnguni ongafi ngomkhonto,
Kade ungigwaza Ndwandwe
Ake sikhe na la!
Ndwandwe,zwide kaLanga,Mkhatshwa,Okhabangezinde nezimaqhukubezana,Nkabanhle,Wena wase Gudunkomo,Wena owasezikhotheni ezingakhothi ngamlomo ezikhotha ngomkhonto kaZulu,Nkomo ayihlatshwa uyothi ungayihlaba yophe amasi njengo mbhelebhele,Sandla sivikumkhonto ngehawu,Hlubi,Sandla simnene,Somaphunga,Nkokhel abantu behlatshwa njenge zinkomo!
Vovovo ongadliwa zinyoni nezithi zimudla zibe zimcokozeyeya lakhanya lijaha lakhanyisa kwenhlavu yeyanga maphondomakhuyu kuzayizinja zenkosi conco kasakazi umnguni lomuhle yedwa yongadli inhlanzi ngobe yabuyaya Ngungunyane wena yongadli inkukhu ngobe uthi siphandamazaya wena lothumba bantu njengezinkomo jaha lelabona impi yemshada yazisuzeya bakhaya bososhangane bathi bayeka mnguni nansi mpi i ingena wabengathi bakuthintile engani wahlaba emadoda abhodlisa kwezinkomo wena lonuka bunandi kupheya nxumalo..
Ake ngikukhothise ezinkambeni zamakhosi noma ungumfokazane nje.
Wena wase gudu, wena wase gudu nkomo, ngoba wagud inkom ingena thoka, Umlindwa,mlindwa wezindaba onga hlulwa, duna lika ndaba nduna lona elahlaba amampondo asavela, mzukwana ka ndiziya mahohlo, inkaka eyakhala emini kwalo baba, nkaba ye nkosi, sitja soku bunjwa, zingana le ndlovu, Ulisongo elikhala lodwa, kodwa laba fokazana alila emabili,sdina dinana esa dina ababelethi wanyanyu UZulu, Mkhatswa onga khathwa ngo nyawulunye nezinde zinfushane,bakudli gazi lakho bayo bola amathumbu,
UmNguni onga bhekani nelanga athi angalibheka licime, duna lika Soshangane elinga lohlokolozwa, lithi linga hlokolozeka alibayeki liba guduza amathumbu. Ndwandwe angikwazi ukuk qeda, ngithi mangiku bhekile, bese ngiya thuthumela, kanti Uyingani eya phume zinguyini zami.ikhwezi elimnyama emhlohlweni ukuzo bukeya abazingeli bezindlovu,kodwa nabo bayakulibona bayoli hlokoyoza, mhaye sengwane ngokwenza kwezinduna ngo kwenzakeye, ngoba inkosi cha! sekuphangiwe ngayo izolo eshayimithi,lapho uspenenyana waphuma wa phangazeka akhumbuya mzukwana kanyafoko, ukhoyanyana naye sambona esezoyazoya phezulu, kwama kayinge wadla amadoda kwakufanyana wanyamayaya, babane duna lika Soshangane masinda ngokuthubeya, bayethe! wena Somaphunga, bayethe!
Somankulumana, bayethe! wena mashesha ukufika kwamaShobana uNozibuko engakafiki, bayethe! wena Soshangana,bathi uSoshangane ngoba wa shang imizana yabantu, bayethe! wena Ngungunyana okade angungunya abafazi namadoda umganu owahlume mini kwamandlakazi kuthi mantambama uyahohloka, mnandi ndaba wase mantanganini, nyama mnyama kwaba uthuli sitja salolanga sabunjwa.Ndwandwe!
Bathi umNguni ongabhekani nelanga, athi angalibheka licime ngoba ( u Zwangendaba wawela iZambezi ngo 1825 kwabamnyama ezweni (Total eclipse of the sun in 1825) ebhembhuluka njengomlilo ebhele Tanzania kusha kwasani endleleni yabo.
Sengiyani yeka mina
Sdlubula dlwedlwe sebhubesi esdabul ikokela zabathakathi,
Umkhonto kawuqedwa kungafafi maqhawe.
uZwide wehlulwa ngoba thina sasingakazalwa!!