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King Mzilikazi and the Mambo people created a nation

26 Nov 2018 at 13:20hrs | Views
The nation needs to congratulate the movers for the creation of the Mambo Dynasty Trust and indeed the creation of the BaKalanga Movement, if I have quoted the names of the organisations correctly. It is a strongly supported thing to create bodies that revive and strengthen our identity as different ethnic groups in Zimbabwe, and for purposes of this article, in Matabeleland for that matter. It is noted with regret that the public objectives of the two groups, if they have any other private objectives at all, are founded on creating disharmony among the people of this region. They seem to be based on some history that does not seem to match the history of the times when King Mzilikazi came into this country after leaving Natal Zululand in the 1820s.

To focus specifically on the leaderof the Mambo Dynasty Trust, Mr Mike Moyo, it is devoid of leadership qualities and myopic to think that the creation of the Mambo Dynasty Trust should be popularized by insulting the Khumalo family. The Khumalo family has never gone out in public insulting the Moyo family that they believe are representative of the Mambo Chieftainship. Instead, the Khumalos have always respected that House and we are aware of the good hand that the Mambo people extended to King Mzilikazi and his people when they arrived in this country.There is hardly any history of battles between the Mambo people or the BaKalanga, for that matter that any person worth his honest salt can speak of, and King Mzilikazi people, most of whom were Nguni. King Lobengula, for instance grew up in the Malaba family. Chief Malaba ranked very high in King Lobengula's rule. There are Chiefs in the Khalanga region, not necessarily of Nguni origin who were given that status in recognition of their leadership prowess among their own by King Lobengula. The history we have always known from historians and not griots or folklorists or opportunistic activists, is that the Mambo Kingdom was destroyed by Zwangendaba forces. Thereare hardly any remnants of those Nguni forces in this country, but in the Mzimba Kingdom in Malawiand in Chipata in the Eastern Zambia.

We always salute people of this region by saying, ''sapho lukaMzilikazi, nzalo kaMambo'', (children of Mzilikazi and descendants of Mambo) in all our addresses to show the permanent acknowledgement of the greatness of the two systems that created this nation. The song among all the Umthwakazi people that recognises that great relationship that existed between King Mzilikazi and the Mambo descendants runs like this, "Kudala kwakungenje. Kwakubusa uMambo loMzilikazi" ('in the olden days things were not like this. Mambo and Mzilikazi ruled'). It should be a valued honour to all of us that the Mambo people and King Mzilikazi created a very sustainable nation that, without the opportunistic activists, should continue into a long future. Other than a derogatory interpretation given by imperialist forces to the stratification of the components of this nation, King Mzilikazi and the Mambo people, then, knew that the value systems of the people from Zululand, Northern Transvaal and the locals were different mainly due to differing backgrounds and locations. To recreate the new values systems, it then made sense to know the different value systems. The emergent values and value systems that this nation has had for decades are unparalleled in Africa.The Umthwakazi nation values and value systems explain why for a long time people in Beit-bridge, where Chief Mike Moyo originates, and those inTsholotsho, Binga, Khwekwe etc would make the same decision on a national issue, as if they would have had a meeting. This is what we have been proud of as heritage from our ancestors, like Mambo and Mzilikazi, until some of us have decided to destroy that in the name of trying to please and curry for favours from different Party political structures.

I personally had a meeting at Four Ways in Johannesburg with Mambo Mike Moyo after I had phoned him as a friend, if I recall in August 2016, before the Dynasty's Stanley Square Indaba. He came to where I stayed and for two hours we had a frank discussion.My findings then, which I read in the recent interview that he had with media here in Bulawayo, remain the same. He is consistent in that he has some very bizarre history on which he tries to accuse King Mzilikazi. For instant he shut up when I quoted whatlate Chief Hwange said at a meeting in year 2000 when preparing for the King Mzilikazi Commemoration in which this Chief and seventeen from Binga and many from Matabeleland South/North and Midlands attended. The late old and wise Chief said that they supported the Commemoration of King Mzilikazi. They have no history of fights between their grandfathers and Mzilikazi people, except an exchange of hide and food.He is seeking personal publicity by creating sensitive stories and sympathy from some undeclared quarters. We need to remember that he has some business interests in various circles that might be calling for all this. He is unclear why he is insulting and attacking the Khumalo family. There are things the public and him need to know to clarify issues before he can publicly cry that he is not consulted or recognized by the Royal House of Khumalo.

The revival of King Mzilikazi's /Lobengula/Nyamanda Monarch system will, in no ways going to exclude the Moyo or Mambo family. If anything, as Khumalos, we have constantly emphasized that all ethnic groups should identify their cultural rituals that define their identity. The reason is that King Mzilikazi's Monarch cannot be revived in isolation and in negation of the precinct cultural observances of the components of the Umthwakazi nation. Unlike the Mambo Dynasty Trust that is meant to be exclusively for the Rozwi and the BaKhalanga movement that seems geared towards exterminating Nguni lives here in Zimbabwe, the Monarch led by the Khumalos recognises that there are over 20 ethnic groups in the Umthwakazi nation and it will be inclusive.Moyos, Dubes, Ncubes, Hungwes, Munsakas, Tlous will play major roles.The revival of that Monarch is not dependant on issues of land, boundary, or demarcations that both Mike Moyo and the BaKalanga Movement representative allude to.

King Mzilikazi came to this country as a King. He was not given Kingship by the Mambo people. By pleading to be consulted, it sounds as if king Mike Moyo wants to be an authority to give us Kingship. As a suggestion, he needs to consult others also on how he can revive the Mambo structures and not behave as if success in reconstructing the Mambo Chieftainship is dependent on the revival of King Mzilikazi's Monarch system. The two can core-exist and a lot of us are prepared to help him because we value the Mambo people for who they are and the decency with which they received King Mzilikazi and those that came with him. In African culture there is no better expression of acceptance of a person more than allowing him to worship with you and participate in your cultural and spiritual rituals and in return show gratitude by giving away cattle to him. The Mambo people allowed King Mzilikazi to warship Mwali and he never interfered with their warship. Instead he contributed black oxen to the shrine.

The other important point that prince Mike Moyo needs to appraise himself with and as data to the public in general, is that the King Mzilikazi Monarch is still at contestation level within the House itself. In fact it is in court now.No-one wants to draw a respectable House of the Mambo people to our squabbles. To illustrate how messy and too internal the situation is or has been for long time, let me serialize the incidents as below. Since 1995 there has been about eight claimants to the King Lobengula's Throne. This started with three old man who went to Zululand, to King Zwelithini's Enyokeni Palace; two Khumalos and a late Masuku (uncle of the claimant), and claimed that a one Khumalo among them called Leo Zulukandaba Khumalo, is the heir to the throne. The late Mabhada Khumalo told a one late night meeting at old Bulawayo when he was appealing to the Clan to forgive his participation. This was confirmed by some Khumalos and two local Chiefs who visited Enyokeni in August 1996. A Doctor in Johannesburg was once pushed to claim the throne because of his high educational qualifications. One member of the Mzilikazi Cultural Association(RSA), the late Dingani Khumalo from Nkayi, also claimed the throne was his and was pushing for the construction of King Mzilikazi's Palace in Zululand. Edward Ndlovu of the Mlevu Ndlovu family in Tsholotsho, claimed he was the heir to the throne because he claimed that the ancestral spirits identified him. He appealed to King Lobengula family to accept him as a Khumalo.

The Mcijwana Khumalo's claim to the Mzilikazi throne also made him rush to up to King Zwelithini in Natalto seek for legitimization claiming he is guided by ancestral spirits. A Mr Gumede of Yeoville in Johannesburg, came to apologize elders that he had sponsored Mcijwana because he genuinely thought his claim was legitimate. Stanley-Tshuma's claim to Mzilikazi's throne is topical. This one has claimed that the power comes from God and his letter to the former Zimbabwean President requesting to be allowed to lead the Ndebele people has remained more popular than him. A Dube from Esigodini that traces his lineage to Khumalos in Natal is another recent claimant. Rumours were also abound about a very senior politician in a quest to win elections in Nkayi area declared and treated the late Chief Madliwa as the heir to the Umthwakazi Monarch. The other two from King Lobengula's family arePrince Collin Bulelani from Njube's House who is being brought in by the Leo Zulukandaba a non-descendant of Lobengula and Prince Zwide Khumalo, a descendant of King Nyamande, who was proclaimed by the family to the public, Khumalos and Chiefs on the 17th February 2018. The argument from these two is based on descendancy to King Lobengula's House. Once this complex confusion and the discombobulation is resolved, then formal structures resulting from consultations will occur. The demand to be involved or consulted at this stage can only be for your personal recognition and selfishness. In Royal leadership circles, things are not done like that prince Moyo.

In any case a lot of the activities in and around this multifaceted Monarch revival program involves different people of Rozwi surnames including Moyos, and they will continue to be important to us.What we may not be sure of is whether you are senior to other Moyos or not simply because you come from Beitbridge originally. One historical story I was told was that the process of building Umthwakazi nation was not isolated to King Mzilikazi and the few people he came with, but that the Mambo people were involved very deeply in it. The spiritual element was strongly controlled by the Mambo people and the spirit mediums and Inyanga from both Mambo and Mzilikazi spent three months in the bush doing all they knew to create a strong relationship among the varied ethnic groups into one nation.It is my take that King Mzilikazi would never have succeeded to create the nation on his own without the buy in and active participation of the Mambo people. These ancestors never attended school like most of us, but they achieved wonders that we continue to enjoy today.

The Royal House of the Khumalos find this extremely inappropriate for the BaKalanga Movement representative who wrote in support of the Mambo Dynasty Trust to describe the Nguni people as barbarian and savages(schrecken in the language of the Germans). It is good to denounce barbarianism and savagery. However, it is outside the social and leadership moral continuum to incite people into barbaric and savagery behaviour. It simply reveals the level of immaturity and the uncaring attitude towards what this nation should value, good relationships. The attack is baseless in that the Khumalos are revivingtogether with other people of Matabeleland the Royal Institution. If one does not owe allegiance to that Institution, that person can forget that he can be persuaded to be part of it. Those that believe in it and cherish it are enough and they just don't need hangers-on.

If the Nguni have been around for so long and our grandfathers, both of Mambo and Mzilikazi descendancy, never described each other with such derogatory terms, what is it that is motivating the levels of malice andfoul language and hate speech? Surely that language cannot be a positive brick and mortar towards leading a constructive movement. Is this advocating in-house fights on the basis of ethnicity? Those Ngunis are to a large extent mothers or fathers to a lot of BaKalanga children. The Ngunis did not institute a language curriculum in schools and villages. The Missionaries used the Zulu language in their churches and those Missionaries were Whites and not Ngunis. No Nguni force marched the other tribes to these schools and churches. In fact, we all suffered a degeneration of our languages and culture due to colonial manifestations. There are words and expressions which when we use when in Zululand they wonder what sort of Zulu we speak from Zimbabwe. It is because the Ndebele language is a concoction of words borrowed from different ethnic groups both in South Africa and in Zimbabwe.

There is a vast difference between the revival of the Monarch system as done by the King Lobengula's House and the boundaries programme promulgated by some political Parties. The Royal Family of the Khumalos is following a cultural program in which the boundaries of the Kingdom are to be the location of the people that pay allegiance to the Monarch and not a geographic line. This is for political formations to handle and not the current business of this House. The insinuation that the revival of what most people call the 'Ndebele Monarch' is a claim for land ownership in the form of dividing the country into two, is a self-marketing statement to gain sympathy from the ruling Party. Government is more alert than that it can be persuaded into divisive programs of this skewed nature ad description of the King Lobengula's Monarch. The issue of who owns what land in this country is not and has not for years been the focus of the Ndebele Monarch revival program. It is however noted that some political Parties have seen the capturing of groups opposed to King Lobengula's family program as an opportunity to gain support from the Ndebele people. It is also public knowledge that certain groups in the revival program have run to different political parties to gain support using captured traditional leaders. All this has nothing to do with the King Lobengula's program. The Royal House of the Khumalos is consistent in that it approaches this whole issue culturally. The plea is that political Parties should separate politics and culture.

Let us all call for unity, peace and love among our people, the Umthwakazi nation. We as a nation have become too fragmented because of some external forces and also because of greed among ourselves in which individuals push for self-esteem instead of the national values. The major damage that has occurred to the people of Mambo and Mzilikazi is loss of identity and what values we live for. Each ethnic group owns its culture and cultural processes and we should not appear too desperate in our cultural reconstruction processes to a point that we sell out what we own and it melts away in our hands. We need to transform and do what many of us might consider crazy an act. People of this region need to retire from political Party activities for a period, to allow us time to rethink our identity and craft our future and the future of our children guided by a collective ethic. I think it's possible and necessary. This may be another subject for me to clarify soon. Honourable Mike Moyo, if it had not been a Khumalo, who happens to be the writer of this article that stood up in the early nineties(90s), and said the Ndebeles need their King and they will have it, you would not be talking about reviving the Mambo Dynasty today. You woke up too late for you to think you are at the forefront because you don't seem to know the difference between left and right in reviving a respectable Mambo Monarch. Take honest advice that, if you choose to lead in such programs, you need to show inclusive leadership and avoid flagging personal ambitions.Everyone now wants to be identified with their culture and Umthwakazi want to have a King or Kings and they are shouting it in the streets. It is possible to achieve it without oppressing other people's cultures.

In conclusion, the people, of and in this region, have suffered for decades on end as a united unit. Some like yourself, Moyo, and the BaKalanga Movement only 'suffered under the Ngunis' when they came to this country. Many went to war because they saw the oppression under imperialists as unbearable. Many think since most states in Africa including Zimbabwe got independence from imperialists and some form of democracy came to the fore, the educated contemporary Africans have unleashed the worst oppression to citizens. Whichever type of oppressive rule, no-one has been spared and there is no guarantee that the future is not waiting for generations to come without suffering under different regimes. We need to unite as a nation and make our positive contributions to the lives and welfare of our people. Everyone has a right to his culture and unless one is ignorant of the details of such rights, they will come out ranting in public that they will stop other people from enjoying their cultural rights. All ethnic groups in all Provinces of this country arrived here from somewhere and they have equal rights to the citizenry of Zimbabwe.

Author: Prince Zwide Peter Khumalo
Umthwakazi Heritage Trust, Bulawayo.

Source - Prince Zwide Peter Khumalo
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