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Names and naming: More about the defensive barrier surrounding Inyathi (Emhlangeni)

08 Sep 2019 at 08:33hrs | Views
TODAY we seek to complete  the regiments/settlements that constituted the defensive  barrier, isiphika, around the capital town of Inyathi, also known as Emhlangeni. As we shall see later, King Mzilikazi kaMatshobana relocated to his final seat of power in 1861 following the demise of Queen Loziba kaPhahlana Thebe. Once again, there was yet another isiphika to provide some defensive barrier to his new capital town of Mhlahlandlela where annually, commemorations to mark the death of the King are held — in the same month of September when he passed on in 1868.

Moving to the northwest of Inyathi we find a settlement that was known as Amanguba or, in the locative form, Emangubeni. It was part of isiphika in that direction and was under the leadership of Khisi Khumalo who was succeeded by son Madliwa. These Khumalos belong to the section of the Khumalos known as Inzonda or uLugebhe lukaMatshitshi. It is the section to which Mtshane Khumalo  and Mazwi Khumalo belonged. The former commanded Imbizo, uBhiyozo ozibunu zibomvu , insukalitshone, intamo yenkunzi, while the latter headed Inyanda located south of Bulawayo between Tshabalala Sanctuary and the Khami River along the Bulawayo-Maphisa Road.

Sadly, we are not privy to the meaning of the name Amanguba. However, we do know that at the time of occupation the people of Emangubeni, as indeed was the case with several others, experienced land expropriation. Today some of the people are settled north of the Kenilworth Estates, under the jurisdiction of Chief Lucas Mtshane Khumalo. However, some of the former residents of Emangubeni were resettled  north of both the Shangani and Gweru rivers. The Madliwa  Khumalo chiefainship is today found at Nesigwe north of the Gweru River.

South of Emangubeni and west of Inyathi Mission was located Amazizi Village the origin of whose name was discussed in an earlier installment. The village was located west of the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road before one gets to Queen's Mine (Joe's place). A place called Elitsheni, so named after a prominent rock outcrop, marks where the village of Emazizini was.  From the tall rock outcrop one could see Gwamazhula (Lonely Mine). Elitsheni Road  leads towards the Bulawayo-Victoria falls Road, to join it at Mahlothova. Close to Emazizini was located Tshayile Mission Farm (Shiloh) where Reverend Thomas Morgan Thomas who did not strike it well with other LMS missionaries went to establish his own settlement. He was of Welsh extraction and was quite alert to English treatment of his nationals.

Amazizi did not immediately face eviction following occupation. The earliest people to relocate were the chiefs who had large herds of cattle that required large tracts of grazing land. As a result, chiefs such as Madliwa Khumalo, Sivalo Mahlangu, Dakamela Ncube  and Sikhobokhobo Nxumalo were the pioneers of the Shangani Reserve. Of course most of them were not chiefs prior to occupation. Their chieftainships are traceable to the period following occupation. For example, Tshugulu Tshabalala's chieftainship is owed to the fact that he pursued  and apprehended Mpontshwana Ndiweni (of the famous call "madoda lolani incukuthu"). As a reward, he was offered some chieftainship. He was not in line for the Insukamini chieftainship which, prior to occupation, was under the leadership of Chief Manondwane Tshabalala.

When the turn came for Amazizi to be evicted they too went to the Shangani Reserve, with the Nkayi section being the first to be filled up, before Lupane was settled. Initially, Nkayi was administered from Inyathi till Nkayi was established as an administrative centre. In like manner, Lupane was initially administered from Nkayi before a separate administrative centre was established. One person that I interviewed recently says they were evicted from Emazizini and settled under Chief Sivalo in Nkayi. They later relocated to Gomoza which was part of Lupane and thus fell under the authority of Chief Mabhikwa Khumalo. As an individual, the interviewee indicated that he later sought and got land at Dandanda. This time he was under Chief Menyezwa Gumede the son of Mazwi who was chief in the vicinity of Bulawayo.

Dandanda was a Tonga area  where some famous rain shrine was located. It was under the guidance of some granny, ugogo and today a secondary school is named Gogo after the rain adept who lived in the area. Rain rituals were held there where the shrine was located. The old woman had power over wild animals such as lions which she referred to as her dogs not to be hunted. What emerges quite clearly is that there was great scattering of the people who previously had been part of isiphika around Inyathi. The land was fertile and rich in gold deposits. Land endowed with such resources was the reserve for the conquering whites. Some blacks who remained behind served as tenant labourers  on the farms.

One more village that we may mention is Ingwanga, south of Inyathi, close to where  the district office is located. Ingwanga, at its establishment, incorporated the Bhebhe people who had been living in the area during the heyday of the Lozwi State, at a time the Lozwi King lived on Izintaba zikaMambo(Manyanga Hills) to the north. Ndumba Hill was associated with the Bhebhes whose leader was an important military general for the Mambo's armies. The Bhebhes had arrived from South Africa as far back as the 16th Century and helped in the establishment of the Lozwi State.

Once again, we are not clear regarding the meaning of the  name Ingwanga. What we do know is that the people who were part of it were relocated to the Lower Gweru area. The one Khwabithi Sitsha might have been the chief of Ingwanga. Records show that Chief Khwabithi Sitsha had his chieftainship terminated when he was accused of kicking his wife MaKhumalo and breaking one of her ribs. We certainly would appreciate it if those in the know may furnish us with answers to the questions we have raised.

The isiphika that we have described above came to an end in 1861 when the capital town relocated to Mhlahlandlela as pointed out above. The incident thought to have prompted relocation was the death in the same year of Queen Loziba kaPhahlana Thebe the senior Queen and mother of Princess Lobhitshi the mother of Manqikila Dlodlo, the  heir to Chief Linganisa. Manqikila Dlodlo  died at the Battle of Gadade in November 1893.

It is not clear where the King tarried after abandoning  Inyathi. He may have established a temporary settlement near Umguza. Certainly by 1863 he had established Umhlahlandlela, the pathfinder which was the name of his capital town while domiciled near the Aapies River in present day Pretoria (Tshwane). A new isiphika was set up comprising the villages that had been led into Matabeleland by Khondwane Ndiweni in about 1839. It ought to be appreciated that the Khondwane-led villages were kept apart from those that the King himself led. For the first time in 1863 the King settled among the people that at some point in time were considered treasonous by installing Prince Nkulumane while the King was still on the way travelling  to Matabeleland.

Next week we shall identify isiphika that fringed Umhlahlandlela and where possible indicate the origins of the names of the settlements/villages/regiments.

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