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Kalanga association rubbishes recently installed Mambo King

14 Sep 2019 at 08:09hrs | Views
The Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association (KLCDA), a representative association of the Kalanga Nation in Zimbabwe and affiliated to the Society for the Promotion of iKalanga Language (SPIL) in Botswana, the Nambya Cultural Association on the Zambezi Valley and the Venda-Sotho Association (VESO) on the Limpopo Valley, notes the alleged installation of one Mike Moyo as 'Mambo' in the weekend of the 7th to 8th September 2019.

Considering the historical fact that the Mamboship is historically a Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation dynastic institution spanning about a 1500 years, we believe it is important for the Nation to hear from its representative association.  At such a time as this when there are important concerns about Economic Wellbeing, Unity in Diversity, and Self-Government and Self-Determination of all Peoples, it is critically important that we establish some clarity on the subject of the Mambos. It is important that we are clear about what the Mambo or Mamboship is all about. As such, we will give a brief description and/or definition of the Mamboship, its past and its present and future implications.


Contrary to many views that one tends to hear these days, let's establish this one fact about the Mamboship. Mambo was not and is not an individual person. It is common when singing the song "Kudala Kwakunganje, Kwakubus' uMambo lo Mzilikazi", to hear people suggest that there was a particular individual by the name "Mambo" who ruled with Mzilikazi, the Ndebele King.

The Mambo is not an individual name. The Mambo is an institution. The Mambo is a Dynastic title of the Highest of Kalanga Kings, a Dynasty title similar to that of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The Mambo was the recognized sovereign first of the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation. The Mambo Dynasty exercised governmental sovereignty through Confederalism over all the land that is now called Zimbabwe, for a period of at least 1000 years, Confederalism being a system of governmental organisation in which there is a union of states with each member state retaining some independent control over both internal and external affairs.  


We are unable to tell for sure when the Mambos started governing the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation. But it is safe to say that it appears to coincide with the same time when the Nation begins to organize itself about the year 500 AD, as told by archaeology, an era referred to in archaeology as the Leopard' Kopje Culture. This is the era when the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nations begins to live in organized communities with a National, Confederate Government. They begin to practice cattle ranching, crop agriculture, gold and iron mining, metallurgy and trade with Countries far off in East Africa, the Ancient Near East and Asia.

It appears from this time the Mamboship would grow to establish the bigger Kalangaean Civilization at Maphungubgwe, Great Zimbabwe (Nzimabgwe â€" nothing to do with "dzimadzamabwe") and Khami (Nkami [we dzisina mhulu]), growing the Kingdom of BuKalanga/VhuKalanga/Bokhalaka into a 1000-year Dynasty that would last until the mid-1800s, when it was defeated through successive military onslaughts from seven (7) impis, viz:

1.    the Portuguese with ancestors of some of the people now called Shona,
2.    the Maseko-Ngoni of Zwangendaba,
3.    the Swati of Matshakatsi and Nyamazana,
4.    the Kololo of Sebetoane,
5.    the Gaza-Nguni of Soshangane,
6.    the Ngwato of Kgari Sechele, and  
7.    Finally the Matebele of Mzilikazi    

This, in BuKalanga, we call "Golomodzo Gulu Le BuKalanga" (that is, the Great Massacre or the Great Destruction/Dispersion/Diasporization of BuKalanga). The Kingdom of BuKalanga had three major phases of the Mamboan Dynasties â€" the Monomotapa Era (running for about 900 years â€" 500 - 1400AD) (Monomotapa being a Portuguese corruption of the Kalanga term nhu-unotapa, nothing to do with the alleged Mwenemutapa); the Buthwa-Togwa era under the Tjibundule Mambos (200 Years â€" 1500 â€" 1700AD); and the Moyo-Lozwi Era (150 Years â€" 1490 â€" 1840AD).  


That said, it is important to note that the Mambo Dynasty has not always been a Moyo-Lozwi institution. Kalanga Oral Tradition tells us that the first Mambos: Mambo Hamuyendazwa Nkalange Hhowu and Malambodzibgwa Nkalange Hhowu were actually of the Hhowu/Ndlovu lineage, the Nkalange name being the one from which BaKalanga get their National Name.  

The Hhowu/Ndlovu Nkalange Mambos seem to have ruled for about 900 Years from about 500AD up to the late 1400s. At this time we see the rise of the Tjibundule Mambos of the Hoko/Whudo/Ncube lineage. The Tjibundule Mambos would rule for about 200 Years from 1490 to 1690, at which time they were jettisoned by the Moyo Lozwi Mambos. The Moyo Lozwi Mambos would rule for 150 years from 1490 until they were overthrown by the successive impis previously mentioned, capped by the Matebele in the mid-1800s.


Since Golomodzo Gulu Le BuKalanga in the mid-1800s, the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation has remained a subjugated Nation, its Peoples parcelled out around into what are now the Shona, the Ndebele and the Tswana, (perhaps except in South Africa), primarily aided by the successive policies of the Mzilikazi, Rhodesian and Mugabean Governments. This has seen the Mamboan Peoples minoritized, villagized and pushed to the borders and to the brink of extinction. And if this assimilation continues, the Lingua Franca (National Languages) of the Mambos - TjiKalanga, TjiNambya and TshiVenda - will die. KLCDA refuses to allow this to happen. Which brings us to the future implications.


Two things are important to note whenever there is discussion of the Mambos:

(1) The Mamboan Peoples - the Kalanga, Nambya and Venda â€" were always a Confederacy, or Federation, in simpler terms. The Mambos did not run a Unitary Kingdom. They ran a Federal Kingdom which ensured survival of all their Peoples, united in their diversity of Languages and Culture, and most importantly, ensuring Self-Government and Self-Determination in their various territories from the Limpopo to the Zambezi, from the Tendankulu (now Pungwe in Mozambique) to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana.

(2) Secondly, the Lingua Francas of the Mambos was TjiKalanga, TjiNambya and Tshivenda. Of course, we know that many of the speakers of these languages today â€" as a result of Nguni Conquest, British Colonialism and successive Zimbabwean Governments after independence â€" have since been parcelled out among what are now the Ndebele, Shona and Tswana and now speak those languages.

It is therefore imperative to note that it cannot be possible to speak of the Mambo Dynasty without at the same time talking about these two matters. Any revival of the Mamboan Kingdom or Mambo Dynasty must therefore inevitably result in the revival of its National Languages â€" TjiKalanga, TjiNambya and TshiVenda.

Secondly, for this arrangement to work, we will have to go back to the drawing board and embrace the Confederalism of the Mambos. This means there has to be Self-Government and Self-Determination of our Peoples which ensures that there is Unity in our Diversity, not in any kind of imposed Uniformity or forced Assimilation.


In light of the above, KLCDA wishes to clarify to the public that at this time, it does not recognize nor is it aware of any Mamboan leader of BaKalanga, BaNambya or VhaVenda. We put it on record that after 200 Years of dispersion of the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation dating back to the 1850s, there is not a single individual who can legitimately claim heirship to the Mambos. This especially considering that the Nguni Impis hunted down and killed many children of the Mambos in the 1800s.

Much as it was difficult for the Jews to identify a monarchical successor to the Davidic Kings after 2000 Years in the Diaspora, KLCDA affirms that it is neither viable nor desirable for the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation to attempt any revival of a Mamboship made up of any individual leader.

The closest that the Nation can come to this is the creation of a Federal Council made up of elected representatives of the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Nation and chaired by a similarly elected Federal Council Chairman with limited terms to preside over the linguistic and cultural affairs of this great Nation. We recognize no Royal Crown Council but prefer a Federal Council that empowers the People the same way the Mambos of old governed.  


In a curious turn of events, we are informed that there were at the alleged coronation of a 'Mambo' an estimated "100 chiefs, senators and other officials from Mashonaland and not even five from Matebeleland". This on its own raises eyebrows in Matebeleland and is serious grounds for distrust and disunity in the region. We are all for Unity in Diversity and reject any and all attempts at assimilation by any people group â€" Ndebele, Tswana or Shona.

Whilst it is true that the majority of the people now called Shona once lived under the Mambos, they did so on arrival in the land now called Zimbabwe in the 1700s, and have never been the Mamboan Peoples, let alone established the Nzimabgwe (Zimbabwe) Civilization, not even, as is commonly and falsely taught in Zimbabwean schools, ever established the Monomotapa Empire, the Buthwa-Togwa Kingdom, the Lozwi Kingdom; or even Maphungubgwe and Khami, or the Mwali/Njelele Religion. They only had a share in these by virtue of living under the rule of the Kalanga-Nambya-Venda Mambos upon arrival in the land now called Zimbabwe. They never installed any Mambos between 500AD and 1900AD, and cannot install one in 2019AD.

KLCDA is a membership umbrella body founded in 2005 and registered in 2010, Deed Registration Number CF51/2010. It is a successor organization to the VETOKA (Venda, Tonga and Kalanga Association of the 1980s) and the Kalanga Cultural Association (KCS) of the 1950s founded and led by the likes of JZ Moyo, TG Silundika, Edward Ndlovu, Lazarus Nkala, Clement Gwisani Moyo, Mlobiseni Rolek Bhango etc. 

Source - Kalanga Association KLCDA
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