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Letter to Cont Mhlanga

07 May 2020 at 17:32hrs | Views
Dear Cont,

I hope I find you well dear Cont. Having read your article today on Bulawayo24, I got really excited I could not wait to sit down and reply it. Firstly, you must be surprised to call you Cont and not Khulu. It is not that I am disrespectful, having addressed us in your article as BazukuIu, you will expect a reciprocation of good manners. However, please give me time to explain this in my introduction first, who am I in relation to Mhlanga's. My father, born as the only son in the family of five women, one of them: Daisy, married to Mhlanga family. Nge sintu, u Cont Mhlanga ngu Mkhwenyethu. Again, in Ndebele culture and tradition, abantu abako Mhlanga kangibazili! To me you are Cont, usibali wami.

Notwithstanding, my brother Charles Thatha married ko Mhlanga, u Venelia Nomuhle Mhlanga, double speaks, because nxa kule nkomo esibayeni sako Thatha ezavela ko Mhlanga, zaphuma njani njalo sezisiya ko Mhlanga zisiya lobola umaMhlanga. You will excuse me on those cultural intricacies, I will not be able to explain this accurately. This is an introduction about me. Let me go back to your article that made me exited and made me think. This article imumethe njalo its informative historically and politically. Generations in this region will thank you for this article you have just written.

I have written several articles related to this name Abathwa and Mthwakazi. As a direct descendant of the San populations you can imagine the exuberating when I got confirmation on information relating to facts and not emotions about the name Mthwakazi. I hasten to say that this name Mthwakazi has been politically bastardized to the point of madness. For you to come in and quell the fires about the origin of the name and ownership of the name; I can sincerely say e Mhlanga Mkhwenyethu othandekayo.  
There are two distinct people that you mentioned in your article that define me as a direct descendent of the San peoples of southern Africa. You highlighted the "poor peasants of Holland" who constitute some of the groups of white settlers that occupied southern. This group of white, in Holland they are called Huguenots intermingled with San people, taking captive of San women as "wives" in as much as King Mzilikazi took a San woman as one of his many wives. Indeed, this explains the coloured populations their origins. I am part of that historical San-Huguenots relations that developed in this region.

When the Nguni tribes of arrives in this land of Abathwa, indeed as you rightly put it, they found many tribes who came into conflict of land ownership with the new arrivals. We should never omit the fact that wars were fought bitterly, there is no tribe that submitted to the rule of the Nguni's without a fight by any stretch of our imagination. The San populations and King Mambo of the Kalanga people lost the wars to the Nguni tribe under Mzilikazi leadership, that must be said and be known to the future generations to come that the San people were subjugated by the Nguni warriors, not that we want restitution. These two tribes had to make peace with the Nguni tribe on terms set by the Kingdom of Mzilikazi ka Matshobana himself and his Ndunas. It was indeed wisdom at his best to ask King Mambo:  who owns the lands of Matobo areas and beyond. King Mambo, a man of great wisdom and intellect gave his answer as follows: the land belongs to the San people. I agree with you fully, Sibali as this fact is evidenced in some history books of southern Africa.

Again, I was indeed immensely proud to realize that facts about this name Mthwakazi is selected in honour of us the San people, the original setters of these lands of southern Africa. King Mzilikazi must have realized that for them to live in peace and harmony in this new found land he had to incorporate all tribal grouping under his administration, some of which found protection from tribal fighting's that were common back then.

However, it remains indisputable to say that we the San peoples were the first to occupy these lands. By and by other tribes from the north came to settle here. As you rightly put it, there was plenty of space, if there were disputes, smaller tribes moved quickly to settle in further empty lands that was in abundance back then. I would like to believe that these animosities that we have today: these hatred towards "other" tribes must have come with the divide-and-rule tactics of the white settlers for whatever reasons, bought into these emotions and tribal hate tremendously, tribalism a chronic scourge that eats the nation.

I will not delve into writing about the Shona-Ndebele disputes and chronic hatred of one another because it is not your today's message, but you clearly wanted follow the origin of the name Mthwakazi and explain it to the growing up citizens so that they know their history and appreciate it. That said, we all know that the name Mthwakazi has been used by some political parties in Matabeleland region some of which are fighting to cessed from Zimbabwe. This has diluted the good name of the region. We realize that when we talk openly and referring to this region as Mthwakazi instead of Matabeleland, the peoples of Mashonaland will conclude that we are cessation fanatics. It is for this reason your article is an important piece of information for generations to come. It explains facts as they are.

The Mthwakazi nation, in comparison to Zimbabwe population consists of one third of the population. It is a nation that has a history of wars, vicissitudes, and genocides of decades. If there was a region yearning for peace and development is Mthwakazi region. We note with dismay and desperation how the Mthwakazi parties have captured this name for political ends, curiously the peoples of this region do not support them evidenced in elections of the past. We are under siege so to speak because some of these Mthwakazi parties are coercing and threatening the citizens of this region to join their political parties.

I want to come back to the reasons why King Mzilikazi chose the name Mthwakazi and what it stands for in the geo-political sense. He chose it deliberately to give a hand of peace, coming together of different peoples, creating a new world, creating new identities by intermarriages of different groups, promoting Ubuntu and unity, peace prosperity security and heritage. These virtues are in your article today as relevant as it was 175 years ago.

I will not be doing you a favour if I started rattling furthers with Israel Dube who is one of the leaders of Mthwakazi parties who has threatened peoples of this regions with murder for not joining the Mthwakazi party MLO. I wonder still if it is what you meant by "wrong history making rounds and it is our responsibility to be vigilant." Fighting petty issues and socially unsustainable things should be a thing of the past: we give the best of our values and virtues and the worst is to die. You said: you are amazing Sibali Cont.

You really punctuated your article when you recognized the feminine aspect of the lands of Mthwakazi. I could not love you more about this special recognition on women. It is women and children who yearn for peace in this region. We are indeed surprized to realize that the so-called Mthwakazi parties target women and not men. Reading your article put me to rest. I know now that not all men from this region are misogynists. Your article singles you as one of them that know that women are important niche like their menfolk.

I will look for you when I come to the City of Queens and Kings. I am sure we have a lot to talk about. We are blessed to have you as a fountain of wisdom still alive and able to share the vast and invaluable knowledge about Mthwakazi and the origin of the name. Remember to nurture leadership in Mthwakazi while you are still living so that opportunists do not take advantage of leadership vacuum in the region. When we pass on, we should rest and not turn from our graves because we left chaos in the region.
Please keep safe, coronavirus disease is extremely dangerous.

Sala kahle Mkhwenyethu othandekayo

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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