Mzilikazi’s migrant Kingdom south of the Limpopo

04 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Mzilikazi’s migrant Kingdom south of the Limpopo culture

The Sunday News

By Mzala Tom

After the acrimonious fallout with Shaka, King Mzilikazi and his people crossed over uKhahlamba/Drakensberg mountain range. They then temporarily joined forces with Nxaba a chief of the Nguni Msene around 1822-23.

However, Nxaba and his people later joined forces with Ngwana Maseko and trekked to the newly founded kingdom of Soshangane. Mzilikazi decided to remain in the then Transvaal.

After parting with Nxaba, Mzilikazi was given refuge by King Sibindi of Amanala clans of the amaNdebele. He trained their young people to become warriors. One day when the young men were sent out on raiding missions, Mzilikazi assassinated Sibindi.

He then recruited the young fighters to join him and many were captured and incorporated into his growing military regiments. King Mzilikazi’s next target was the Ndebeles who were under King Magodonga Mahlangu known as amaNdzundza who lived near Middelburg.

King Magodonga Mahlangu was reputed for having magical powers which King Mzilikazi could not match. Magodonga was able to get himself submerged under water with a flaming firebrand and emerge after a while with the brand still alight.

King Mzilikazi

Mzilikazi managed to defeat Magodonga with the help of his senior inyanga Mphubane Mzizi. Mzizi kept close watch over Magodonga and managed to collect a small portion of his faeces. Mzizi then mixed the faeces with strong roots and portions. This concoction caused Magodonga’s magic to vanish. Mzilikazi thereafter attacked Magodonga and his army successfully. Magodonga was then executed. The bulk of his people joined Mzilikazi and the men were conscripted into a regiment called iZimpangele.

It is in the Middelburg area that Mzilikazi built his first capital which he called Ekuphumuleni. By then, the population of his people was augmented by other Nguni refugees amaHlubi, who had settled in the area, running away from the violence of the emerging Zulu empire. Mzilikazi settled for a while at Ekuphumuleni. However, the Griqua (Cape coloureds) cattle raiders raided the Ndebele of their cattle. They were skilled fighters who had fire arms and horses. After heavy losses, around 1827, Mzilikazi decided to move northwards.

He moved northwards through Magaliesberg and Kommandonek near the present Hartbeespoort Dam. At this point, he had defeated and incorporated the Sotho-Tswana of the western high veld. These included the Pedi of Thulare , Hurutshe, Ngwaketse, Kwena and Khudu.

Mzilikazi established temporary settlements near present-day Rustenburg. From this base, he attacked baKwena at Silkaatsnek. However, he failed to defeat them. Thereafter, he changed strategy and launched attacks on the Po who were easily defeated.

The chief of the Kgatla, Chief Pilane successfully fled to the hills. Mzilikazi then conquered and assimilated other Tswana groups that remained in the area. Using the Magaliesberg as his centre, Mzilikazi expanded his kingdom.

By then his kingdom stretched from the Vaal River in the south to the confluence of the Crocodile and Limpopo Rivers. Between 1827 and 1832, Mzilikazi built himself three military strongholds. The largest was Enkungwini.

Share This:


We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey

This will close in 20 seconds