Extracts from a thesis by
Prince Bongani Shelemba Zulu (2002):
ENCAKA TERRITORY UNDER THE KINGS OF THE MAZIBUKO AND NKOSI CLANS FROM CA 1700 TO 1913
The Uphongolo Region 1700-1830
The period between 1700 and 1750 in South East Africa (North Nguniland) underwent dramatic historical vicissitudes, which saw the formation and the development of the Mabhudu, Ndwandwe, Mthethwa, Qwabe, eMbo, (Mkhize-Hlubi) Dlamini-Ngwane, Ngcobo and, finally, the Abakwa Zulu kingdoms. Amangwe are/were part of the eMbo tribe.
Whilst the above-mentioned tribes developed there were also small chiefdoms, in the interior and coastal regions that also had undergone a process of centrality though very small in size as compared to the Ndwandwe-Mthethwa powers. These polities were Qwabe, Ngcobo and eMbomkhize on the coast and the Hlubi, Ngwane, Dlamini, Shabalala, Hlatswayo-Kubheka Zwane-Mazibuko in North West of iMfolozi. These polities and their powers were less centralized and less stratified than those of the Mthethwa and Ndwandwe.19:
At the same time King Mashobana kaZikode was ruling the abaKwaKhumalo ca 1800. Mashobana was attacked and killed by Zwide kaLanga. Mzilikazi, one of Mashobana's sons survived the massacre. He then subsequently gathered the remnants of his tribe and asked for protection under Shaka or voluntarily combined his forces with those of Shaka Zulu in defence against Zwide's next imminent onslaught.48. Zwide in the course of his conquest attacked the abaseMantshalini. In that attack King Mlotha was killed. His tribe was ruled by Hlangabeza kaMabhedla and Khondlo kaMagalela all of them being chiefs of the Amantshali clans.49
On the western side of KwaNtabankulu there lived the Amangwane tribes under King Matiwane kaMasumpa Hlongwane, between Utrecht and Pongolo. North of Ntabankulu lived and ruled the Amangwe tribe under Kimng Mangethe kaNdlovu Zwane. They inhabited this area together with offshoot tribes AbakwaMazibuko at eNcaka under King Phuthini kaMashoba, Cebekhulu and AbakwaLinda.50
The years between 1800-1820 underwent violent historical vicissitudes; Shaka Zulu completed the wars of conquest begun by Zwide kaLanga Ndwandwe and Dingiswayo kaJobe Mthethwa.51 Having driven Zwide kaLanga out of the kwaNongoma area, Shaka, in order to secure the Northern border of his kingdom, placed Maphitha kaSojiyisa Zulu of the abaKwaMandlakazi collateral Royal House between eMkhuze and eMfolozi eMnyama near the upper Mona River. He placed Mathaka kaMpasa kaMnomo Zulu and Sithayi, kaMbuzi (alias Mavunula) kaNdaba and Ntshingwayo kaGanganana kaNdaba Zulu of eGazini collateral Royal House at Kwaceza on the source of the iThaka River.52 After these arrangements, Shaka subsequently attacked AbaKwaZwane under Mangethe. Mangethe's people left the area later on and settled across UMzinyathi River below the Drakensberg Mountains. (Izintaba zokhahlamba).
This battle between Shaka and Sikhunyana took place between two historic mountains namely eNcaka and eZindololwane. The Hlatshwayo-Kubheka clan is situated in this area below izindololwane at eNtombe River, 174 and the Amangwe of the AbakwaMazibuko under Chief Phuthini kaMashoba occupies eNcaka area over the uPhongolo river.175
Chief Magonondo kaKhathide Kubheka should have been an eye-witness to these events as they were taking place in this region. What is known is that the three chiefs, Mathe Shabalala, Magonondo Kubheka and Phuthini Mazibuko submitted to Shaka's rule and henceforth were paying tribute to the Zulu kings.176
The AbakwaMazibuko Clan under Chief Phuthini kaMashoba ca1800 -1848
Like other areas eNcaka had had its ancient inhabitants the Abathwa and Amalawu (the Qoyi-San). The origin of abakwa Mazibuko can be traced back to the Zwane, Ngwane, Hlubi and Ndwandwe clans who are commonly known as the AbaseMbo tribe. The eMbo in turn are distant relatives of the Amathonga (the Maronga people).218
were either closely related to the abakwa-Nkosi-Dlamini or the abakwaNdwandwe under Zwide kaLanga. However, what is certain is that when Ngwane or Sobhuza left Uphongolo area for Swaziland, the Zwane people did not migrate with him. They remained between oBivane and eMfolozi emnyama. They had the Ndwandwe clans on the southeast; the Amahlubi on the West towards the source of the UMzinyathi River and the North West had the Amangwane clan under Matiwane kaMasumpa hlongwane.219. Behind the Ngwane clan there were the Amagonondo and the AbakwaShabalala.
All these clans paid tribute to the Ndwandwe Kings after the conquest and supremacy of Zwide kaLanga.220. After the defeat of Zwide by Shaka's forces, the Zwane clans were the next to be visited for they lived in close proximity to the Ndwandwe. They moved away to the West close to eMahlubini their distant relatives. Their place at eHlobane at Mangethe's ikhanda known as eNtshenteka was henceforth occupied by Mkabayi kaJama Zulu. She built an ikhanda called eMhlabaneni. Later however, it was renamed eBaqulusini.
There are different versions as to the origin of the name eBaqulusini, (the place of those who display their buttocks). Bryant says this reference was to the Amangwe and the Amahlubi hitherto resident in those regions, which had the habit of exposing their buttocks, by wearing the Sotho breechcloth instead of the regulation Zulu umutsha (hanging girdle of skin). Such a costume in the Zulu's estimation, was low and unrefined, hence they contemptuously nicknamed the abeSuthu iziNgadanqunu (people who run about naked).221
Bryant went on to say:
"Both these tribes, the Amangwe and the Amahlubi affected the same tartan because they were both of the same stock, and close cousins. They belonged along with the Ngwane-Swazis, Ndwandwe, Khuzes and others, to what we have termed the eMbo branch of the Nguni family. The Amangwe, along with the Zwanes and others, sprang from a certain common ancestor Ntsele, a different individual from Ntsele, father of Bhungane."222
In the face of repeated attacks either during the battle of eZindololwane against
Sikhunyana kaZwide (1826) or during Mzilikazi's rebellion and escape 1822/3 the Zwane migrated once more; some with Mzilikazi, and AbakwaMazibuko remained behind the under iNkosi Phuthini kaMashoba kaMgabi kaMafu.
Tradition says AbakwaMazibuko-Mwelaseongaweli ngazibuko kepha owelangesihlenga somfula.224 AbakwaZwane adopted those who cross the river by using the raft. The AbakwaZwane, Mazibuko, Cebekhulu and Linda according to recorded oral tradition are all related to one another. Phuthini kaMashoba was the longest reigning King of the Mazibuko clan, his time ranging from Shaka to Mpande.
Mpande is said to have complained now and again saying, “why is Phuthini not dying”; All his contemporaries (kings) in power, had all died but he was then still living. Mpande said Phuthini must be the one who bewitched other kings,225 and Mpande also accused them of having stolen his cattle. In 1847/48 Mpande sent several expeditions to invade Amahlubi under Kings Langalibalele kaMthimkhulu kaBhungane Hadebe and Amangwe under Phuthini kaMashoba Mazibuko.226 Therefore the area in which they had been living, before they were driven to Natal was called eNcaka.
Langalibalele's mother Ntambose was the daughter of Mashoba kaMgabi kaMafu Mazibuko. Langalibalele (who later became King of amaHlubi) grew up among AmaWelase.227. There was intermarriage among the AbakwaShabalala, Hlubi, Mazibuko and Kubheka-Hlatshwayo chiefdoms. Whenever these clans were pressed hard by a common danger or enemy they used to move together in defence against or in flight away from the threat. They fled for Natal and occupied the areas known as eMnambithi (Ladysmith) for the Amahlubi and Klip River for Amangwe.228
Mpande, having driven away both Amahlubi and Amangwe had one remaining encroaching enemy namely the Boers who by that time were in coalition with the Amaswazi. Malambule and his party had left Swaziland ngesilulu (en masse) driven out by Mswati after the eruption of the civil war 1846. From Mahamba Mission station, they left for Zululand and asked for protection from Mpande. They temporarily settled at eMbizeni and established eBhadeni homestead. Mpande took or rather commanded one of these Swazi princes Nciliba, father of Nyamayenja to move to the vacant area eNcaka. Henceforth the eNcaka area is ruled by AbakwaNkosi under Mhlabunzima (Mgedla), kaMakhehlana, kaLuphondo, KaMabukangengazi, kaMkhontowendlela, kaNyamayenja, kaNciliba, kaSamukezi.
Prince Bongani Shelemba Zulu:
From The Lüneburger Heide To Northern Zululand: A History Of The Encounter Between The Settlers, The Hermannsburg Missionaries, The Amakhosi And Their People, With Special Reference To Four Mission Stations In Northern Zululand (1860-1913).
(Master Of Theology: The School Of Theology: University Of Natal: Pietermaritzburg. December 2002) pp 76; 83; 95-97; 140-144.
19 Hamilton, C., Ideology, Oral Tradition and the Struggle for Power, pp. 156-160;
Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 404-5; Hedges, D.W., Trade and Politics, p. 176; Wright, J., & Manson, A., The Hlubi Chiefdom, pp. 9-11; Bonner, P., Kings, Commoners and Concessionaires, pp. 9-26;
48 Shooter, Joseph, The Kaffirs of Natal, pp. 186-193; Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp.172-175; 417-423.
49 Bryant, A.T. Olden Times, p. 162; Sithole, T., Izibongo nezithakazelo Zakwazulu, p.80.
50 Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 175-184; Msimang C., Buzani kuMkabayi, (Pretoria, 1982), pp. 183-190; Khumalo, R.S., uPhoko Vol. 1 pp. 147-149.
51 Hamilton, C.A., Ideology, Oral Tradition and the Struggle for Power , pp. 122-3;
52 Bryant, A.T., Olden Times pp. 128, 130, 660-661; Stuart, James., uThulasizwe,
(London, 1923, 1937), pp. 51-52; JSA., Vol. 1, p. 7; Hamilton, C.A., Ideology, pp.
175 Wright, J., et alia, The Hlubi Chiefdom, pp. 16, 27.33, 35-36; JSA., Vol. 1, p. 291; Vol. 2, pp. 4-6 per Mabindela kaNtuli Mazibuko 19-12-1910; pp. 27, 32-33, 40, per Mabhonsa kaSidlayi Kubheka, Interview 2-2-1909; Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 181, 182, 184.
176 JSA., Vol. 2, pp. 250, 261; Wright, J., The Hlubi Chiefdom, p. 22, 33; Bryant, A.T.,A History of the Zulu, pp. 2, 10; Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 308-334, pp. 586-594, Vide -pp. 91, 590; Duminy, Andrew and Guest, Bill, Natal and Zululand pp. 73-74; Phiri, P.D., FromNguni to Ngoni A History of the Ngoni Exodus from Zululand and Swaziland to Malawi,Tanzania and Zambia, (Popular Publications, Limbe, Malawi, 1982), pp. 52-53.
219-224; Hedges, D.W., Trade and Politics pp. 214-216; Guy, Jeff, The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom: the civil war in Zululand, 1879-1884, (London, 1979), pp. 37,
174 Bryant, A.T., A History of the Zulu, pp. 2, 10; JSA., Vol. 1, p. 18, 201, Vol. 2, pp.
249; JSA., Vol. 4, pp. 278, 314, 318, 321, 357, 358; Wright J., Dynamics of Power, pp. 174-176. 133-35; 335; Wright, J., The Dynamics of Power, pp. 174-176.
218 Bleek, W.H.I., Researches into the relations between the Hottentots and Kaffir
(Cape Town, 1857), pp. 200-296; Report concerning bushmen 1873, Second report Concerning Bushmen, 1875; Fuze, Magema, Abantu abamnyama nalapho Bavela ngakhona,(Pietermaritzburg, 1922); Khumalo, R.S., uPhoko, Vol. 1, pp. 1-35; 42-59.
219 Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 135-184.
220 Bonner, P., Kings, Commoners and Concessionaires, pp. 9-26.
221 Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, p. 181.
222 Ibid., p. 181.
223 Msimang, C.T., Buzani kuMkabayi, pp. 183-190, vide p. 190.
224 Sithole, T. Izibongo nezithakazelo zaKwaZulu, p. 56; Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp.155, 181, 212, 417-424, 590; JSA., Vol. 2, p. 14.
225 JSA., Vol. 2, p. 27, Kubheka, Mabhonsa kaSidlayi's evidence 01.02-1909; Zulu,
Cetshwayo, in A Zulu King speaks, pp. 14 - 15; Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 155, 181; Wright, J. & Manson, A., The Hlubi Chiefdom, pp. 32-36.
226 Ibid, pp. 32-36; JSA., Vol. 2, pp. 27, 33.
227 JSA., Vol. 2, p. 14.
228 Bryant, A.T., Olden Times, pp. 147-158, Vide, pp. 155-158; JSA, Vol. 2, pp. 27, 33.
229 Nkosi, Ntolozi kaSitimela Zondo, interview 16.01.1997, eNcaka; Zulu, Cetshwayo, in A Zulu King Speaks, pp. 14-15.