Ukwehla Ngesilulu: Origination in KwaZulu-Natal

  • Posted on December 12, 2010

The story of the Tree of Life

Our folklore tells us that in the beginning there was ‘Nothing’ which existed in the darkness. The mating of ‘Time River’ and ‘Nothing’ created a sparkle which fled in the quest for its own identity. The sparkle grew bigger and bolder as it fled, and devoured ‘Nothingness’. The River Time then sent out Spirit Cold to fight the flame. They fought intensely, causing white ash to fall down. From the ash emerged the Great Goddess called ‘Ma’. The Great Spirit, ‘Nkulunkulu’, created the Universe and used ‘Ma’ under His direction. ‘Ma’ was granted a companion, a kind of being that was half plant and half animal, the Tree of Life. They married, mated and the first human population was born in the Kalahari. The Tree of Life grew leaves and fruit that dropped seeds onto the earth which sprouted into forestry. From its roots then emerged birds and animals of many sorts. The earth gained life and the song of life began.

We are told that this first human population had no hair and they were all the same with a red-coloured skin tone. They got infected by negative desires and ambition that forced their parents to destroy them. The second population emerged out the few of the first people that had survived. The evil spirit promised them a new life of plenty, luxury and peace. More evil prevailed. ‘The Tree of Life’ set out to destroy once again. ‘Ma’ pleaded with the ‘Tree of Life’ to save at least two of the second people. As their city sank beneath the seas in destruction two figures emerged joyfully riding on the back of a fish-like figure moving towards the rising sun blessed by the Goddess Mother ‘Ma’ and the ‘Tree of Life’.

The creation of Nguni groups

History has it that the indigenous people of the south (of Africa) originated from the north in the forests along the Nile river in Egypt. According to oral historian Senzo “Maswidi” Mkhanyiseni Mbatha as far as he knows the first black person that we hear of is ‘Ntu’, the ancestor of all African people. The plural noun ‘abantu’ is a result of Ntu’s name being used in plural form to categorise his descendants. Ntu was a descendant of Yeye of Godongwana, descendant of Hhamu of Ishmael otherwise known as Abraham who had fathered him to his slave Hagayi. Ntu and his offspring then spread towards the centre of Africa, towards countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and others. By this time they were already led by Mnguni the descendant of Gumede, who was a descendant of Qwabe who also descended from Lufenulwenja of Ntu. Through further movement they then separated into amaNguni and abeSuthu. On penetrating the South of Africa, abeSuthu divided into three groups i.e. abeSuthu of Mshweshwe, amaPedi and amaTswana.

AmaNguni divided into five groups, i.e. amaNguni, amaMbo, amaNtungwa Nguni, amaLala Nguni, amaDebe Nguni and amaThonga. All these were the descendants of the sons of Mnguni. A development of a new group of amaSwazi emerged from amaMbo. Under amaNtungwa a group of amaZulu emerged. Under amaDebe then emerged amaBhaca while amaThonga remained a separate group. AmaLala then gave birth to the Mthwethwa kinship group. The amaNtungwa Nguni were led by Luzimane of Mnguni when they came from these central African countries. They now inhabit areas like Babanango, Nkandla, Msinga, etc. Meanwhile amaMbo and the other groups moved along the coast towards the Bombo, Swazini, Ngwavuma, etc.

Mbatha summarizes Ntu’s lineage as follows:

Ntu Lufenulwenja Mnguni GumedeQwabe Mnguni Luzimane MalandelaQwabe and Zulu.

Zulu’s lineage can be noted as follows:
ZuluPhungaMageba NdabaJamaSenzangakhona and Sojiyisa.

Senzangakhona fathered Shaka, Sgujana, Dingane and Mpande.

It is from the latter that we notably hear of the rise of the Zulu Kingdom as led by King Shaka kaSenzangakhona.
The movement of the descendants of ‘Ntu’.

During the separation of these kinship groups isilulu played a pivotal role.  ‘Isilulu’ is a hand crafted boat-like creation made out of reeds and wood stalks woven together in the same manner as one would create a basket. Its original use was to carry and store harvested vegetation on the homestead. It was therefore crafted and placed in a place higher than the rest of the homesteads. It is also called inqolobane, that which facilitated the movement of the people in the same functionality as a ‘flowing boat’ when people crossed rivers and streams to their next destinations.

It appears that the common pattern of movement from the all the groups followed rivers and streams as they not only provided water for the flock, but also guaranteed fertile ground for livestock and agriculture. The rivers and the streams however also acted as a route that could be used when relocating. This is concept most referred to as ukwehla ngesilulu (descending through the isilulu).

Imbongi James Mbhele together with Imbongi “Mehlwemamba” Ntuli take us explain how izibongo of amaNtuli demonstrate the role of isilulu in their kinship group:
AmaBhele aseLenge,
OSelulamthwalo osinda amadoda,
OGwabini, Ogogide kaNdlela,
Yithi esehla ngesilulu, (we are the ones who came down using isilulu)...”

In the history of amaBhele, Sompisi and Ndlela rode on isilulu when they fled iLenge. Unlike the common ways in which the isilulu was used where people would descend a meandering river or a stream, Sompisi and Ndlela are believed to have slid down the side of the mountain iLenge, seated on isilulu as they ran away from Sphalaphala.

Sphalaphala had fathered Sompisi who then begat Ndlela whose son was Gwabini. It is said that Sphalaphala had started finding pleasure in devouring human flesh. Sompisi then took his son, Ndlela, and fled. They descended the mountain on the isilulu and made their way towards Mzinyathi where they sought a portion of land from Senzangakhona and planted their own homestead away from Sphalaphala.

On approaching the royal house with their herds of cattle, Inkosi uShaka answered to an enquiry regarding the ‘cloud of dust’ approaching as that of ‘Ntuli’ (meaning dust). From then Sompisi and Ndlela of the amaBhele were referred to as amaNtuli. Mbhele and Ntuli are thus related.

The Reed of All Nations

Is the story of the two figures who were saved by Great Goddess mother ‘Ma’ a remaking of the Biblical narrative of Adam and Eve? Perhaps it was Ntu and his unnamed companion who were saved. Whatever the answers are, the story tells us we are here as a result of some form of human creation. However complex the messages embedded within these histories and myths, they form part of our indigenous knowledge. We learn from them to honour, respect and embrace our past, history and present as part of our heritage. To date, the most revered deity throughout Africa is the Tree of Life otherwise referred to as Uhlanga LweZizwe; the Reed of All Nations. 

“…[I]t is through these stories that we are able to reconstruct the past of the Bantu of Africa,” Credo Mutwa once stated. 

Musa Hlatshwayo is a performing artist and choreographer based in Durban. He holds a BA (Hons) in Performance Studies from UKZN.

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  • Awu wayibeka mfo ka Hlatshwayo kwakhanya kwathi bhaa. You really put our indigenous history into perspective. You have no idea how you have brilliantly articulated the pieces of a long attempted puzzle. Honestly I concure with all your facts and even more I have learned about my long time grey area on the ancestry of AmaBhaca.
    Phambili ntsizwa yamabutho. Kumele ushicilele ibhuku elizofundisa izizukulwane umlando wangempela wabantu.

    By Wiseman Bhuqa on 17/01/2011
  • Batshele Musa!
    I was intrigued by your Ntu origins. I would love to add that from my research, abaNtu descendants of God Montu; baSuthu are descendants of God Sut the first divine element to be worshipped by mankind, the first born son the of the lone mother Apt, which makes the DNA African Eve make sense, because of Sut we get AbaSundu, because Sut’s totem was a crocodile he was worshipped at Kom Ombo as Sobek, hence we have amaNguni aseMbo; abaTwa are the descendants of God Ptah; the San are the descendants of God Bes who is sometimes called Min.

    Now back to abaNtu, God Montu/Muntu was had one of shis temple destroyed by the fourth century Christians and on top of the foundation built their first Cathdral.

    I am working on a book that is trying to connect abaChwezi with amaHlubi, and hence I too am retracing footsteps back to Egypt.

    So mtwanawomtanami, keep the good work up and lets not forget that we are descendants of the original Gods; singabaNtu
    mathog’amahle mfanawam

    By gogo on 09/02/2011
  • Brother Mine;
    Our traditional isilulu is the modern day helicopter; believe it or not
    there is a picture of a helicopter in the temple of Osiris (Mlenzemunye)in Abbydos where they had his play of resurrection every which is the Christian Easter prototype. Uze ungalibali that Elijah went up to heaven on a fiery silulu.
    God Bless

    By sifelani on 09/02/2011
  • Unjani Musa!
    Nceda wakwethu! When I was young there were people born with six fingers,
    and they were called amaxhoza in regard of the phenomena; can you find me if any of the Xhosa segments display(ed) that feature.

    Secondly kindly send me your private e-mail so I could send you an excerpt from my book fro critiquing.
    God Bless

    By gogo on 24/02/2011
  • can you please tell me what is the gumede totem and isthakazelo.

    By rivoningo blessing gumede on 08/03/2011
  • Well said i am greatful of the time you have taken while doing and researching this information. I know that everyone has their own version of how and where we originated but the explaination you just shared with us gives us a certain direction of looking.  Yese mina i am Nguni that the elders of amaQwabe would say ow is Unkatho differ from wona awehlanga ngesilulu kodwa wona azi Unkatho.(as from now i will go out and realy find out how does it differ from ‘ukwehla ngesilulu’ Musa God bless you or must i say Ntu bless you.

    By mondli gumede on 10/03/2011
  • Ibandla

    Siyabonga Mondli

    Gogo: I will do some research and get to you. My email address is Mhayiseproductions@yahoo.com


    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 13/03/2011
  • ...Rivoningo, I’ll do some research and get back to you.

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 13/03/2011
  • Ndiya bulela ndicela undincedise ngoSidwabasenkomo (later Sidwaba). I happen to have been born with six fingers on both hands although these were removed at age 3. Please if anyone knows the meaning of this phenomena during those times. Please elaborate on the clan name Limakhwe/Shweme/Zilamkhonto/ Ngangamsholo etc

    By Lulamile Sidwaba on 04/04/2011
  • Lulamile you real made my life bearable! I had reached a dead end on this issue for my book. The thing is that as far as my research goes the six finger phenomena is a flash back to the Canaanite/Philestine giants of the Goliath stock; if you recall the Biblical David and Goliath story.

    In my research I am trying to connect the Xhosa/Hlubi segment with Canaan origins. So far I have somehow managed to trace the baChwezi to the Chaldeans as in the biblical Abraham and the Three Wise Men; I have traced Moshweshwe Sotho segment to the Meshwesh ‘Sea People’ who relocated from Egypt; I have found out that there was never a human being called Nguni as white historians want us to believe; but the Nguni groups including the here mentioned, settled for a while in South Sudan where the generic name for God in the Sudan Bor/Kuku languages is Ngun; and led by the spirit of Ngun, just like the Children of Israel were led by the spirit of Yahweh, thus the original concept was that they called themselves amaNguni/the children of Ngun/the children of God, as opposed to the Muslims who had invaded Sudan and their God was known as Allah. With the Muslim invasion and persecution they migrated to Ethiopia, then into the neighbouring lake regions; and other places such as Uganda; even today the Bor/Borwa language groups identify with Ngun/god.

    Back to the issue of your six fingers, my brother was born with them, they were removed at the age of three by tying snew from an ox leg/umsipha. The thing I know is that when I was young children were only considered to be persons after three years, and that is when they received their proper names; remeber the first name was mostly a historical record given after an event that happened during the birth of the child; for example if heavy rain fell on that day the girl’s name would be Nomvula. So the age of three is the cultural birth of a developing person/umntwana, as opposed to the actual birth of the baby/usana.

    Can you kindly say which Nguni segment you fall under?

    Thank you once more for sharing your experience with us. I will leave the rest to our hero Musa, and other participants to contribute their helpful views.
    God Bless you all

    By Gogo on 05/04/2011
  • Thank you i will appriciate your feedback Mr M Hlatshwayo.

    By rivoningo b gumede on 16/05/2011
  • Thanky Thanky for all this good ifnoramtoin!

    By Charlee on 04/08/2011
  • sanibonani
    PLease can some one give me light about who we are? Are we amathonga or abase mbo, safika kanjani kwazulu?

    By xoli on 09/12/2011
  • What about ancient Egyptians, Nubians, Khoi-San-aBathwa who interbred nezizwe zama Zimu, amaNtungwa etc to produce the morden day Nguni which eventually spread through out Africa, what about uMenzi who had a Son uNkayishana who was the founder of amaNguni namaZulu (abe Nkayishana kaMenzi ephuza umlaza ngameva) who also raised uShaka (uNodumehlezi kaMenzi) after his father rejected him? Isn’t uMnguni the great grandson of Mpangazitha who’s son is Kheswa then Nozulu then comes Mnguni? uMnuni couldn’t have founded such an old nation when his fore father uMpangazitha was around after Moshoeshoe had founded the Sotho nation.

    By LordX on 11/10/2012
  • Mehlwemamba and James have requested a note for correction.i.e. Sphalaphala should be replaced by Mahlaphahlapha. Gwabini is also sometimes refered to as Gwatshaza. This is according to updated information on their continued search.

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 20/10/2012
  • Please someone be kind and share written documentations of this kind. I’m a descendant of amaZizi, we’re regarded as the “first” Nguni in South Africa. Our history reads as a who’s who in Southern African Kings. I’m particularly interested in the Kom Ombo history as my family history says that’s were we originated from “eMbo”. The Portugese even wrote that about us (that’s why Europeans don’t contest that fact).

    I too have been working on connecting Ancient Egypt to amaNguni. So more info would be appreciated.

    By Sabelo Mzizi on 14/01/2013
  • My email address is: ssmm2@sbcglobal.net

    By Sabelo Mzizi on 14/01/2013
  • Interesting Sabelo, care to share more on what you know about this while I did on my bag of knowledge as well? i am particularly interested on how it is that we know that it is factual. any stories to share? and the references? Thanks Bhuti…

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 19/01/2013
  • Sabelo, I apologise for taking so long to respond to your post; circumstances beyond my control are to blame.

    With that said, there are various ‘Mzizi’ clans, as much as there are various ‘amaNguni aseMbo’, as previously said the term ‘amaNguni should be approached with caution, since Ngun is the term some of the Nubia/Sudan people use to refer to God; and some oral tradition has it that amaNguni were led by a man called Mnguni. The problem here is that the Nguni groups did not enter their present lands of abode in a flood, but in various migration groups. With that in mind we have to seek historical and cultural similarities worldwide. Notwithstanding the traditional myths, legends, folklore and fireside animal fables, which had not much to do with the animal as an entity but with inter-relationships of the gods in their animal forms; for example the hare identified with the gods of Fayum where Kom Ombo is located, including Osiris, Horus, and Thoth; all of whom had antagonistic relationships with Set who is represent by the jackal or the black dog among other of his animals. According to some myth tradition Set who represented the night, and is said to be founder of astronomy was the first born of the Mother Goddess who begot her seven son gods without the fertilisation of a male as there were no males then, hence her totem was the vulture of a species that is said not to have any males, but bares its rear to the north wind to be fertilised; her last born was Horus the elder who was represented by the shrew mouse/igundwana (not Horus the son of Osiris).

    Personally, I am proud to admit that my illiterate grandmother educated me beyond university level through her ingano/intsimi; she ritually began her stories by citing the mystic epoch the events of her narrative happened; for example she would say; kwasukasukela amatshe esancwebeka, or umuhlaba ungaka chitekikusabusa igundwana, or amabiza eselempondo. These statements used to make us laugh because we could not imagine molten rock or horses with horns; but late in my formal education I learned about the fragmentation of Gondwanaland, and that all mammals are descendants of the shrew mouse/ingundwana, which succeeded the dinosaur period; I learned about the fossilised dinosaur footprints from northern Zimbabwe, which are still largely encased in rock, are of two types of dinosaur.  One, a small, primitive meat eater closely related to Coelophysis, was a member of the dinosaur group that eventually gave rise to huge predators like T. rex.  These fossils were found in a “bone bed,” a place where the fossil remains of many individuals are mixed together. The other Zimbabwean dinosaur is a prosauropod, a medium-sized plant eater that had a large claw on its thumb, a long neck, and leaf-shaped teeth for chopping plant matter.

    Furthermore, I learned about, a set of fossilized supposedly female footprints discovered on the shore of Langebaan Lagoon, South Africa which have been dated to approximately 117,000 years ago; which some writers believe to belong the Mitochondrial Eve also known as African Eve, the so common ancestor of modern humanity; who produced her children without any male fertilisation, because this was the human era before Adam was created. I also learned about the Unicorn/Monoceros constellation, according to myth the unicorn creature was a one horned animal with the head and forequarters of a horse, the hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a lion. The unicorn can be traced back to the Assyrians (2700 BC to 600 BC) who sometimes recorded this animal in wall paintings. Modern scholars think that the unicorn originated from a mistaken description of the Indian rhinoceros. (whatever the case maybe, my gogo was scientifically not far off the mark, by academic standard).

    Believe it or not, she also narrated tales of giants who descended from the sky in a grain vessel isilulu which she called chitundumselesele, these came to court human maidens, foolish ones agreed to go into the chitundumselesele, and they refused to let their kid brother Chakijana go with them, but he managed to secretly climb in, and eventually saved the maidens from an unknown fate. By the way do not believe if those Western culture fundis tell you that Nguni children sleep in the kitchen to keep warm, if warmth was an issue why was the fire not made in bedrooms, they have the enough wood to encircle the homestead. The reason children sleep in the kitchen is because it is believed that the benevolent god-form archetypes/amatongo abode on the kitchen rafters, and communicate with prepubescent children through dreams; thus stories that use these god-forms as behaviour moderation prototypes and models are told in the kitchen around the fire, the symbol of the sun god. Hence when all is said and done gogo says; mathongo mahle-sweet dreams.

    Sabelo, you may ask why I am telling you all this when all you asked me was about eMbo; well my objective is to make you aware that you may have heard about eMbo several times from your grandma, but because she had no scholarly authority you undermine her information. Start your research from the cultural oral tradition basics, glean information and using linguistics compare with what the history scholars, anthropologists, archaeologists, and other similar disciplines have to say about your query; be warned the path is long dreary and sometimes frustratingly confusing, but just stay focused.

    I will soon send you two more posts; that seek to shed light specifiall on Kom Ombos; and also look at the eMbo people throughout the world, which you and I will try to sift and winnow until sizesiythole impuphu. Hopefully this way will see why the Mzizi people believe they were the first to arrive in the southern part of Africa, interestingly they seem to be telling the truth, but first we must discern which Mzizi branch can make that claim, based on historical backing.

    By gogo on 29/01/2013
  • mfo kababa ngicela ungisize ngomlando nesithakazelo sakwa Thomo.

    By Musa Thomo on 31/01/2013
  • Hey wakwethu; I have tried to answer the question of amaNguni aseMbo and amaZizi in one breath, hence the post is long; as the saying goes; relative truth opposes absolute truth, while they are both true; so this long post is aimed at giving information piecemeal, you can use the key words to research your own relevant information.

    Indaba yamaZizi lamaNguni aseMbo ligoda lindelixibene yingxhabanxoza; for example, e are faced with a number of ethnic groups from different countries who are classified as Kom people, and also qualify as amaZizi. At some point in their history Phoenicians, ventured beyond present day India; in those days, the country we call India stretched from Alaska, down through Siberia, Russia, all of Central Asia, as far as Antarctica. Their first home was Afghanistan, that is, the land of the Ophi-enses or Serpent Tribe, whose symbol was the Serpent. The Cameroon Kom of the North-West province of Cameroon, are believed to be descendants of Jews who may have at one time existed in Cameroon via merchants who arrived from Egypt for trade. According to their oral tradition, Kom people came to settle in their present day location after being led by a track of a python.The Nairs of Kerala and Tulu Bunts of Karnataka in South India venerate the Naga/male cobra.

    The land in the east of the Hindu-Kush range that lies between Pakistan and Afghanistan was called Kafiristan, which means the land of Kaffirs. In South Africa, the Kaffirs comprised two branches; the amaZulu with the ama-Swazi and ama-Tonga; and the Kaffirs proper were represented by the ama-Xosa, the Tembu, and the Pondo, the inhabitants of Pondoland in Eastern Cape-South Africa. In 600 BC Egyptian King Necho II commissioned the Phoenicians to carry out the first circumnavigation of Africa. As a point of interest, archaeologists found carnelian beads, characteristically fifteenth century Gujerati type, at Port St. John.

    Sisuka sidibane lobunzima lapha when it comes to AmaZizi; Phoenicians lands corresponds to present-day Lebanon and coastal parts of Israel and Syria. Aziz, originally is a Syriac word, a common name for people ranging from Assyrians to Kurds and Arab; Aziz, it is derived from the root A-z-z which means one who is powerful, strong, or respected, and is a cognate of Hebrew Oz meaning might, strength, and power. In the Quran, Aziz is used to signify King of Egypt. The river Sofala in modern Mozambique provides access, and was used by Arab traders as early as 915 A.D. for access to the gold mines. Phoenicians sailed from the Arabian Gulf into the southern ocean, because Egyptians traded incense with the Arabians of modern Yemen. The Agulhas Current must have brought them through the Mozambique Channel and along the coast of modern South Africa.  The Arabian Peninsula, is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, Yemen in the south, the Red Sea to the west and Persian Gulf to the east; in the 16th century, the Ottomans added the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coast (the Hejaz, Asir and Al-Hasa) to their Empire. The present Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by Abdul-Aziz in 1932; in 1902 he captured Riyadh, his ancestral home, the House of Saud, referred to in Arabic as Al Saud. The question to ask here is; are these Phoenician/Syriac Aziz, the same who landed at Port St. John, and their descendants became part of the Xhosa amaZizi segment?

    Kom Ombo also known as Kawm Umbu; an industrial town 45km north of Aswan. Its classical name was Ombos, it is located about 30 miles north of Aswan which is the capital of the region in nome number l in Upper Egypt. During the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom Horus the elder and Set represented Upper and Lower Egypt. Set/Sut was worshipped at the temples of Ombos (Nubt near Naqada) and Ombos (Nubt near Kom Ombo), at Oxyrhynchus in upper/southern Egypt, and also in part of the Fayyum area. It is interesting to note that, judging by some inscriptions on the Kom Ombo temple walls it is believed that the Phoenicians assisted in the construction of the temple. Further interesting is that the Phoenician king Hiram of Tyre (989-936 BC) built a palace for David and two palaces and a temple for Solomon.

    The Phoenician sphere of influence spread throughout the Mediterranean and their trading activities reached as far as Cornwall for tin, and Indian and China for spices and precious goods. The tin trade in Britain goes far back to about 1,500 B.C. a tremendous amount of bronze which is mistranslated as brass in the King James Version Bible, was used in the construction and equipment of Solomon’s Temple (by the Phoenician builders; and most of the tin for this bronze was probably supplied by the mines of Cornwall.

    The word Kom in Arabic means the small hill and the word Ombo, in the Hieroglyphic ancient Egyptian language means the gold. Therefore, the word Kom Ombo, as a whole, means the hill of the gold. During the Coptic period, the word was slightly changed to become Embo and when the Arabic language became common in Egypt, the word became Ombo. Nanso ke! We also have a place called Embo in Scotland; ironically Scotland was once ruled by Blacks, who could have been from Africa direct, or of Phonecian/Canaanite/Jew descent, as we find that Jesus’ uncle Joseph of Arimathea was the owner of tin mines in Cornwall, he must have brought expertise miner along, including other kinds of labourers, family, member of his extended family, and kinsmen. Tradition attests that Jesus at some point as an adult visited Glastonbury- Britain in company of his uncle Joseph of Arimathea. According to the Somerset tradition; they came in a ship of Tarshish to the Summerland/Somerset, and sojourned in a place called Paradise. Ancient writings show that Glastonbury was once known as Paradise. According to tradition of Ireland, Joseph of Arimathea founded Glastonbury Church.

    As a note in passing, it is should also be noted that, Moors, that is Black race people dominated in Scotland in the 10th century. Thus we find, King Kenneth, sometimes known as Niger or Dubh; and Niger Val Dubh lived and reigned over certain black divisions in Scotland, where were found a race known as the sons of the blacks, succeeded him in history. Kambe kungesuye uDube umTembu ozithembayo yena lo? It is interesting to note that beehive houses, similar to the Bantu guqasithandaze beehive houses, are some of the oldest known structures in Ireland and Scotland; dating from as far back as around 2000 BC, and some were still being built as late as the 19th century.


    By gogo on 11/02/2013
  • Thank you mtakababa this is very insightful, I can’t wait for the continuation. Please be so kind as to assist me ngesithakazelo sakithi kwa Thomo

    By Musa Thomo on 13/02/2013
  • Wakwethu;
    For the time being that is all I came up with; I will keep on searching for you
    Thomo   Ndabezitha, Khambule, Makhubo  
    Masond’ amhloph’
    aney’ nyawo zawo!

    Wen’ owadl’ udadewenu,
    uthi `kananyongo, `kanamhlehlo!

    S’gung’ owathumel’
    uKhuboni kaNdlovu
    wath’ akabuye nengubo yob’nono!

    By gogo on 13/02/2013
  • Since when does Mnguni descend from Gumede? Gumede descends from Zulu and Shaka created that lineage before that they were not royalty.

    By King Zwide on 08/03/2013
  • This is extra-ordinary Gogo, many thanks for such eye-opening information. I certainly hope it will be continued!!!!!!

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 11/03/2013
  • King Zwide, thank you for your question.

    Without trying to bombard you with too much readings (and also trying to avoid answering you with an answer that I might end up claiming as my own which would be wrong), I suggest that you take some time to read through the following links as therein lie answers to your question(s).


    I do believe you will find some of the information interesting. Should you need to be in touch with the people that were interviewed i am positive that they would most welcome your questions and i would be happy linking you up.

    Many thanks

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 11/03/2013
  • cha kuzwakele Hlatshwayo mfo wakithi, ukubeke konke kwacaca. God bless you, keep on doing what you doing…

    By Musa Thomo on 11/03/2013
  • i see but you dont mention any thing about amandebele.

    By PHUMLILE on 05/04/2013
  • This is deep, thank you ALL FOR SHARING. I have interest in Embo/Bembo Nguni and how they were divided, is there anyone with this kind of information?

    By Sizwe kaMasumpa Hlongwane on 11/06/2013
  • Ndicela ukuncedwa ngezithakazelelo zakwaMzizi.  ndiyendive kusithiwa Mzizi mpofana nothukela mlambo awuwelwa uwelwa zinkonjane zodwa zona eziphapha phezulu. nguMzizi omhle lizizi elimnyama kunye neenkomo zxalo

    By Tembelani on 30/06/2013
  • Bahlephulele Musa

    Mnguni wena WaseCebeleni
    onkomo zabo ziningi
    Shawuza kashayeki ushayeka ngamatshe
    Mthongothiwa wothiwa zinyoni zezulu
    thusi liyabenya
    abahamba ngehlanhlatho ngoba besaba uthuli
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    By Sizwe kaNguni on 24/07/2013
  • Guys Please I wuld like to knwow about the surname: Zimema how did it came about. Its said to be, U Zimema kaMbele oqamuka phansi kwentaba Ilenge. Please guys.

    By Sizwe Zimema on 02/01/2014
    I will not claim to know anything about Zimema; but according to your post that name and its attributes indicate that the original Zimema was a clan hero of some sort; thus the best way round your research would be to start with the history of the clan and try and find out who did what and for what; then maybe you will discover that family praise song’s origins that led Zimema to be a clan icon, and family identity name.
    God Bless

    By gogo on 03/01/2014
  • Thanks for your questions Sizwe.

    Gogo I am fascinated by your response. Please elaborate on your point about your understanding of the name and its attributes that you highlight on. This is mainly because i am also trying to ‘place’ the name ‘Zimema’ but i am struggling a bit.

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 15/01/2014
  • MaQwabe, thanks for your question. I would recommend that you check the links i posted above in reponse to Zwide’s question as these articles might contribute to your research. I am also going to recommend that you call the current Chair of Ubumbano LwaMaQwabe; Mr M I Gumede. I include his contact number as permitted by him: 074 891 0980. I do believe he and Ubumbano will definitely point you and guide you towards the right direction.

    Best of courage…

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 15/01/2014
  • @ Sizwe kaNguni, mmmhhhh smile

    By Musa Hlatshwayo on 15/01/2014
  • Musa I hope this year will bring all joy (Jesus—Others—Yourself)
    Yebo kambe, Chief Zimema was involved with John Dunn the white Zulu Chief, who was also a gun trader. Read:‘A GUN IS A COWARD’S WEAPON’

    I copied this from someone else’s site: Narrative by CHIEF ZIMEMA from I.KNIGHTS book, THE ZULU WAR, THEN AND NOW, an excellent book. from the battle of INYEZANE 22/1/79.
    Zimena"s eye-witness account from the battle of NYEZANE (…We were told to advance and, grasping our arms…. we went foward packed like a lot of bees… we were still far away from them when the white men began to throw their bullets at us, but we could not shoot at them because our rifles would not shoot so far…. When we were near them we opened fire, hitting a number of them…After that they bought out their “by-and-by” (cannon) and we (also) heard what we thought was a long pipe coming through the air toward us. As we advanced we had our rifles under our arms and had our assegais in our right hands ready to throw them, but they were not much good for we never got near enough to use them. We never got nearer than 50 paces to the English, and although we tried to climb over our fallen brothers we could not get very far ahead because the white men were firing heavily close to the ground into our front ranks while the “by-and-by” was firing over our heads into the regiments behind us….. The noise it made could be heard by the old men and women who stayed at home, and they climbed up onto the top of the hills to see what they could of the battle ..... The battle was so fierce that we had to wipe the blood and brains of the killed and wounded from our heads, faces, arms, legs and shields after the fighting.)

    Also read this:Zulu: The Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879.

    I think the answer lies hidden there; also try and research the territorial boundary disputes between the Dunn Family and Chief Zimema.

    In this view, the family got its attribute names from Chief Zimema’s war and political prowess.

    I hope this will help set you on your self identity journey—God Luck and Happy Hunting
    God Bless

    By gogo on 15/01/2014
  • I am a lemba and have been taught that other black jews are amongst ngunis known as amalala/amanhlenga/amadebe/amathonga. How far is that true?

    By samson on 19/01/2014
  • Bafowethu nodadewethu.
    Please drop some light on me. Is “ukwehla ngesilulu” something that is used ezibongweni zamaBhele and izibongo ezihlobene nawo kuphela na? or is it a concept that describes an act that was performed by a variety of groups among the Nguni people.

    By Sandile Mkhulise on 08/02/2014
  • I wish you the best of luck with your research;
    1) Consider the fact that in Zululand there are sociologically and physically two groups of Black people; abaSundu (black) abaNtsundu (brownish black like amantsundu palm dates)
    2) Consider that Shaka was of the Ndlovu totem (Ndabezitha)which is a typical Lembe/Lemba totem
    3) Consider that in one of Shaka’s praise hymns/poems he is referred to as; iLembe eleqa amanye amaLembe

    Hypothesis is that Mzilikazi was the descendant of the Lala Nguni originally from Thebes (hence maThebele); while it is presumed that Shaka’s ancestors had connections with the Greece city of Thebes, who relocated with the god of war Montu (the divine progenitor monad of the Bantu)from Thebes Egypt and renamed him Ares; thus we find similarities in the Greek and Zulu cultures; for instance in warfare, such as the bull’s horn formation, the short shields; the headbands for distinguished warriors; the maiden warrior regiment,etc.

    4) Consider the Bull Cult among the Nguni, eg; the Swazi Royal Black bull; the Zulu Royal White bull; and the Ndebele Royal Brown Nkone Bull.
    This may seem insignificant at a glance, but if you trance the bull cults, and the general standard culture practices of a people, including their folktales, myths, and traditional religious practices you may find yourself closer to finding who is who.

    Have you ever wondered why we have the Valley of Kings in Egypt, and also in Zululand.

    Good Luck; the journey is long, dreary, stoney and thorny; indelendlela ilameva ilamatshe.

    Keep us posted on your findings.
    God Bless

    By gogo on 16/03/2014
  • Thanks so much Gogo! You have taught me so many things about the Nguni! What does mean “iLembe eleqa amanye amaLembe”? What’s the meaning of the word “Lembe/Lemba”?

    Since 2011, I have done various DNA tests. Many of the results seem to confirm what had already been written about Nguni’s and some other African people’s origins. For example: their relation with Egypt, Nubia and the Sahel. But I should not generalize because those results are relative to my case. I hope that soon many others Nguni and Africans will do their DNA tests. That will give us more precise data to confirm what we already know about our origins. Perhaps, when we have all this information, will it be possible to publish together a book about our findings?

    For the moment, I am doing research to see the extension of the genetic and historical relation to Yemen between Nguni. What you say about the relations between Nguni and Lembe/Lemba (DNA tests showed that ancestors of many of them came from Yemen) is precious information! My research has allowed me to meet an Afro-American whose ancestry seems to be Nguni and Yemeni. God bless you. Jean Bosco

    By Jean Bosco on 16/03/2014
  • I am sorry for not translating before, iLembe eleqa amanye amaLembe; on the surface translates; a Lembe who excels above other Lembes; because of this statementI am convinced that Shaka had connections with the Lemebe people; from any of their recorded origins including Yemen; thus he would have been Ntsundu rather than Sunduwhich would include anaSutu, who are of the god Sut divine monad.

    What you should put in mind is that the Nguni are comprised of various ethnic groups, namely; Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele (both north and south)and Swazi who also include amaNguni aseMbo; either from Ombos; or because they migrated via the Embo region in ; so the Nguni are very broad; go one group at a time; remember the teaspoon scoops a whole kg of sugar, one spoonful at a time.

    Good luck
    God Bless

    By gogo on 17/03/2014
  • I’d like to dispute and clarify a few things on Egypt and the Nguni connection.

    One thing for certain amaNguni where in Egypt/Great Lakes area, passing thru Uganda and eventually down to South Africa. That much is universally agreed upon, documented.

    What seems more like hearsay/coincidence are the following:
    Thebes => amaThebele
    Montu => Muntu
    Mzilikazi a descendent of amaLala is a guess/not accurate
    Shaka being of the amaLembe is just a guess..

    Shaka’s genealogy is well documented.. if Anything Shaka is more related to amaZizi by being the uncle of iNkosi Phakathwayo of the Gumede,Nguni, AmaZizi..

    Sut,Ptah and other connections that have been made on this forum are hypothesis as well not supported..

    Trying to use traditional Nguni names with Ancient Egypt Kemetic figures/gods is wrong because today’s Nguni languages are much different from Ancient Egyptian. There are other languages that are quite identical and near Ancient Egyptian language, some of these being Wolof, Yoruba, Coptic etc.,

    To try to use clan names of the past 700 years or so to talk about deities and locations that existed about 2000+ years ago is prone to error.

    One interesting thing however that strongly suggests Nguni presence in Egypt and the Sahel, is that the Nguni cattle which are only specific to amaNguni are also found inside the tombs of the ancient Egytptian kings. It becomes apparent that in Africa only one people inherited those large stock of cattle and that is the present day amaNguni.

    Everything else may “make sense” but without strong evidence it’s hard to claim.

    By uMzizi on 17/03/2014
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  • Hello Brother Vus’Muzi! I must learn IsiZulu before I read your message. Thanks so much from Barcelona!

    By Jean Bosco BOTSHO on 21/03/2014
  • Hello!

    According to a 3-year-old research and my personal DNA tests, some clans of the Yembe -my father’s ethnic grup in the Democratic Republic of Congo- are descendants of Nguni, in my case, probably above all Zulu. I found an article written in 1950 by a Belgian priest in which the author reported that some Yembe told him that their common ancestor was Bènjà. Others Yembe added that Bènjà was son of Benkosi. Does somebody know anything about a Zulu called “Bènjà” (perhaps Benjah?) who was “son of Benkosi” (or called “son of Benkosi”)? Thank you very much.

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