Monday 18 September 2023

Ruins of the Rowzi Empire. Many ethnicities in Southern Africa are interconnected. What’s the connection?

Overview of Southern Africa

- Locations: Zambia is to the north of Zimbabwe. Angola is to the west of Zambia. Zambia shares in southern border with four countries; from west to east, they  are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Zambia shares its eastern border with two countries Tanzania in the northeast and Malawi in the Southeast. South Africa is to the south of Zimbabwe. North of South Africa are four countries; from west to east, they are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Inside South Africa are two landlocked countries: Lesotho and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).

- vhaVenda are only 30% vhavenda. This is an over-simplification. Oral tradition says they came from the north (Zambia); defeated the vhakalanga (70%) and crowned themselves the leaders of a new political nation called the Venda. The Kalanga were multi-ethnic and settlers they had allowed to live with them. The original Venda didn’t speak an Nguni language; they adopted loan words over time. The modern Venda include more than just two groups; they were a lot of people groups.

- In the history of Vhavenda a kingship was created by Dimbanyika around 1600; This kingship was later destroyed by the Boers during the reign of Mphephu Ramabulana in the Mphephu War of December 1898; After the split at Dzata, the descendants of Vele-la-Mbeu existed independently.

- Great Zimbabwe is older than the Rowzi kingdom and Mutapa kingdom which are offshoots.

- The Shona had an earlier Kingdom, where they built stone buildings around 1000 to 1,100 AD. Shona dynasties started in Mapungubwe, Kruger national park, South Africa.

- The Kalanga are part of the people you call Shona. In the east of Zimbabwe the Kalanga are called Karanga. So it's Shona/Karanga-Kalanga. The Venda are connected to the Shona and Kalanga; having the same ancestry and cultural links as well as lingustic links. They all have ancestry from the kingdom of Mapungubwe, which then led to the later states. The Shona-Karanga (Gumanye clusters), and the Kalanga (Leopard’s Kopje clusters) are just two components of one people, desandants of the early Gokomere culture. Another component of the Gokomere culture is their Ziwa brethren in the north east of the Zimbabwe plateau, who are known as the Barwe/Sena/Lower Zambezi Tonga. The Gokomere are the ancestors of the people now known as the Shona-Karanga, Kalanga, Venda, and Sena. They all worship one God named Mwari/Mwali/Nwali, and have the same pottery, and a similar language and tradition. Pathisa Nyathi, a so-called ‘Ndebele’ historian, wrote in his book named “Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage” that it was the Shona-Karanga/Gumanye led by former feuding prince, Torwa, from Great Zimbabwe, who migrated west to Guruuswa around 1450 and built the Khami stone city among their Kalanga brethren. The people who now speak dialects known as Zezuru, Manica, korekore, Karanga, Chinyubi, Chinambiya, and other Kalanga dialects are all Karanga or Shona. Some of the Venda people, including their rulers, and many Sena people are also Shona as they share the same ancestry with the Karanga, but their language has changed a little because of immigrants. These people all revere their ancestor, Murenga Pfumojena Sororenzou (Shona-Karanga) / Thohoyandou (Venda) / Shologulu (Kalanga) / Mulengi – Nyakulenga (Sena). Their God is Mwari/Nwali/Mwali. The Kalanga and Karanga are one people who were separated during the Mfecane by the invading Nguni tribes, and before that, by the Sotho, and Tswana. The Kalanga were conquered by the Ndebele/Nguni.

- Mutapa technically is a continuation of Great Zimbabwe. Keep in mind past rulers didn't call it Great Zimbabwe. Tovera Shiriyadenga Nemapungubwe, who is also known as Raluvhimba (Father Eagle) by our Venda brethren, was the first recorded lord of Mapungubwe. Mapungubwe was one of the first major cities of the Shona and Venda ancestors in Southern Africa. Mapungubwe in the old ChiShona-ChiKaranga and ChiVenda language means "Rock of the Great Bateleur Eagle” / “Eagle Rock”. The Kalanga or Western Shona name for the bateluer eagle bird is Tjipungu / Chipungu (Chapungu in Karanga), and the plural form is zwipungu / zvapungu. The prefix "Ma"- represents personification. So "Mapungu" means the "great bateleur eagle" (in description of a person), just like the Venda VhaKwevho call their king MaGuluvhe aLuonde, meaning “the Great Pig of Luonde”. So, if we assume the meta language of Mapungubwe is similar to Venda, then Mapungubwe would mean "Rock of the Great Bateleur Eagle". In other words, a personification of the great king, Shiriyadenga Tovera.

- Rowzi were Shona. A general formed the Rowzi and later defeated the Great Zimbabwe as it grew.

- Mutapa is a Shona kingdom that broke away from Great Zimbabwe and was established in northern modern Zimbabwe.

- The Lozi were Nguni. They lived side by side with the Sotho in various regions.

- Lots of intermarriage and language borrowing has happened.

- The balobedo moved to polokwane and adopted sesotho when they stayed in venda with the Nguni Venda; their language changed a bit. (location: Polokwane, meaning "Sanctuary" in Northern Sotho, also known as Pietersburg, is a city and the capital of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. It is South Africa's largest urban centre north of Gauteng. It was one of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Polokwane is located in the Center of South Africa, south of the Botswana and Zimbabwe border and north of Basotho).

- The Balobedo, Batswana, Bapedi, Besotho have shared ancestry. There are two theories about ancestors of the Balobedo, Batswana, Bapedi, Besotho. The first theory says they came from Ethiopia or East Africa. The second theory says they came from Central African between 1500 and 1600. Further research will tell us more in future.

- Lots of Sotho people live outside Lesotho. They number about 7.3 million people (2023 estimate); there are 5.1 million in northern South Africa, 2.1 million in Lesotho, 11,000 are in Botswana, a few thousand in Eswatini and Nambia.

- There are 7 million Bapedi people. The Bapedi tried to stay with the Venda but were not welcome so they moved to Polokwane, Njelele (southwest Zimbabwean), Vuwani (northeast South Africa), and Mesina (at the South Africa and Zimbabwe border on the northern South Africa side), (all areas with Nguni people). Not everyone who speak Pedi is a native Pedi; some people speak Pedi as a second language.

- Bapedi ba Maroteng / Ba kgoshi Sekhukhune are an offshoot of Bakgatla not Kalanga. Over the centuries they swallowed up a lot of  clans and bigger tribes such as Batau also known as Barwa ba Matlebjane, Bakone Bakgaga etc. Some tribes who speak Sepedi and are generally known as Bapedi but are not Bapedi. Examples of such tribes are Mapulana, Mantwane, Batlokwa, Balobedu, Northern Ndebele etc. The kings of Bapedi who are known in history are king Thulare, king Sekwati, the warrior king Sekhukhune and king Mampuru.

- The creation of the Zulu kingdom under Shaka Zulu - an event called the MetCalfe - led to refugees who tried to settle in or conquer the regions they fled to: the amaNdebele (also known as the Matabele) fled to southern Zimbabwe; while the Mfengu fled to Xhosa confederation territories, and the Ngwane headed towards central South Africa.

- The creation of the Ndebele kingdom by King Mzilikazi scattered Sotho people from Zimbabwe in five directions: some refugees went to Zambia where they were absorbed by the Lozi; some went west to Bastwana which had Lozi people and took them in as refugees. So 1 moved to Zambia, 2 moved to venda kingdom, 3 moved to mpumalanga, 4 moved to Botswana, and 5 moved to Lesotho. The Ndebele kingdom was even bigger than the Zulu kingdom the amaNdebele fled from.

- Mpumalanga (Zulu name for "the place where the sun rises") is a province in eastern South Africa, bordering the nations of Swaziland and Mozambique. It embraces the southern half of Kruger National Park, a huge nature reserve with abundant wildlife including big game. The province's iconic Blyde River Canyon, among the world’s largest, is known as a green canyon because of its subtropical foliage.

- Under colonial rule, the Batswana became Bechuanaland, Lesotho became Basutoland, Mutapa became Barotseland.

- Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to cover the Xhosa and other ethnicities such as the Chewa. I will look at these other groups in other posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...