A Zulu regiment in a film. Image credit pininterest.com

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Crisis in Nguniland: Introduction

  • The group of Bantu speaking people who lived in the Southern-Eastern region of Southern Africa were called the Nguni
  • Nguniland was divided into three groups namely, the Zulu or Northern Kingdom, Xhosa and the Southern Nguni
  • The Zulu was divided into chiefdoms which included; Ngwane, Matiwane, Khumalo, Ndwandwe, Dlamini, Mthethwa and Zulu
  • The Nguni people were ruled by chiefs who ruled with councils of advisors who were usually senior members of the clan
  • The Nguniland was occasionally rocked by succession disputes and rebellions to an extend that breakaways occurred regularly
  • In the 19th century the situation however changed as small chiefdom came together under one paramount chief forming bigger group. The three main groups formed where:
    1. Ngwane-Dhlamini under Sobhuza, living on the Pongolo River
    2. The Ndwandwe confederacy under King Zidwe, living between the Pongolo River and the Mfolozi River and the Indian Ocean
    3. Mthethwa kingdom ruled by Dingiswayo who lived in the triangle between the Indian ocean and lower Mfolozi and Mhlathuza rivers

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