The Ndebele fled from Tshaka. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Ndebele State:The Khumalo/ Ndebele Migration from Zululand

  • In 1822 Mzilikazi was sent by Shaka to go on a raiding expedition
  • Mzilikazi became greedy and decided not to bring back the booty to Shaka and keep it for himself
  • Fearing, Mzilikazi fled the Zululand with about 300 people into the interior of Drakensberg
  • The Ndebele settled first at Ekhupumuleni meaning a place of rest in 1824
  • At this settlement the Khumalo raided the locals there and the Ndzundza people were assimilated into the Khumalo tribe
  • The Ndebele raided for cattle, women and children in order to
    increase their numbers.
  • However the Ndebele could not stay at this settlement because of a severe drought that they faced
  • The settlement was also close to Zululand and they were constantly attacked by the Zulu
  • Between 1825 and 1829, the Ndebele moved to central Transvaal and established their capital at Emhlahlandlela.
  • Here they raided the areas in the northern and central Transvaal as well as Botswana and Lesotho
  • From the raids they got cattle and captives
  • It is believed that it is at this settlement that Mzilikazi met Robert Moffat a missionary who became his friend
  • This settlement was also not safe for the Khumalo because it was still close to Zululand as they were constantly raided by Dingane‚Äôs (Dingane ruled after the death of Tshaka) warriors.
  • The Ndebele also faced fresh Kora, Khoisan, Griquas, Pedi and Rolong warriors.
  • The Khumalo moved away further settling at Egabeni along the Marico
    River and drove away the Hurutshe who were living there.
  • At this settlement Robert Moffart revisited the Ndebele and Dr Andrew Smith also visited the Ndebele for the first time.
  • The Khumalo raided the Basotho and the Taung
  • The Khumalo were attacked by both the Griqua-Tswana force and the Boers.
  • The Ndebele were forced to move and settle at Mosega but it was short lived because of attacks by the Boers, Tswana and the Zulu in 1838
  • The Khumalo had to move further north into Zimbabwe
  • Before crossing the Limpopo River they split into two groups, on led by Mxilikazi which went via Botswana to raid and the other led by Gundwane Ndiweni and Nkulumane (heir apparent), which went through the Rozvi state.
  • Gundwane went with old people, children, women and livestock
  • Gundwane on his way to Matebele raided and absorbed the locals such as the
    Rozvi, Kalanga and the Venda.
  • This group was the first to reach western Zimbabwe and established a capital at Nthabazinduna
  • By the time Mzilikazi arrived with his group, Gundwane and other chiefs were now installing Nkulumane as their king
  • They argued that since they had started growing crops the needed a king who would lead in the first fruits ceremony and they thought Mzilikazi had died
  • Mzilikazi viewed this as rebellion and these leaders where either killed or fled the kingdom

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