AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

‘King Mzilikazi was a wise leader’


THE late founder of the Ndebele State and first King Mzilikazi kaMatshobana has been described as one of southern Africa’s wisest traditional monarchs.

In a tribute during the memorial of the great Ndebele king at Mhlahlandlela, 22km south of Bulawayo on Saturday last week, Mzilikazi’s descendant, Leo Zulukandaba Khumalo, described the late leader as more of a wise king than an aggressive one.

The 19th century ruler, who died on September 5, 1868, settled in now Zimbabwe in 1838 following a bitter fallout with Zulu King, Shaka, whom he had served as a close ally and lieutenant.

“You might not have been told this, but Mzilikazi didn’t like conflict, so he hardly used his spear.  He preferred to feed the nation as a way of unifying it much more than using force,” said Khumalo.

“The king took care of his people, and never ate if the people were starving. Yes, here and there, violence might have been there, but mostly when the occasion called for it.”

Khumalo said people, who joined him on his journey, went back home to fetch their relatives as the kingdom grew.

“So now we are all gathered here where the mountain collapsed and the king bowed down (died or burred) in Mhlahlandlela. It is the most befitting place to remember him from, we can’t go elsewhere,” he said.

Drawing comparisons between the Ndebele settlers and the Israelites in the Bible’s Old Testament, he said: “Let me tell you, the king shocked white people. He was like the people of Israel who walked for so many years in exile. In that same manner, he trekked all the way with his people from Nguniland for years.”

Meanwhile, Imvuselelo Yolimi lamaSiko esiNdebeleni secretary-general Taimon Mabhena cautioned against culture assimilation.

“We are slowly turning into so many different cultures, we are becoming multi-bred people. Nowadays you hear people saying they went to pay for the bride price with sadombo, but we don’t have such in our kingdom. It’s called umkhongi, the chief negotiator,” Mabhena said.

“Why do you hold hands when you go to console the bereaved? We don’t do that. Just get there and greet people and verbally give your condolences.”

He said the organisation was advocating radio and television channels which broadcast exclusively in IsiNdebele.

Some of the notable people who attended the commemorations included former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, Zapu leader Sibangilizwe Nkomo, former Skyz Metro FM host Luke Mnkandla, new Ndebele King Bulelani Khumalo, Gcina Zulu, who represented Zulu King Misuzulu, and Chief Mbuso Dakamela.

Meanwhile, poet, musician, writer, actor and philanthropist Albert Nyathi hinted at a film detailing Mzilikazi’s journey from Nguniland to present-day Zimbabwe.

Related Topics