My mpondo I dentity

15 April 2014

I don't quite remember why I started this blog but I know that I want  it to reflect who I am and my cultural identity forms and intergral part of that. Everytime I make mention of my Sukude clan name and Mpondo heritage, theories other tribes have about us both shocks and saddens me. Apart from our neighbouring nations always steal the thunder, the miseducation and misidentification of mpondo people about their own identity is actually quite systematic from the days of colonialism but I won't get into that. Ever heard of the wild coast? Yep, that's us right there.

I use the word nation because that's exactly what we are. We have our own lineage of kings, our own language;  isimpondo or isindrondroza, a nguni dialect which unfortunately is dying out and our own customs and traditions. The narrative of how mpondo people came to be does not speak of an origin or allegiance to the great Xhosa or Zulu nation but instead of common ancestors before all three tribes came to be known by those names. Coincidentally, the surnames of both the Xhosa and Mpondo tribes, Sigcawu and Sigcau, sound exactly the same and only differ in spelling.

The instomi or folk tale of how the mpondo people came to be tells of a region of amanzi abelu; great blue lakes where there were so many cattle that they grazed the shores of the lakes until they were as bare as a desert. These people were abambo; the people of mboland and had to leave to great lakes for which a reason is still a mystery. How they migrated is also a blur. The great Bantu migrations suggest that it happened organically over the generations as villages and kingdoms were established while a theory of a great trek also whispers in the folktales of the Nguni people of Southern Africa.
'As we crossed the Zambezi, leaving some of our people to settle there' the story goes, 'a king by the name of Sibiside came to rule and lead us to Mhlathuze river where we finally settle down as a nation'. Until this day, I still cannot decide whether this Mhlathuze river is the one in Zulu or Swati territory as a Man by the name of Sibiside Mkhize and abambo people in the narratives of both these nations

Sibisinde then had his firstborn son; Nyombose, who would later settle in the natal and father the Mthethwa people who many generations later would be absorbed into the house of zulu that begot the famous shaka zulu.

Later Sibisinde fathered male twins Mpondo and Mpondomise (mpondomise being the oldest). When the time came for them to claim their own land to rule, Mpondo left first along with his subjects to start his own tribe. Mpondo travelled along the coast and finally settled in what is now Mpondoland. Mpondomise traveled along the Drakensburg mountains, passed through Zululand and some generations later settled in Mzimkhulu.
Since the two brothers were twins, it only made sense that we be able to distinguish whose tribe we belong to, thus taking the name if our founding king whose lineage more or less goes something like this :
Mpondombini our late king. Our regent queen from the Swati kingdom is currently in power.

Now the names and order of of these late kings could be off but unfortunately, the only chances of me ever getting this history 100% right is if I were to have the honour of an audience with the princess or Royal council. Plus the fact that this kind of history isn't being taught in our schools which is a shame because now we get Mpondo people calling themselves Xhosa because they just don't know their history. I really hope that would change one day

Now I don't know much about the Xhosa people and their lineage except that their founding father was Tshawe, they got their name from Khoisan people who would often quarrel over cattle which the latter thought were wild animals, the Royal house was been divided into two during the time of Phalo and some names of prominent Kings include Nkosiyamntu, Gcaleka , Malangana and Malandela who both appear in mpondomise history before they became Mpondomise people and some Zulu history and of course Jwarha and Cirha, the two clans that were overrun by the Tshawe's. (If you know anything about these names, please share your knowledge with me in the comment section below)

Next time you hear your elders shouting "eeeembo, phindela kwamyalwane) pointing north with a spear or stick during a thunderstorms you'll know what they mean.
So there you have it. The tale of the Mpondo people and where they come from. There are of course many other stories like how the kingship went from qhiya to Gangathas line and how our kingdom is also divided, the battle of Ndamase but that's a story for another day.
Read a little more about my clan name and how they branched off into my family genealogy here.

Khawutsho ke mtram, ulini? Sithini isiduko sakho. What is your clan name? Khawuzithuthe in the comment section below.

Stay tuned and Stay blessed.
ngumaGcuda ka Mkhondwana ke lo


  1. I left a comment your youtube page as well. I just wanted to tell you I have what I regard to be the most most well-researched geneology table for AmaMpondo, I can email it to you if want.

    1. I am interested in AmaMpondo history ndinguBala kemna so do you mind emailing me the geneology table:

    2. I have written a Wikipedia article that includes sources as well, search for "AmaMpondo"

  2. I left a comment your youtube page as well. I just wanted to tell you I have what I regard to be the most most well-researched geneology table for AmaMpondo, I can email it to you if want.

  3. I am interested in AmaMpondo history ndinguBala kemna so do you mind emailing me the geneology table:

  4. i'm MaManci i need to know how to say my clan praises,if anyone can help please email ma

  5. NdiguKhwaTshube and I would like to know iziduko zikaKhwaTshube and his origin,is was he a Mponod or Mpondomise?please help.


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