This year’s King Mzilikazi Day celebrations saw an unprecedented number of Mthwakazians converging in various places to celebrate and remember the eventful life of King Mzilikazi, the great founder of the Mthwakazi nation.
In the land of the Americas, Mthwakazians gathered in Dallas, Texas and this event lasted between the 2nd to 4th September 2011.
Six days later,Mthwakazians back home also gathered at the historic Entumbane Hill, Matopos and at Berea Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.
I feel privileged to have been part of a record gathering of South African based Mthwakazians who converged at Berea Park in the glittering cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg to mark yet another day in honour of our great king warrior King, Mzilikazi KaMatshobana.
From the beginning I must underline that it was a day well spent for a hero whose legacy is unparalleled. As the proceedings of the day unfolded it dawned to me that this was more than just a celebration of the life and death of a historical figure: the re-awakening of Mthwakazi was happening right before my eyes. It was a consciousness-raising trans-generational ritual that, in my humble view will add the much needed fuel to the revitalized Mthwakazi independence agenda.
So massive was this year’s event that I was also left convinced that those who still entertain any whiff of doubt about the feasibility and sustainability of the entire Mthwakazi project are perfect candidates for mental health institutions. That Mthwakazi’s long awaited season of self-deterministic revivalism is finally upon us and here to stay is a fact that no normal mortal can even attempt to refute!
Speaking from a revolutionary’s perch I must single out the ritualistic burning of impepho (incense) at this event as an episode that did not only re-link us to our great heritage but also left some people in no doubt that King Mzilikazi’s legacy is the life-giving oxygen that has kept the Mthwakazi dream alive up to this present day.
But who was King Mzilikazi KaMatshobana? In both oral and written historiography King Mzilikazi is unpacked as a great military commander, strategist, diplomat and natural leader who built the great Mthwakazi nation out of virtual impossibility.
His ability to mould and preserve a highly migratory state took more than the Shakaian military artwork and his realistic dream of creating a viable multicultural society anticipated the modern day Mandelaian concept of a rainbow nation by more than a century. Last but not least,his choice of the name Mthwakazi,(a name that paid tribute to the original inhabitants of the land upon which he completed his state building project) for the nation-state that he created is way ahead of its time.
His illustrious legacy is a source of envy, if not a source of inspiration to many latter day state builders. So great is King Mzilikazi’s legacy that back in 1896, Cecil John Rhodes, the man who later conquered Mthwakazi ; an enduring product of King Mzilikazi’s own political and military artistry, found wisdom in visiting the king’s final resting place at Entumbane Hill,Matopos. So awe-struck was Mr Rhodes that he couldn’t help sharing his great admiration of King Mzilikazi with one Gordon Le Seuer.
“I admire the imagination of uMzilikazi.There he lies, a conquerer alone. Watching over the land that he won.When I die I mean to be buried here...”, he reportedly exclaimed in a whisper.
There is indeed no doubt that we live in the towering shadows of a great man, whose enduring legacy is pregnant with remarkable acts of heroism; a rich fountain of revolutionary inspiration. The record of risks that King Mzilikazi took and the dossier of challenges that he overcame in the name of nation building should spell like sunshine to a young Mthwakazi revolutionary.
As we celebrate King Mzilikazi’s legacy we must keep it in the back of our minds that 118 years of colonial rule has brought us nothing but disgrace and humiliation. We are so unlucky to be a generation of orphans whose great inheritance was first turned over to the British colonialists before being passed over to the Zimbabwean aliens. Our Mthwakazi heritage has served as a goldmine to alien hoodlums and looters since 1893, and our people have endured untold barbarism at the hands of aliens for a cumulative period of 118 years!
So dehumanizing and painful has been Mthwakazi’s colonial experience at the hands of aliens that one prominent Mthwakazi activist recently decreed that every Mthwakazian should make it a revolutionary ritual to open their bible and visit the book of Lamentations 5:1-3 which reads thus:
“1 Remember, O LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace. 2 Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens, our homes to foreigners. 3 We have become orphans and fatherless, our mothers like widows”:
Reading this biblical passage leaves one in no shadow of doubt that it was tailor-made to mirror the extremely sorry state of affairs that the once great nation of Mthwakazi finds herself in today. The answer to the question of how the descendants of a people whose king is well-known for his solomonic legacy ended up under the chains of slavery is definitely not a footnote of history.
Little does it dawn to many of us that we are heirs to the rich estate of a great hero and a nation builder. We have a generational duty to break this chain of perpetual oppression and restore the great nation that King Mzillikazi bequeathed to us.
Thus said I must admit that I find it so heartening that the current generation of Mthwakazians has discovered the wisdom of harnessing King Mzilikazi’s heroic legacy in the struggle to end 118 years of suffering under the yoke of colonialism. This trend must be further nurtured and encouraged for the sake of our posterity.
At this juncture, we clearly need unleash the revolutionary spears against the enemy. There is a pressing need to invoke King Mzilikazi’s courage and nation building skills in facing the challenge of rebuilding a nation that has endured 118 years of merciless pillage, genocides and statelessness at the hands of alien hoodlums, fortune seekers and barbarians. Mthwakazi, the time liberate ourselves has come.Let us stand up and break the chains of oppression!
Sabelo Ngwenya is the National Organising Secretary of Mthwakazi Liberation Front(MLF) and he writes in his personal capacity.His views in this article does not in any way represent the official view of Mthwakazi Liberation Front.