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Xhosa people in Zimbabwe to stop learning Shona- King


Published: July 12, 2011


Xhosa people in Zimbabwe to stop learning Shona- King thumbnail

The newly crowned Xhosa King, Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu in South Africa is set to deliver xhosa language books to Zimbabwe’s Xhosa communities, well known as the amaFengu and based in the Mbembesi area near Bulawayo, Matebeleland.

This is not the first time the South Africans have expressed their concern with the livehoods of Zimbabwean communities who migrated from South Africa in the 1800′s a period commonly refered as Mfecane. A leading Zulu culture musical ensemble, Izingane Zoma  has recently called for Ndebeles in Zimbabwe to be allowed to return to South Africa citing mistreatment in Zimbabwe by the  Shona people,and one Zulu maskandi music giant Phuzekemisi has questioned the harrasment of people by police. Large populations of Matebeleland people live and support their families through earnings from South Africa.

The Xhosa community in Zimbabwe is well established and arrived with Mzilikazi after fleeing from Shaka and later brought in by Cecil John Rhodes. Xhosa people kept their language dialect intact, slightly distinct from original Zulu.

According to South African paper The New Age, Xhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, has said he planned to travel around the world to meet his kinsfolk who were displaced during the apartheid era.

He was speaking at Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale last week during an official royal ceremony.

Sigcawu was anointed Xhosa King taking over the kingship from his father King Xolilizwe Sigcawu, who died in 2006.

The ceremony was attended by a contingent of chiefs from the Tshawe clan and regent chiefs.


Mind your language

“There are so many Xhosa people all over the world who face problems, either spiritually or culturally.

“My responsibility is to visit them, hear their problems and see where I can offer help,” said the new king.

He said he was not planning to relocate Xhosa who lived elsewhere, but was willing to offer assistance to those in need.

“For example, in Zimbabwe, my people are complaining that they have to learn Shona in schools as there are no Xhosa literature books,” he said.

“I have already spoken to the Gauteng government for help in delivering Xhosa books to Zimbabwe so that the Xhosa can speak in their mother tongue.”

According to the old Xhosa kingship customs, Sigcawu is now able to anoint chiefs and regent chiefs under his territory.

Speaking to The New Age, Xhosa royal council CEO, Zolani Mkiva, said the Xhosa king was also planning to meet his people who were living in the UK.

“This is part of reconnecting with his people. The king is expected to travel to London before the end of this year.

“He will also get an opportunity to inform his people that he is the king of the amaXhosa worldwide,” said Mkiva, who is also a poet.

He said the Xhosa king planned to work tirelessly to ensure that his people had access to basic government services.

“As part of his duties, the king has been attending government functions and has been vocal in telling government officials to deliver basic services to poor communities.

“He has already been doing that and plans to continue,” said Mkiva.


He said an official coronation ceremony would still take place adding that the date and venue would be announced soon.

The coronation was initially scheduled to be held in May last year but was delayed after one of King Xolilizwe’s sisters, NomaXhosa Sigcawu, complained she had not been consulted on the date of the event.

“I am the elderly sister of the Xhosa royal house and as such, no coronation can be announced without my knowledge and ­agreement,” Sigcawu said at the time.

Sithandiwe Velaphi|thenewage|

WPSN comments

31 Comments on "Xhosa people in Zimbabwe to stop learning Shona- King"

  1. Dzimai Moto on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 6:44 am 

    It is good for knowledge for Zimbabweans to learn all languages available in the country. Shona people should learn Ndebele, Xhosa, Tonga and so on… These should be taught in primary schools. Shona people who cross into South Africa understand that a language can be a huge barrier. The education policy especially on Humanities needs improvement in Zimbabwe.

  2. CHANDO KUPISA on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 7:03 am 

    Shonas are a peace loving people and can someone who is Ndebele seriously say has been ill treated by poice coz is Ndebele tribe as suggested by this musician whom calls himself Phulukemise ? Anywhere him and the Fengu chief are more than welcome to take back to South Africa their kith and kin,but noone is going to join them coz Zimbabwe is one of the most peaceful countries i have lived in despite the temporary setback of sanctions requeisted for by Chematama and other bafoons.

  3. Tee-man on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 8:21 am 

    This is what we will like to see for sure! HATS OFF TO THE XHOSA!!! Shona is definately not good to learn otherwise you will end-up with a GUKURAHUNDI HEART!!! in BULAWAYO we don’t learn that nonsense! VUKA MTHWAKAZI!!!

  4. Luckson Masizha on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 8:31 am 

    This Article was written by a disappontingly ignorent person, I regret to say. The Xhosas live in Mbembesi and Ntabazinduna not in Mbembeswana. Mbembeswana is a place in Matobo District in Kezi after Mapisa. Kalangas and Ndebeles live in Mbembeswana. Shaka is called Tshaka in Zimbabwe and Xhosas in Mbembesi are clearly not Zulus. They are Ndebele as Ndebele refers to all tribles that were in the Ndebele state. There may have been different classes but they are all Ndebeles. Its a pity People in Matabeleland feel Mistreated, I think the government needs to look into this matter and implement solutions suggested by people in Matabeleland, otherwise Zimbabwe will never be a united country. If the Government is for all, they need to adress people’s grievances. Other Languages such as Xhosa, Kalanga, Tonga are also legitimate languages whose people deserve to have their children learn. No culture diserves to be driven into extintion. People have brains and see what is happening and the Matabeleland issue must be ressolved lest the country faces onother civil war as seccesion looms. Government should either Adress these problems without favour or leave Matabeleland to secede. No one in Mashonaland realy should have a say here. This is an Issue between the government and people of Matabeleland.

  5. themba nkosi on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 8:54 am 

    well things are happening in mugabeland-that cursed country called zimbabwe.its a shame what the shona people do to other ethnic groups in that country.

    they are so evil and they hv perfected the art of hatred and genocide in many forms.but i am happy the world and the oppressed peoples are beginning to take action againsth that evil regime and its evil shonas.

    however its not entirely true that the xhosa of mbembesi and fort rixon are being forced to learn isi tshabi language but schools in xhosa speaking areas of matabeleland teach ndebele language using zulu textbooks.

    the only problem these days is that mugabe govt is deploying shona teachers in ndebele regions.they cant speak the language and some parents have withdrawn their children and sent them to south africa.mugabe and his shona people are evil and the world must act agasinst them

  6. Jackson Mandaza on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 9:06 am 

    No one ill treats Ndebeles or Xhosas whatever, in Zimbabwe, its just that they lack self confidence and self belief. You will be surprised to know that the majority of them have never crossed the Shangani river towards Gweru but have been to all other places across the Limpopo. Unfortunately they are not welcome down there as well and thus become cry babies with imagined marginalised mentality. Shonas are hardworking, self confident and are prepared to go anywhere to make money including the north pole , Siberia and hell Soweto. As such they are not cry babies. So this king can create land for his ppl and absorb them back. There is no need to teach Shona in Soweto in order to feel wanted or recognised. The only thing I know about these Xhosas, is their beautiful women and their axe and spear weilding, beer loving men who dont hesitate to use the weapons especially at beer drinking sessions. (Ndari). Sorry I have run out of space.

  7. Makwembere on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 9:10 am 

    The MDC has and will continue to serve the interests of all Xosa, Shona, Ndebele, Bemba and Tonga tribes. The mdc is here to serve the people

  8. cde bofuratsikamwana on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 10:49 am 

    never have i heard or known a rotten minded and hazardous traditional leadership. very sectorial and divisive to an unimaginable level, how can he expect to dictate our min of education? all languages must be learnt across ZIM societies and XOSAs can move back to his kingdom and learn BIOLOGY,BIBLE,MATHS etc in their beloved lingo. so does he suggest all shonas in SA be supplied with textbks for their lingo? a danger to society and unfit to traditionally lead this king remains. mark my words

  9. chegotsi on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 10:58 am 

    You Makwembere your MDC-T is sinking.The problem is you are Tsvangirai’s boot licker.MDC-T is nowhere mentioned in this article,but you just mention it anytime because you possessed with your Tsvangirai who will lose dismally come next elections.

  10. Ngwarai Murefu on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 11:03 am 

    I agree with Chando but it must be stated clearly that its the politicians who use their being Shona against other minority tribes in Zimbabwe. Zanupf can never be led by any other person who is not Shona. NEVER. For the past 30 years no security sector has been led by a Ndebele no matter how loyal he or she is. They must be led by a Shona. The MDC is not different neither. That is why they removed Gibson Sibanda and put Tswangirayi as a President. They are not different from ZanuPF when it comes to tribalism. Some senior MDC people used to say “let us unite against the common enemy at UZ referring to Ndebeles. Even the most educated Shonas just hate or despise other people like the Ngunis which includes Xhosas. They can onlmy abuse women. Its primitive but Zimbazbwean politicians thrive on it. It will only end when other tribes see that Shonas can support any Zimbabwean politically as long as his ideas are clear and beneficial to the nation. At the moment, the Shona are still victims of Zanupf politics based on regionalism, tribalism and racism. For Zanupf you must accept that as a Ndebele you are naturally stupid. You need a Shona to lead you. Its the same with MDC. Period.

  11. Anonymous on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 11:06 am 

    Mandza if the Shona are confident why have they been ruled by a Mozambiqueb cum Malawain?Why are they all over the world as if they have no country?They are a sick lot who have an inflated ego that comes to nothing daily as they toil in foreign countries..sick lot with their tribal village called Zimbabwe..

  12. Guvnor on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 11:37 am 

    Its awesome if those of Xhosa decent and ethnicity have the opportunity to learn their ancestral language. This will surely not harm any other Zimbabwe in any way. Its lovely to see the Xhosa king taking his time and trying his best to get his people all over the world get more organised than they otherwise would be.

  13. SIMON on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 11:38 am 

    Tsavangirai wapera.He is always ranting,no policies at all.

  14. TETE VANESHANJE HAVAKURI on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 12:28 pm 

    One of the many positive things that separates Zim from other African countries–accepting different Zim languages. Ndizvo asvotwa ngaarutse.So?

  15. CHANDO KUPISA on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 12:43 pm 

    In as much as i agree with some of the comments given what i find strange about my Ndebele brothers and sisters is that they have this thinking of wanting to be led by a Shona ,take the case of Welshman Ncube and his MDC,the man decided to invite Mutambara to lead them for what reason? A case of infiniority i guess.

  16. vuvu on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 1:12 pm 

    @Chando Kupisa whatever that means whether itskhandatshisa or what your supriority complex does not make you any better than me. You can believe in whatever you want but you can not force a nation to learn your language. I have refused to learn it. You guys (shonas) ain’t peace loving but blood thirsty vampires, thieves and uncivilised nincompoomps. why did you introduce ndebele in your schools if you wanted people to learn national languages. We are not going anywhere as we also belong to Zimbabwe and the more you intimidate us one day you will get what you want. Enjoy now when time still permits. Jews comprise less than 2% of the world population but they run it. Watch out.

  17. Bla Miki on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 1:30 pm 

    Ha-a shatapu mhani iwe Vuvu mukanwa munemvere. Uri murwere wepfungwa nechimambo chako chechi Xhosa ichocho. Kana masvotwa budai mhani mudzokerer kunyika kwenyu tione kana vakanokutambirai ikoko nepamuromo penyu panenge kunobuda netsvina kwe benzi.

  18. CHANDO KUPISA on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 3:16 pm 

    Iwe vuvu usasevenzise muukooshoo kufunga ndati Welshman akadaidzireyi Mutambara kana maigona mega?

  19. fortune on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 4:40 pm 

    Now that the xhosa King has taken an initiative in identifying and helping the xhosa tribe in the so called zimbabwe,this the time for all mthwakazians to rise and claim their identity and rights-independence from zimbabwe.This is a clear message to the shonas that the Mthwakazians are and will never be part of you as is meant to be understood.My advice to all shonas is:start packing or else…!

  20. KG Khumalo on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 4:51 pm 

    it’s so funny how most of the people who are against this and have commented on this are Shona people.Obviously you wouldnt know how some of the people in Zimbabwe have been mistreated so let them speak for themselves.the only reason why Shona people seem to be hardworkers is because they support napotism…I think it is best that Zimbabwe be seperated.By the way Luckson it is Shaka and Ndebeles originated from S.A.

  21. tawanda on Tue, 12th Jul 2011 8:30 pm 

    Chegotsi yur arguement s empty at all t lacks the required substance .Nway i wonder wer yu conducted a survey to proove tht MDCT will loose come next election .Nway the winds of change my brother s moving like veld fire dont worry f t hasnt cot up wth yu now t will at a later stage .Abt the Ndebeles/Xhosa etc ts an act of insanity by ths chief f he s concerned abt the welfare of his kith and kins then he can as well create a separate Ndebele state n his State .Where on earth can one student doin a South Africa Law Degree quote zim cases n an exam yu will fail .

  22. sibebe on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 6:16 am 

    Spare the rod and spoil the kids. Fail to educate your own and you will all be the working horses for the elite. Preach vetoril and rip the seeds of evil to no avail.
    That said, gukurahundi has never been denied or confirmed by the current regime, but,can you guys explain the meaning of treason or uprising against your own?
    You guys fail to educate your own kids and no one will do it for you. Instead of banning shona from schools you should be building bridges with them and draw the education to your region. Gone are the days you could go rob livestock , food and women from the shona; which they havent aired in a long time.
    The 19-gochanhembe kings used to dictate lifestyles are gone. No one stays rural to do farming anymore. Wake up and do something productive with your time. Dont just bark and hide in the shadows. Step up and bite like the other dogs.
    Arm yourselves with education not spears to win regional superiority.

  23. chando on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 7:19 am 

    Well summed up Sibebe.

  24. pakati on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 8:40 am 

    Ndebele and Shona are now one nation that’s a fact and the truth hurts i long as we look back and remain that way how can we build a nation?

    firstly Sibebe said the ndebele stole livestock, food and women in the process killed some shona man.

    secondly themba nkosa labeled the shona as evil and masters of evil

    how can we build a nation with such anger?? please my country man love each other. we are brothers and sisters as long as we are AFRICANS

  25. Vimbai Kamoyo on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 10:51 am 

    I think this king is a responsible king. Just a suggestion. Why can he not take them out of this country and look after them better better in their country of origin. Please take your Xhosaa out of Zimbabwe.

  26. Vimbai Kamoyo on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 10:56 am 

    Fortune wakanganwa; wakanganwa manje. Wkufarisa nokuti magarisa, ndizvo zvinoita mukadzi akagarisa asina ku*****hwa.

  27. Ngwarai Murefu on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 1:10 pm 

    Would it be bad if a Shona Chief sent Shona books to the Shona who live in Kenya or in Botswana? There were apostolic Shonas in Botswana before the economic collapse of this country. There are some in Kenya. The Zulus have visited Chipata in eastern Zambia where there are Ngonis who are original Zulus in Zambia. There was no such, such and vanamukooshoo and politics. The Xhosas just like other Ngunis would very well like to go back to South Africa unfortunately, maybe. it is not possible. Given the number of Ngunis who speak Shona or any other language now one would not know who to re-epatriate and who to leave. In Zimbabwe let us just have democracy, period

  28. Tobias on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 1:22 pm 

    I strongly believe that our foul mouths unite us as Zimbabweans. Why can we not have dialogue without insulting one another.Does this mean we lake problem solving skills as a nation.People use aliases when commenting on issues on this website and yet the conversations get personal. How can one be so angry enough to scold a shadow. Think about this people. I love you all both Ndebele and Shonas.

  29. Max Chiss on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 3:44 pm 

    Lets go to the roots of mankind. In all that we do and say if we put GOD in front then we will not have these numerous problems.

  30. Max Chiss on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 3:46 pm 

    Lets go to the roots of mankind (our roots). In all that we do and say if we put GOD in front then we will not have these numerous problems.

  31. Pearl on Wed, 27th Jul 2011 6:21 pm 

    It is such a shame to see my brothers and sisters fighting amongst them selves. because of what…tribalism? I guess that’s the only thing we have to our names. After the white ppl put boader lines and seperated us (black ppl) for good. I’m sure when they read such comments they clap hands to their good work. ppl if the king wants to send books ti Zim it’s fine he should and if a Shona king wants to send books to SA he should. i knw a lot of Zimbabwean kids who can not speak Shona jst bcoz they grew up in SA. in the near future Shona nor Xhosa will be important to the young ppl.The parents themselves are not ecouraging their kids to speak their mother tounges at all. and every day i look and shake my head as i see a forsaken land, where we go forward with the times and forget where we come from and who we are! I have Shona friends who lie about their identities, bcoz they are ashamed of who they are, why? i dont know. We must stop abusing each other over land, where by we forget who is the ral enemy here. Black ppl should be allowed to roam around Africa as they plaase, now we need permits to see our beautiful land, bothers and sisters. Mnxi!

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