“Kwakungephutha ukuthi isiqu somuntu wokuqala owakhiwa umdali abe umNguni ogama lakhe kwakuwuNtu…idlozi likaMayandela owazala uQwabe kanye noZulu,” kubeka uIsrael Gumede enkulumweni yakhe yokuvula.
“It was by no mistake that the first human creation by the creator was a Nguni by the name of Ntu…the ancestor of Mayandela whose offspring was Qwabe and Zulu,” stated Israel Gumede in the opening of his speech.
UBumbano LwamaQwabe is a non-profit organization focused on (re)discovering the origins of the Qwabe kinship group and Qwabe himself. The aims of the organisation include uniting the Qwabe people as a ‘nation’ and (re)discovering its correct history, rekindling the dignity of the Qwabe and uniting the amaQwabe in celebration of their ceremonies and their identity. The Qwabe kinship group also seeks to correct the mistakes related to the izithakazelo of the royal house of Qwabe as ‘Mpangazitha’, not ‘Ndabezitha’.
UBumbano lwamaQwabe is made up of two segments, i.e. a think tank and a task team. The findings of the task team assert that the history of Qwabe can be traced back beyond the Stone Age while Zulu identity began in the 1800s during King Shaka’s reign. That means that Zulu identity is not (authentically) the entire Nguni nation’s. It was enforced on groups that were defeated by Shaka’s regime. The Qwabe are therefore Nguni not Zulu. Qwabe was the heir of Mayandeya:
“Ngisho neNkosi uZwelithini ukhuleka emaqhugwaneni amabili amele imikhosi emibili ehlukene njalo uma ezothatha uhamba olubalulekile, i.e. uQwabe kanye noZulu. Zibuze ukuthi kungani…” kusho uIsrael Gumede.
“Even King Zwelithini prays to two different huts resembling two different kinship groups, i.e. Qwabe and Zulu, every time he has to embark on an important journey. Ask yourself why…” said Israel Gumede.
There are many different surnames under Qwabe. While it is true that the Qwabe and the Zulu family acknowledged each other as descending from Mayandeya, some Qwabe people resided under Zulu and Mpande, and some resided under Khondlo and Phakathwayo of the Qwabe. Nguni identity has therefore never diminished. There are other Qwabe people who were deserted at Nongoma and they ended up being sheltered by Zulu, Qwabe’s brother.
ITshe lamaBele is an important historical site for the Qwabe. Inkosi Mzimela is looking after the land of the Qwabe because this is where the Qwabe ancestors dwell. Other places that belong(ed) to the amaQwabe include Thongathi, Ballito (otherwise known as Ogqoyweni) and the place where the King Shaka International Airport is erected. This in the near future will need to be redressed. The overall long term goal is to ascertain the correct history, terminology and cultural practices of black Zulu speakers in South Africa as Ngunis not Zulus