Mgandane Dlodlo was King Lobengula's regional commander in what is now the Midlands Province, and the son of the most famed chief of Inxa Village, Loyiswayo Dlodlo, a section of Amakhanda. He was killed by the whites after he led the royal delegation sent by King Lobengula in July 1893 to investigate the matter regarding the confiscation of royal herds by white colonists resident in Fort Victoria (now Masvingo) in what came to be known as the Victoria Incidents.[1] The New Government Complex at the corner of Samora Machel Avenue and Simon Muzenda Street in Harare was named after him.


Mgandane was Loyiswayo Dlodlo's sonThe whites from Fort Victoria (Masvingo) were able to identify him as a leader and shot him in cold blood. People suspect that he was beheaded and his head taken to he UK after the group he led was sent by King Lobengula to Fort Victoria (now Masvingo) to collect cattle that were taken by the whites. That led to the Anglo-Ndebele war and he is regarded as the Ndebele hero.[2]


The skull of one of King Lobengula’s lieutenants Mgandane Dlodlo is believed to be stuck in one of Britain’s museums after his head was decapitated during The 1893 Anglo-Ndebele War in Masvingo, which was then known as Fort Victoria. Although historians say not many First Chimurenga icons from the Matabeleland region were decapitated, they believe Dlodlo was the only hero from that region whose head was taken to Britain.

Renowned historian Mr Pathisa Nyathi said most of the people whose heads were decapitated were from Mashonaland. “We know the skulls that were taken around that time are those of the Makonis,” said Mr Nyathi. “They should certainly be among those that are in the UK. “This side (Matabeleland), we are not aware of any who were decapitated, but the only person we suspect to have been beheaded and his head taken to the UK is Mgandane Dlodlo who was the leader of the group that was sent by King Lobengula to Fort Victoria to collect cattle that were taken by the whites. That led to the Anglo-Ndebele War. “The whites then followed Mgandane and his party and they beheaded him. What we can’t say is whether they took his head to the UK or not. But what is clear is that beheading started in 1893, then the Makonis were beheaded in 1896.”


  1. Pathisa Nyathi, [1], The Sunday News, Published: 25 September, 2016, Accessed: 28 May, 2020
  2. [2], The Herald, Published: 14 August, 2015, Accessed: 28 May, 2020