Lobengula

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Lobengula
Born1845
Diedpresumed January 1894 70 km south of the Zambesi river in Matabeleland
Spouse(s)Lozikeyi (1st royal wife), Lomalongwe (2nd royal wife)
ChildrenNyamande


Lobengula was the second and last king (1870–94) of the Ndebele state. Lobengula—the son of the founder of the Ndebele state, Mzilikazi—was unable to prevent his kingdom from being destroyed by the British in 1893.[1]


Birthright

After the death of Mzilikazi, the first king of the Ndebele nation, in 1868, the izinduna, or chiefs, offered the crown to Lobengula, one of Mzilikazi's sons from an inferior wife. Several impis (regiments) disputed Lobengula's ascent, and the question was ultimately decided by the arbitration of the assegai, with Lobengula and his impis crushing the rebels. Lobengula's courage in the battle led to his unanimous selection as king


Succession squabbles

After Mzilikazi died in September 1868, the succession of Lobengula was not accepted by Mangwane (one of Mzilikazi’s older sons) and some of the izinduna (chiefs), and he succeeded to the throne only in 1870 after a period of serious civil war. Lobengula faced a rebellion in June 1870, and in 1872 he repelled an invasion by Mangwane and a pretender backed by the British in the Natal colony.


Coronation

The coronation of Lobengula took place at Mhlanhlandlela, one of the principal military towns. The Ndebele nation assembled in the form of a large semicircle, performed a war dance, and declared their willingness to fight and die for Lobengula. A great number of cattle were slaughtered, and the choicest meats were offered to Mlimo, the Ndebele spiritual leader, and to the dead Mzilikazi. Great quantities of millet beer were also consumed.

About 10,000 Matabele warriors in full war costume attended the crowning of Lobengula. Their costumes consisted of a headdress and short cape made of black ostrich feathers, a kilt made of leopard or other skins and ornamented with the tails of white cattle. Around their arms they wore similar tails and around their ankles they wore rings of brass and other metals. Their weapons consisted of one or more long spears for throwing and a short stabbing-spear or assegai (also the principal weapon of the Zulu). For defence, they carried large oval shields of ox-hide, either black, white, red, or speckled according to the impi (regiment) they belonged to.


Coronation The coronation of Lobengula took place at Mhlanhlandlela, one of the principal military towns. The Ndebele nation assembled in the form of a large semicircle, performed a war dance, and declared their willingness to fight and die for Lobengula. A great number of cattle were slaughtered, and the choicest meats were offered to Mlimo, the Ndebele spiritual leader, and to the dead Mzilikazi. Great quantities of millet beer were also consumed.

Rule

Lobengula was a big, powerful, man with a soft voice who was well loved by his people but loathed by foreign tribes. He had well over 20 wives, possibly many more; among them were Xwalile, daughter of king Mzila of the Gaza Empire, and Lozikeyi.[5] His father, Mzilikazi, had around 200 wives. It is said that he weighed about 19 stone (270 lb; 120 kg). He was a fine warrior but not an equal of his father. Life under Lobengula was less strict than it had been under Mzilikazi; still, the Ndebele retained their habit of raiding their neighbours.

  1. [1], NAME_OF_PUBLICATION_HERE, Published: DATE_PUBLISHED_HERE , Retrieved: 28 Feb 2018