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Magigwana Khosa – The royal who forced amashangaan to flee to Bushbuckridge  

Magigwana Khosa became largely involved with Nghunghunyana Nxumalo because they were both relatively the same age and served in the same troop against Mawewe when Mzila, Nghunghunyani’s father fought Mawewe. Mzila and Mawewe were Soshangani’s sons who fought over the seniority of the Gaza kingdom at the time. Mzila was more lenient to Vatsonga and identified many Tsonga Kingdoms, as such; he went to seek an alliance with King Magutsu (Magudu) Khosa. King Magutsu of Khoseni, who ruled over Nkomati and surrounding areas, sent some of his troops which were led by Magigwana to assist Mzila to fight his brother. Mzila defeated his Brother Mawewe through the assistance of troops from Khoseni led by Magigwana Khosa.

Magigwana stayed in Gaza royal kraal and assisted them with Military knowledge and became a leader of Mzila’s troops and when Mzila died; he continued with his duties as leader of the troops under Mzila’s son, Mdungazwe Nghunghunyani Nxumalo. During this time, there were other family members within the Nxumalo’s like Gidja who disapproved of a Tsonga leading Gaza troops. The Ndwandwe believed Tsongas were inferior and in most of their battles, Vatsonga were used as frontline soldiers, termed Mabuyandlela (old Tekeza dialect).

Nghunghunyani was a man who loved his alcohol and most of the responsibilities of the kingdom were entrusted with Magigwana, who waged wars against many small Tsonga tribes like Ngoveni, Maswanganyi, Makamu, Mavundza and Mkhavele. The leadership at Khoseni was not happy with Magigwana’s actions and he was banished from Khoseni; he was regarded as a renegade who failed to listen to instructions from Khoseni to withdraw from Gaza as the Gaza Kingdom was now acting in the same manner as Mawewe and his father Soshangani by terrorizing Vatsonga instead of fighting against Portuguese settlers. Magigwana was powerful in the Gaza kraal and had ambitions beyond that of going back to Khoseni to become a royal prince not directly linked to the throne. Magigwana also understood the supernatural power of Khoseni and the mystery surrounding Nkanyi (Marula Tree) wa le Khoseni; Magigwana never attempted to send his Gaza troops to fight Xongela or any of Khosa leader at the time. When Nghunghunyana attempted to fight Van’wanati of Mondlani; he was defeated and through Magigwana he arranged a peace truce which later cost the life of Magulana (Eduardo Mondlani grandfather). This created a hatred which drove Xipenenyana, who took over as regent of Van’wanati Kingdom of Mondlani, to betray Nghunghunyani to get arrested and captured by Mozinho whilst drunk.

It is widely believed that many of Nghunghunyana’s children were sired by Magigwana as Mdungazwe was often drunk and was more concerned about getting European drinks from Portuguese, whom he sold them Vatsonga as slaves. Magigwana has operated as troop leader and a translator during his tenure; he spoke Tekeza, Portuguese and his language Tsonga. When he heard that Nghunghunyana was captured he returned to Khoseni to ask for assistance but the leadership of Khoseni refused. Magigwana betrayed the Khoseni by becoming a servant of Gaza instead of adhering to the principles of alliance between Gaza and Khoseni. Magigwana was ambitious, he later killed Nghunghunyana’s mother and wanted to fight the Portuguese to defeat them and become the King of Gaza. When the Nxumalo’s heard of Magigwana’s actions; they ran from Mozambique to the new forest in Bushbuckridge. Mpisane who was the eldest at the time, he realized that Magigwana was going to kill all of them and they ran away with a purpose of going back to Nongoma, but settled in Bushbuckridge amongst Tsonga grouping of Vahlanganu.


Note: the man on the picture is not Magigwana Khosa. Its Ben Mdiliza, Shangaan warrior from Thabina, Limpopo.

Image Source: http://sharedlegacies.ccaphotography.org/ 

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