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Who fathered the Tsonga nation?

#1 Contrary to popular belief, Manukosi “Soshangane” Nxumalo is not the father of the Tsonga nation; Vatsonga (People), Vutsonga (Way of Life) and Xitsonga (Language) predates him with over a thousand years.

#2 Vatsonga share a common culture, land, heritage and language. Vatsonga have never been led by a singular kingdom in their history. King Tsonga is a made up character, there is no such; Vatsonga owe their existence to different tribes with unique genealogy.

#3 Soshangane could not subject the whole ethnic group with a small base (kraal) in Chayimeti (Bileni), Musapa and Chipangabera. Soshangane conquered powerless Tsonga clans like Mabunda of Zivuko, Ngobeni of Xibotana, a few Vabila and majority of Vandzawu. However, Soshangane was defeated by the Khoseni, Valoyi, Van’wanati and Nondwane of Mfumo.

#4 Soshangane and his grandson Nghunghunyane have never settled nor subjected any Tsonga group in present day South Africa; the Muhlava (Nkuna), Maluleke, Khosa Njonjela, and Mutiti Hlengwe groups avoided contact with Gaza and moved to the Transvaal.

#5 The Ndwandwe (amashangaane) cannot claim to have fathered a nation that has roots in South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa – with some in Madagascar, Sao Tome and Angola. The Nxumalos (amashangaane) have only had three places as their centers of power in Mozambique. Here are the provinces (& specific areas) Soshangane set foot-in in present day Mozambique;

  • Gaza Province (Chayimeti)
  • Inhambane (Mpande)
  • Manica land (Chipangabera)

Note that Mozambique is big country with many provinces.

It’s a lie to suggest or claim that Manukosi “Soshangane” Nxumalo or his grandson; Mdungwazi “Nghunghunyane” Nxumalo fathered the Tsonga nation. Vatsonga are a makeup of various tribes that assimilated into Vutsonga long before the arrival of amaNdwandwe.  Soshangaane only fathered the amashangaane group, the rest of the tribes have their respective founding fathers;

  • Xinyori fathered the Hlengwe group,
  • Lipanga fathered the Khoseni group,
  • Changamiri fathered the Valoyi group,
  • Mavutana fathered the Nkuna group,
  • Zinjivha fathered the Hlungwani group etc.

No one man fathered the Tsonga nation, Mutsonga a hi wa rimhondzo (Tsonga is not a lineage, it’s a way of life).


Image: Nozinja at a Xiseveseve gathering, Image taken Chris Saunders

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