- Mzilikazi, King and Founder of the Nbebele Nation  -
Mzilikazi, King of the Matebele 
Mzilikazi "The Path of blood or the Great Road" the first King of the Matebele (Ndebele tribe) was the son of Matshobana, son of Mangete, son of Ngululu, son of Langa, son of Zimangele; all descendants of the Khumalo Dynasty. Mzilikazi was born of Nompethu "The maggot" the daughter of Chief Zwide of the Ndwandwe people (tribe). 
Matshobana was the chief of the Northern Khumalo. The territory of the Northern Khumalo was located near the Black Mfolozi River, squeezed between the lands of two strong rival groups: the expanding Mthethwa chiefdom of Dingiswayo and the land of the equally ambitious and much more ferocious Zwide of the Ndwandwe. Mzilikazi's boyhood was spent in the household of his grandfather Zwide. Inevitably, as he grew to manhood he observed the less powerful Khumalo being drawn into the conflict between Dingiswayo and Zwide.
After the murder of MatshobanaMzilikazi inherited the chieftainship, and had to live at King Shaka's Bulawayo. Before Tshaka's reign there was Zwide's Ndwandwe tribe reigning. Trouble started for Mzilikazi for when he suspected that Zwide, who had had his father Matshobana assassinated, wanted him killed. In preparation, he had an alliance with Tshaka, which allowed him to be a leader of one of his regiments.  
Mzilikazi's reputation, bravery and skill in combat grew, much to the displeasure of King Tshaka. King Tshaka saw Mzilikazi as a future potential threat and therefore hatched a plot to get rid of Mzilikazi. Unfortunately for King Tshaka, his plot did not produce his desired results. Mzilikazi then decided to setup his own kingdom. 
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I am kind of big deal in BULAWAYO
With nothing more than five hundred men and women, Mzilikazi departed from King Tshaka's Zululand, by this time Mzilikazi was already had three sons, but none of these could be the heir to the throne. In accordance with Ndebele customs, successors to the throne could not come from children the Mzilikazi bore before he was King. Thus Nkulumane was the heir. Meanwhile on learning of Mzilikazi exodus, King Tshaka sent two army contingents to stop him. 

King Tshaka's army contingents failed to stop Mzilikazi, about 1821 Mzilikazi and his fledgling kingdom crossed the Drakensburg mountains. Over a prolonged period of time, the wandering Matebele Kingdom moved in a meandering northward direction. Eventually crossing the Limpopo river and settling his kingdom in the Matebeleland region of Zimbabwe. Mzilikazi established his first royal town, called Mhlahlandlela just outside present day Pretoria (South Africa), in the late 1820s. After facing a series attacks, he moved with his kingdom, further northward. Mzilikazi's last royal town was in Matebeleland Zimbabwe, he also called it Mhlahlandlela. 

Mzilikazi's Matebele were a predatory people, and established themselves in their new environment by subjugating the original inhabitants until they were firmly entrenched as rulers of the territory between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. Their impis foraged far and wide across the land, looting cattle and capturing women and children.
 By the time Mzilikazi left King Tshaka's Zululand he realized that he had a small contingent of followers, insufficient to establish a powerful kingdom that would last. The era in which Mzilikazi lived demanded a kingdom be large so that it can have enough men to withstand attacks and thus offer defense to its citizens. He had to increase the population of kingdom, this had military defensive and economic implications. Mzilikazi used his skillful aptitude for warfare, learnt under Tshaka, to carryout raids on neighboring and remote tribes
Mzilikazi raids basically initially had these major objectives, cattle and captives for integration in the Matebele kingdom. Captives were vitally to the growth of the Matebele kingdom, female captives of childbearing age contributed children, who if they were male would add to the army. Male captives were recruited into the army. Children captives were ideal, as they would grow up culturally aligned to the Matebele way of life. 
As the Kingdom grew and became military strong, Mzilikazi's raids had the intentions to, to remove the potential military danger, the capturing of cattle, women and children. With the growth of Matebele kingdom by assimilation of other people came the danger of being overrun culturally. Mzilikazi setup social structures in which infused people learnt and conformed to the Matebele culture. The social structure of the Ndebele was such the Ndebele state was stratified into three social groups/classes, the Zansi, Enhla and Hole.
On September 28 1868, King Mzilikazi of the Ndebele state died. After prolonged ritual ceremonies befitting a King's funeral, the burial process started on the 2nd of November, and  he was buried on the 4th of November 1868 when his remains were put in a cave at Entumbane, on the northern peripheries of the Matopo Hills. He was the father and first King of the Matebele Kingdom.
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Mzilikazi, the Ndebele and Christianity religion
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