meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"> King Mzilikazi, the Ndebele and Christianity religion  ::::
- Zimbabwe Ndebele people and christiniaty  -
Mzilikazi, the Ndebele and Christianity religion
The Ndebele had first contact with Christian missionaries when Mzilikazi consented to the London Missionary Society�s coming to Zimbabwe. Mzilikazi consented to the coming of the missionaries led by Robert Moffat in 1867 strictly for non religious purposes. King Mzilikazi had hoped to use the missionaries as agents for trade with white traders from South Africa.

The first group of missionaries entered the country in September 1859 led by Robert Moffat, and the Ndebele�s reception of the troop was influenced by secular and religious factors.

As soon as they entered the Ndebele territory, the missionaries were treated circumspectly. The missionaries had reported to the King Mzilikazi that their draught oxen had lung sickness and King Mzilikazi had ordered the settlers to be quarantined so that the disease would not spread to the rest of the nation. The King also arranged for the medical treatment of the missionaries by a witch doctor, an Inyanga. 

One of the missionaries, William Sykes had lost his wife before entering Zimbabwe and the Ndebele believed that he was carrying a bad omen and therefore he needed to be cleansed together with the rest of the crew.
Lobengula Matshobana hoodie   Lobengula tshirt   lobengula tshirt
While in quarantine, the missionaries committed a grave act which the Ndebele interpreted as witchcraft. One of the missionaries, Goliath, caused alarm when he grabbed an Ndebele boy by his hair, an act associated with bewitching the boy. The missionaries were put on trial but only through Moffat�s pleas of mercy to his friend King Mzilikazi were the missionaries allowed to get away with a fine.
It is thus clear from these early events that King Mzilikazi wanted to make it clear to the missionaries that if they wanted to live peaceable within the Ndebele Kingdom, it was on condition that they respected local traditions and religion.
Between 1860 and 1862, the London Missionary Society, totally failed to penetrate the Ndebele kingdom. During the years up to Mzilikazi�s death, the missionaries only managed to maintain links with people to whom they tried to impart their propaganda but they had little success.
Relations between the Ndebele and the missionaries were nothing but good. The coming of the missionaries had brought sickness to the nation, a lung sickness that saw the decimation of the Ndebele cattle, as over 10 000 cattle had died of the sickness by 1962.such misfortune was interpreted by the Ndebele as a sign of bad omen associated with the whites, but the anti missionary feeling reached its climax when the Ndebele put pressure on King Mzilikazi to disallow the coming of yet another missionary crew in 1862. King Mzilikazi told Moffat that if any missionary dare to come into the kingdom, he would be killed.
(continued here)
If you feel this is not an accurate account and you have a more accurate one, or you have a clarification , you can submit your version of the account here
Other documents related to this Profile
Changes in the Ndebele (Matabele) religion
Mzilikazi, the Ndebele and Christianity religion
Ndebele Religious beliefs
Ndebele Social structure