Questions about the rightful King of the VaTsonga-Machangani tribe was at the centre of discussions as locals celebrated Nghungunyani day at the Giyani multi-purpose centre on Saturday.
Hosi Busa Nxumalo urged other traditional leaders and historians not to distort history, “Nghungunyani was the only king of Vatsonga Machangani, those who are fighting for the kingship must tell us who they are and where they come from.
People should not change history because it will never change. We urge all historians and publishers to come and publish the real history of the great warrior king Nghungunyani,” says Nxumalo.
“We want streets, schools and airports to be named after Nghungunyani in order to honour him for the contribution he made in fighting against colonialism,” he adds.
Nxumalo affectionately known as ‘the lion of Gaza’ was captured in Mozambique in December 1906. He was transferred to Portugal, Mozambique’s then colonial master, where he died a few weeks later.
The debate on why VaTsonga-Machangani do not have a King has been based on arguments that Nghungunyani died in Mozambique.
However, Limpopo’s MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture Onnica Moloi committed to working with the Nxumalo Royal council to ensure that Nghungunyani day is in the provincial calendar just like King Sekhukhune Day and King Ramabulana day.
“As government, we are pleading with the Nxumalo royal council to make their submissions so that we can include them in geographical naming within our province, some of the streets and buildings must be named after Nghungunyani,” says Moloi.
Minister of Transport and adviser of the Gaza Kingdom, Joe Maswanganyi delivered a history lesson on Nghungunyani and urged elders to teach young people about the tribe’s history while equally calling artists to make songs that promote the culture of MaTsonga Machangani.
“Soshangani welded the Vatswa, Varonga, Vacopi, Vahlengwe, Van’wanati and all those who called themselves Vadzonga into the nation,” says Maswanganyi
In 2012, Nghungunyani Nxumalo’s grandson, Eric Mpisane Nxumalo’s case in the North Gauteng High Court was dismissed after some of Vatsonga chiefs opposed him arguing that the Vatsonga nation was there before Gaza.
The Nhlapo Commission also dismissed the bid after Vatsonga chiefs claimed that the kingship of Nghungunyani ceased existence in 1895 after he signed a treaty with the Portuguese.