ZIMBABWEANS in the United Kingdom held celebrations over the weekend in honour of the late founder of the Ndebele Kingdom, King Mzilikazi KamaTshobane Khumalo who died on September 9, 1868.
The event, organised by the Zimbabwe Roots Association (ZimRoots), was held in Southampton, where notable figures such as former Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni were in attendance.
In a statement, one of the organisers Khumbula Khumalo said the day’s activities entailed, among others, the re-creation of Mzilikazi’s predecessor, King Lobengula’s two emissaries Babayana and Mtshede’s journey to London via Southampton in the late 1880s to protest over the Rudd Concession which sought to give exclusive mining rights to the invading British colonial occupation force led by Cecil John Rhodes.
According to historical accounts, King Lobengula, upon realising that he was losing his land in the then Matebele, he decided to send two representatives to meet Queen Victoria with a letter opposing the Rudd Concession.
Ndiweni, who was the guest of honour, said the event was important as it formed part of the Ndebele history.
“King Mzilikazi brought together many nations. In those historical days as it was in Europe, so it was on the African continent, it was a challenge among all of us. So by the time he arrived at Ntabazinduna, it was a highly built nation, which consisted of people of different languages,” he said.
“Your takeaway today, is the knowledge that you are a rich people, you are people that have been endowed and blessed so much, you should be able to hold your heads up high, knowing yourself, not being forced to look down when you speak to the nations.”
Ndiweni applauded ZimRoots for ensuring that Ndebele history was kept alive for posterity, to enable the young generation to understand how far their people have come.
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Delegates at the commemoration were also treated to a film produced in collaboration with ZimRoots, titled The Chameleon and the Fly.