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The Ndebele Tribe

The Ndebele Tribe research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

The Ndebele inhabit a region in the northern part of South Africa and the southern part of Zimbabwe. There two distinct groups known as the northern and southern Ndebele. There are significant language and cultural differences between the northern and southern Ndebele groups, although both of the languages are derived from Bantu.

The northern Ndebele live in a region from Wambaths in the south to the Limpopo River in the north in an area between Botswana and the Mozambique border. The southern Ndebele are largely scattered throughout the northern part of South Africa due to former policies of the government regarding the forced relocation of members of the tribe. A large number, however, continue to reside in the northern part of the Transvaal.

The Ndebele Tribe

The topography of the region inhabited by the Ndebele is largely grassland that ranges from semi-arid to moist, depending on the specific geographic location. The western part of the region is more arid and borders the Kalahari Desert. The area is a continuation of the African plateau that extends through the central region of the continent and is bordered on the south by the Drakenburg Range.

The summers tend to be dry in the region, which can sometimes lead to draught. The temperatures in the region are mild, with the environment generally considered sub-tropical. Because the Ndebele are spread over a relatively wide area, the conditions for agriculture vary in accordance with rainfall and soil quality.

The history of the Ndebele can be traced to the sixteenth century migrations of the Nguni people that eventually formed the Zulu empire, with the Ndebele as an offshoot of this migration that settled north of Pretoria. Their earliest settlement that has been identified by archaeologists was at Emhlgani near Randfontein. Their first identified chief was Mfana. The Ndebele developed a culture based on cattle herding and limited agriculture, with the climate in this region able to support both activities.

The divisions in the original Ndebele group that led to the formation of the northern and southern branches of the tribe were the result of a succession struggle between the great-grandsons of Mfana. The grandson of Mfana was Mhlanga, and after his death two of his sons, Manala and Ndzundz sought to become chief. The exact nature of their differences is not known. In the course of this struggle, the tribe divided into two groups, with those under Manala moving north and eastward from the original territory settled by the tribe.

The split between the northern and southern Ndebele was widened in the 1820s as a result of a war with the Zulu. A Zulu general named Mzilikazi objected to the rule of Shaka Zulu and took his impi west in order to escape from Zulu lands. These Zulu overpowered the leaders of the more eastern Ndebele and settled in Ndebele lands.

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