Pondo people

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Imfene: Mpondo Dance Festival, Kennedy Road Shack Settlement, Durban, December 2008
The Mpondo people
Person iMpondo
People amaMpondo
Language isiMpondo/isiXhosa
Country Mpondoland, South Africa

AmaMpondo or Mpondo people are an ethnic group whose homeland is in the modern-day Eastern Cape province of South Africa. AmaMpondo are descendants of Mpondo, the grandson of Sibiside who is widely accepted as last prominent leader of the once-powerful Mbo nation (AbaMbo or MaMbo). AmaMpondo speak an ancient mixture of the Mbo languages including isiSwati and the language today known as isiZulu, however since isiXhosa was introduced in schools around Mpondoland and as such a large portion of Mpondo people speak fluent isiXhosa and constantly identify themselves as Xhosa speakers. It is also very common for people to incorrectly refer to amaMpondo as a Xhosa subgroup, a mistake that is now even repeated by modern Mpondo people as well.

Their territory was annexed peacefully to the Cape Colony in 1884: missionary work had already begun in 1873 on the initiative of Henry Callaway, Bishop of St John's kaffraria.[1]

The Mpondo Revolt (1960–1962) was the result of the resistance of the Mpondo people against the implementation of the Bantu Authorities Act, part of the Apartheid legislation. Under the Apartheid ideology, separate development of the various ethnic groups of South Africa was proposed and part of that was to segregate black Africans into 'homelands' that were granted independence from South Africa.

Transkei was the homeland that incorporated all of Mpondoland and its people, in addition to other Xhosa tribes such as the Gcaleka, in what used to be the eastern reaches of the then Cape Province. The Pondoland is divided into Eastern and Western groups with different but almost similar languages.The Eastern part being more Zulu influenced while the western is more Xhosa influenced. Eastern part is formed by the following towns -Bizana, Flagstaff, Ntabankulu, lusikisiki and Port st Johns. This is sometimes called Qawukeni and the kingdom is in Lusikisiki. The western part is called Nyandeni with its own kingdom and is formed by Libode and Ngqeleni. Common clans are Ngcwangula, Cabe, Gqwaru, Gangatha, Ngcoya, Bhele, Thunzi, Mthimkhulu, Ngcikwa,Dlamini, Thawuzela, khanyayo, khwalo and Khwetshube. Famous people in Pondoland are Mr Dubedube, Happy Bongoza, Thembile Zintonga, and Mr Mralatya. Stella Sigcawu was a member of parliament in the new South Africa.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Church and People: newspaper for the Diocese of St John's; July 1962. No. 7