Inyati

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Inyathi is a village in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe and is located about 60 km north-east of Bulawayo in the Inyathi communal land. The village grew up around the Inyati mission, which established in 1859 by on land given to Robert Moffat and William Sykes of the London Missionary Society by the Ndebele king, Mzilikazi. The name means "the place of the buffaloes". Inyathi High School is located in the village.

History[edit]

Inyati was established as a mission station at the behest of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in December 1859 by Robert Moffat after successfully leading a column of ox-drawn carts from Kuruman in Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana), reaching the kraal (and probably the headquarters) of Matebele king Mzilikazi at Emhlangeni in western Zimbabwe, in October, 1859. Moffat was accompanied by, amongst others, William Sykes and Thomas Morgan Thomas. Why the LMS wished to establish its activities in this part of Africa is unclear. However, it is unlikely to be a coincidence that King Mzilikazi, whom Moffat had befriended whilst in Kuruman, had moved the Matebele nation here in an effort to avoid Trekboers with whom he had unsuccessful clashes in the Transvaal. King Mzilikazi consented to Moffat and the LMS entering his kingdom on the condition they did not engage in religious activities. He had hoped to use them as agents for trade with white traders from South Africa. The LMS established its mission station at Inyathi, a stone’s throw away from Mhlangeni in order that King Mzilikazi could keep a close eye on their activities.

Inyati Mission evolved from a modest site consisting of a church of red bricks, built by Moffat, which still stands to this day. It appears from the literature that Moffat left Inyati mission station after June 1860 with the necessary buildings sufficiently established. Its evolution to the modern day complex set on 3,240 hectares (8,000 acres) of farmland must be credited to the various generations of LMS missionaries that took turns to guide this establishment.

Coordinates: 19°41′S 28°51′E / 19.683°S 28.850°E / -19.683; 28.850