Makololo tribe

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The Makololo (Kololo) are a Sotho people of Southern Africa, closely related to the other Basotho, from which they separated themselves[clarification needed] in the early 19th century. Originally residing in what is now South Africa just south of Lesotho, they were displaced by the Zulu expansion under Shaka and in 1823 started a migration north through Botswana to Barotseland.[1]

In what is now southern Botswana they defeated a number of societies before suffering a catastrophic defeat to the Bangwaketse at Dithubaruba in 1826.[2] After losing all their cattle they moved north east and raided again, but subsequent defeats led them north to Okavango Delta where they again suffered major losses but were able to defeat the Batawana people in 1835. This victory enabled them to replenish their population and cattle holdings, although they moved north after several years.[3]

In 1845 they conquered the Luyi people of Barotseland, and after ruling for about 30 years they were overthrown in a revolution, and while some survivors (women and children) stayed,[4] others migrated east towards Malawi.[citation needed]

They appear to be named after Kololo, the wife of their first chief, Sebitwane. Another theory is that it is a Luyana word meaning "bald" referring to their conqueror's hairstyles.


  1. ^ Phiri, Bizeck J. (2005). "Lozi Kingdom and the Kololo". In Shillington, Kevin. Encyclopedia of African History, Volume II, H-O. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn (Routledge). pp. 851-852. ISBN 978-1-57958-454-2. 
  2. ^ J. Ramsay, B. Morton, and T. Mgadla, Building a Nation: A History of Botswana from 1800 to 1910. Gaborone: Longmans, 1996, 66-8.
  3. ^ Moanaphuti Segolodi, "Ditso Tsa Batawana," 1940.
  4. ^ Gann, Lewis H.; Duignan, Peter (1999). Africa and the world: An introduction to the history of sub-Saharan Africa from antiquity to 1840. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America. p. 413-414. ISBN 0-7618-1520-1.