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Mzila kaSoshangane or Muzila was the son of Soshangane kaZwide, the founder of the Gaza empire, which at the height of its power stretched from southern Mozambique to the Limpopo River. He defeated his brother Mawewe kaSoshangane in 1861 with the help of Boer mercenaries to ascend to the Gazan throne which he ruled from 1861 to 1885. He was father of Ndungazwe who was deposed by the invading Portuguese Empire.

He ruled Gazaland which was named after his great-grandfather Gasa. During his reign he ruled with strict military strategies pioneered by Shaka. He was married to 3 wives, MaNdiweni as the first wife mother of Mdungazwe "Ngungunyane" who was also from royal house, one of the wives was from the Skosana family and unfortunately she never had any children with king Mzila and that prompted her to be less respected in the family. Lastly the third wife was from the Northern Chief (Mambo) in present-day Zimbabwe whom he married to secure alliance with Mambo which later became helpful as the king fled North when fighting the Portuguese, where he later died in the[clarification needed] and was buried in Msapa. To date the tomb of the Mzila is not located, when in the North he sought refuge under his father-in-law Mambo and change his surname to Mlilo for safety reasons and disguise, all his children born in the North adopted the Mlilo surname.

Mzila's daughter Xwalile married Lobengula, king of the Ndebele people, along with seven other Gaza royal women in 1879.[1]


  1. ^ Kathleen E. Sheldon (2005). Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5331-7.