Of My Ancestry And The Heritage In My Roots

Avuxesheni avuxeni (hello hello)

I believe Africa is rich with creativity, legends and history deep like the roots of a giant tree.
Come sit with me by the fire, where every good story begins, and because we should not waste such a beautiful flame,  come sit with me and lets watch this clay pot of water boil.

clay-pot-cooking
They say a watched pot never boils so while we wait for it to boil I will tell you the little that I know about my culture.

I am Machangana or Shangaan, a tribe of the Tsonga people. The origins of these my people is steeped in controversy. People use the term Tsonga interchangeably with Shangaan and to further muddy the waters the same language XiTsonga is spoken but it never quite means the same things.

Before the were Shangaan people the were Tsonga people, who hailed from East Africa part of the Bantu groups of the Ronga, Tswa and Ndau who slowly migrated south of the continent, in search of greener pastures, literally, for their livestock, they were pastoral people.

In the  1800s the Tsonga, settled South of Africa until along came the Mfecane (time of trouble/ forced migration) as Shaka The Zulu consolidated all the other tribes into the Zulu Empire, resulting in tribes migrating to settle in new areas.

Mfecana

Soshangane an army general “fled” north crossing the Zambezi into Rozvi territory (what is now Zimbabwe) with some of “his people” finally ending up in Mozambique.
The name Shangaan is derived from the name of Soshangane. Somewhere along all that, we came to be here.

tsonga

Here is a photo of my grandfather and I. He taught me some of what I know about who I am, where I come from, how I have my totem which is Fire, and the praise song for my people. I am from a long line of royalty House: VaHlengwe

generationUya chisa mlilo
Hikisile chauke
Chakungedzele ribweni
Loki uchiona chiehixele
chifile katika
Chihanya hlungwani angahlinga
Aukhosi wahina u’nzilo
Hi mina Beaton
WaGilbert
WaTsamwisi
WaMzamani
WaNdalega
waNgwena
WaMatsena
Wa Bhangwani
wakanga nzela ribwe.
Xikovele xigombeeeeeeeeee
I imagine people dancing around a huge fire as they say that.

Shangaan village

I am not entirely sure of the spellings or what that all means I know its something about an ode to Fire (my totem)

Who are you and where you come from? We are all migrants we started of somewhere and here we and here we are.

In the spirit of UBuntu I am because you are…

~B

Day 22 Africa: Stories From Home

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