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There have always been questions surrounding the truthfulness of the story about Malandela’s sons.

Many have called it a myth while some still vow it is a true story that bears evidence of the origins of Nguni people.

Still on a quest to probe issues around Nguni identity, I wanted to find out more about the ancient story of Malandela’s sons, Qwabe and Zulu, from the perspective of some of the members of Ubumbano lwama Qwabe.

My intention was twofold: to follow the work done by the organisation and to collect as much information as I would need to put together my new stage production, ‘u Zulu no Qwabe’.

I asked several people about their knowledge of the dispute between Qwabe and Zulu: the Mayor of Mzumbe, Mr Israel Gumede of Umthwalume who is the Chairperson of Ubumbano; I. Gumede of Mthandeni as well as Chief Makhosini Wellington Qwabe of Mthandeni.

The following is what was common from their responses.

History identifies Nguni people as having originated in the North of Africa.

They then later descended from the North down the navel of the continent to find better pastures in the southern part of Africa. He had married Nozidiya (otherwise known as Nozinja) who gave birth to all-male offspring. When Malandela passed on, Nozidiya took charge of the family. She made reed mats and bartered them in exchange for stock, which led to her ownership of a rare breed of pure white Nguni cows.

One day Qwabe came home, after he had departed following a family dispute, to a cattle enclosure full of Nozidiya’s special cows.

On Qwabe’s enquiring to whom they belonged, she stated that they belonged to his younger brother Zulu.

He argued against this as he believed that as the heir he was entitled to all the inheritance.

That then sparked a dispute between Qwabe and Zulu with Nozidiya on Zulu’s side.