A Question for a King

A Question for a King
Published: 08 March 2018 | by Ray M Tshuma

Quick Question? How many kings have graced the people of Mthwakazi?

 

One, one and a half, two?

 

Come on, we are better than that, I hear two, another two and half, right? Prince Nkulumane counts as half? Nah! Five.

 

Five? You’re crazy.

 

No and yes. Yes to the five and no, I am not crazy, maybe; But if you’re willing to play the game of dropping fingers as we count names, I will take you to five without bringing my sanity to the question.

 

The first is King Mzilikazi, whose disappearance allowed prince Nkulumane to play King for a short tenure before handing the ropes back to King Mzilikazi who was succeeded, after great debate by his other son king Lobhengula whose reign was cut short by Jameson and his thugs. Within the birth of the legend that was his disappearance, depending on your source, one of his sons was coroneted the next king but their kingship was more of a sinecure which was followed by a century old hiatus by the monarchy only for it to be revived last year in September by King Mziliakzi II.

 

See, simples, five. I hear you, I hear you, naming people whose rule never had an effect on the people of Mthwakazi is a kind of a stretch, yet that kingship leaves us adding more names than those we remove.

 

Follow me, the prerequisite that allows uMthwakazi kingdom to double as a nation is the fact that it is a conglomerate built up of numerous people’s whose identity was not melted into the nation, but instead added and multiplied to create something extra ordinary.

 

A look at the Nguni and the Sotho bring this light, both groups brought with them elements of their Kings, and Queens ideologies into the nation leaving the likes of King Zwide and Queen Matatisi with a claim to have influenced the lives of Mthwakazi enough to be considered one of their rulers.

 

See, that’s a stretch, but to bring the idea of Kings, ideologies and their impact on the people, I will borrow from the three whose effects are seen in their own nation and echoed throughout Mthwakazi ideology.

 

Starting off with King Mzilikazi the nation builder, we live through his greatest achievement. Ask any activist, true at heart Mthwakazi politician or any man looking to turn the fortunes of his community for the better and you will see how they follow his path of bringing in those others consider beneath them or food of survival.  Instead of following the norm, these men, like the King of old forge a new beneficial path in a way that reminisces of negotiating with destiny.

 

Next up is King Mashweshwe the sanity within the madness that was Mfecane. Historically, he is one of the few figures to suffer two crushing defeats and still stand tall at the end of the war as the victor.  What was his weapon you ask, integrity infused in all of his actions which forced King Mzilikazi to call back his armies at the brink of victory as such an honourable man was worth keeping around.

 

Lastly we have the legend that is King Shaka, there is no need to waste ink on words which will not do his legacy any justice.

 

So why bother with the historical lessons?

 

Look at the Zulu today and align their identity with Shaka, and I bet you’ll struggle to find any divergence from the pair apart from the stratospherically high levels he lived those ideals. The name Shaka infused fear, envy, and a sense of a heavenly being on earth, a whisper in the dark in Xhosa can be ignored, the same whisper with a hint of Zulu brings men to their knees, it has numerous tribes learning and playing at their language and culture and any man who has come face to face with Zulu church of Shembe knows how heavenly Zulu’s view themselves as.

 

The Sotho, they’re a carbon copy of King Mashweshwe. Whilst strength and spiritual rites make the Zulu feel special, the Sotho hold on to integrity. Wars are not strange to their identity, but it is their ability to stand tall and proud through it all which echoes the ideology that made Mashweshwe a legend and guaranteed Lesotho protectorate status whilst the rest of South Africa was colonised.

 

And for King Mzilikazi, I touched on facets of his people living his nation building ideals, with the likes of MRP playing testament to his warrior status by their by any means stance in the fight against Zimbabwe but as a whole, unlike our sister nations, King Mzilikazi ideals appear faint in the ordinary Bathwa.

 

Taking me back to the idea of Kings and ideology. We are look at the Sotho and the Zulu, despite having less than capable leaders within the last century, they had a head who aspired to emulate the founder of their ideology and like a gentle reminder, they kept the people thinking of the times when they moved in the shadows of freemen and reminded them of their inert greatness.

 

Yet with us, we went through a time where the idea of King was as farfetched as liberty under Zimbabwean occupation and like all lost children, we picked up the dirty habits of those who never had spine of a strong father figure and lost our way.

 

But don’t cry, not yet, as the crown of Mthwakazi levitates a few inches above three heads, playing musical chairs as it teases us to land on either of them.

 

Yet, I caution we refuse to leave this choice to one particular family, to a government seeking to subdue us, or chance, as we have seen the impact of ruler’s ideology on the people, or the lack of.

 

And hence, I invite us to look at Prince Zwide, Prince Bulelani, and King Mzilikazi II not through who their father’s father was, but on what ideology they wish to bestow on our nation and how that compares to the future we want to craft for our children’s children.

 

Prince Zwide has thus far shown a clear lack of respect for any process that does not crown him, like King Dingane, his actions are more likely to strip away the last virtues of Mzilikazi’s ideology and I am not going waste words on him.

 

Prince Bulelani is more of a blank page, from the little he has offered Mthwakazi, he seems more King Mpande than his forbearer, his willingness to bow to wishes of the Zimbabwean government paints a portrait of a king willing to take whatever deal on the table, his silence on Mthwakazi’s cries against marginalisation and brutal genocide on the cultural and physical side leaves us in a more placid state than we can afford to be if we wish to make it another 30 years as a nation.

 

Then we have King Mzilikazi II, and I use the term King not because I support him above the rest but because he was coroneted as King despite the Zimbabwean government’s best efforts to thwart it. His ideology has seen his navigate the land, through donations and sweat, looking to unite all the people under his banner by listening to their needs, fighting their battles and setting up plans not just for Mthwakazi’s independence but the independence of every man from a superiority mind-set within his borders.   

 

I am not saying Ralph should be King because his great grandfather came from King Mzilikazi’s balls; I am saying his case and that of the other two should be addressed in the terms of what ideology do they bring to the table, what ripples will coronation have on us as a nation, and by God, I am instructing you to let the world know the King is a servant for the people, and Mthwakazi chooses the men who serve it, not the other way round.

 

Ngiyabonga.

 

 


- uMR

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