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3 March 2022
A Tribute to Chief Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima
A! NGANGOMHLABA!!

The sudden passing of Chief Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima leaves us with a heavy heart. The Department of African Language Studies mourns with the house of Madima nosapho lonke lakwaMathanzima. We are aware the whole country is saddened by this great loss. We say ‘ isizwe sonke saseMzantsi Afrika sigqejwe nelingatsitywa nayintwala uduma, yaye siyakuxoliswa kukwazi ukuba unkosi uNgangomhlama ushiye umzila obonywa naziimfama’. Nkosi Ngangomhlaba has been a friend of the University of the Western Cape. He has been a familiar figure and key note speaker contributing immensely to the success of our heritage day events. MThembu we will never forget the living heritage the late Nkosi Thambekile and mama Nopalamente Matanzima nesizwe sabaThembu have bequeath to us. For this we will always be grateful!

Without doubt, Chief Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima was one of our great intellectuals, a custodian of our culture, customs, and a great orator. He firmly believed in and loved education. This is not surprising, as he improved himself and attended night schools when he was still working in Cape Town. His astuteness and skill in arguments must have been inherited from his father Nkosi Thambekile. He once said that we have to write so that our heritage can be preserved. Nkosi Ngangomhlaba believed in the decolonization of our education. He welcomed with enthusiasm the collaboration between the faculty of education and African Languages as this would lead to academic transformation and facilitate education within an African culture context.

Nkosi Ngangomhlaba was a custodian of African traditions as he saw this as a means ‘to bring back our dignity’ as he once said we need “ukuphuhliswa kwewonga ukuba singadeleki emva kokonganyelwa ngengcinezelo”. He was a Pan Africanist who believed that ethnicity and tribalism have no role in present South Africa. He once said ethnicity and tribalism is not an issue as we have rights ‘masifunde ukwamkelana hayi ngebala’. He believed in unity amongst the Royals as key to restoring African values. Chief Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima was a fountain of knowledge from which younger generations could quench their thirst on matters of royalty.

Moral regeneration was one of his passions and understanding our culture was key to this. He abhorred corruption amongst leaders and loathed gender-based violence. ‘Siphelelwe bubuntu bethu (isazela) Isazela soze sikuxokise’

To the abaThembu nation, we say thuthuzelekani, akuhlanga lungehliyo, kunje kuzo zonke iintlanga. Your loss is not in vain. Kuf’omnye kakade ze kuphil’omnye. A prophet never dies without finishing his mission. Moses had reinvented himself in Joshua. Nkosi Ngangomhlaba has left many Joshuas to complete the mission. More Ngangomhlabas should emerge. A great yet simple man, you would be overawed and humbled by his humility, a "caring" leader who was down to earth."

As a community, we have lost a friend, colleague, visionary ally, and patriot who loved his country dearly.

Thomas Sankara once said ‘When asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.”

So, more Nangomhlabas will emerge, as he sowed the seed that will germinate and continue to nourish the minds of our nation with great ideas.

Hamba kakuhle ‘Rhamb’elinoboya lika Mtikrakra’

Hamba kakuhle Zondwa, kaTato, kaMadiba, kaHala, kaDlomo, kaNxeko, kaNtande, kaToyi, kaMgutu, kaCeduma, kaBhomoyi, kaThembu.

UGQATSO ULUFEZILE!

Aah! Ngangomhlaba, Phumla ngoxolo MThembu

Ukukhothama ngephanyazo komntwan’egazi uNkosi Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima kusishiya sixhelekile neentliziyo zethu zilihlwili. SiliSebe lezifundo ngeelwimi zase-Afrika sikhala nendlu yakwaMathanzima kwakunye nesizwe sabaThembu siphela. Siyazi ukuba ilizwe lonke lixhelekile kukusithela kwale ngwanyalala kamakhwekhwetha yomntwan’egazi. Kungoko sisithi “isizwe sonke saseMzantsi Afrika sigqejwe nelingatsitywa nayintwala uduma yaye sele siya kuxoliswa kukwazi ukuba uNkosi uNgangomhlama ushiye “umzila obonwa naziimfama”. UNkosi Ngangomhlaba ube engumhlobo omkhulu weDyunivesithi yaseNtshona Kapa. Ube engumntu owaziwayo nobedla ngokuba sisithethi sembeko rhoqo yaye edlala inxaxheba enkulu kwimisebenzi yethu emalunga nenkcubeko kwanezithethe zethu. Asinakuze silibale ngobutyebi benkcubeko namafa uNkosi Thambekile nomama uNopalamente Mathanzima abasishiye nabo ngeli lethu ixesha lokuphila obungu Nkosi uNgangomhlaba, ngoko ke sinombulelo ongazenzisiyo.

Ngaphandle kwamathandabuzo ube eyenye yeengqondi ezinqabileyo kweli xesha siphila kulo. Ube ekholelwa kakhulu kwimfundo, eyithanda ekwayixabise kunene. Kungenxa yeso sizathu ewahlala eqhubeleka nokufunda ingakumbi ngexesha esaxelenga eKapa.  Ubukrelekrele bakhe kwanobuchule besakhono sakhe sokuthetha nokuxoxa kuyacaca ukuba wasincanca kuyise uNkosi uThambekile Mathanzima. Ebenenkolo enkulu yokuba ukuze sikwazi ukubugcina ubuncwane benkcubeko yethu, amagugu kwanamafa kufuneka sibengabantu ababhalayo ngezinto zethu. Kananjalo, umntwan’egazi ube ekholelwa kakhulu kwinkqubo yokupheliswa kwemfundo enembophelelo zobukoloniyali kumaziko-mfundo. Kungenxa yoko wathi wayamkela ngezandla ezifudumeleyo nangothakazelelo intsebenziswano necandelo lezemfundo kwakunye nesebe elingezifudo zase-Afrika.

UNkosi uNgangomhlabe ube engumququzeleli kwanomgcini wamasiko kwanezithethe zama-Afrika, yaye oko ebekuthatha njengendlela echanekileyo yokuzakhela isidima, ukuzazi kwanokuzixabisa komntu. Kungoko wakhe wathi “Ukuphuhliswa kwewonga kukuba singadeleki emva kokonganyelwa nengcinezelo”. Ngenene nangenyaniso eli khwahla belinguM’Afrika woqobo (Pan Africanist) obekholelwa ukuba ukubukulana okanye ukucalucalulana ngokobuhlanga nangokobuzwe akunandawo kuMzantsi Afrika omtsha onamalungelo. Ubehlala ahlale atsho athi “Masifunde ukwamkelana hayi ukuijongana ngebala”. Oku ebekuthetha kuba ekholelwa kumanyano lwabantu ingakubi ebukhosini kuba esithi lumanyano kuphela olunakho ukubuyisa isidima sabantu. Oku kuthi kuqondakale lula xa umntu eyazi kakuhle imbali yobukhosi.

Ukukhuthaza ukululekwa kwezimilo kwanendlela ezizizo zokuziphatha ibiyeyona nto ebeyithanda kunene. Konke oku ebekwenza ngokusebenzisa isixhobo esisulungekileyo esiyinkcubeko. Enye yezinto ebezithiyile ibilurhwaphilizo nobuqhetseba obuqatseleyo kwiinkokheli. Ube ekwayithiyile nento yokuphathwa gadalala kwabantu basetyhini kwakunye nabantwana. Ebesaziwa nangokulwa ubundlobongela ngokwesini (GBV). Ubekhe athethe athi “Siphelelwe bubuntu bethu (isazela), isazela asinakuze simxokise umntu”.

Kuni nonke sizwe sabaThembu sithi thuthuzelekani, silahlekelwe sonke. Kuf’omnye kakade ukuze kuphil’omnye. Umprofethi akabhubhi engalufezanga ugqatso lwakhe. Nkqu noMosisi wabuya wavela ngoYoshuwa. Ngoko ke noNkosi uNgangomhlaba ushiya intlaninge yooYoshuwa ukuze baqhubele phambili bafeze olwabo ugqatso. OoNgangomhlaba abaninzi baza kuvela, abangamadoda amakhulu kodwa athobekileyo anobuntu kwanenkathalo ekwinqanaba eliphezulu.

Ngenene silahlekelwe ngumhlobo, ugxa wethu, imboni ebilixhadi kwanethemba lethu, ithandazwe ebelilithanda ilizwe lalo ngentliziyo yalo yonke. Kaloku umprofethi akashiyi engawugqibanga umsebenzi wakhe. Bekufike ixesha.

Mandiwasonge ngokucaphula uThomas Sankara xa wayephendula umbuzo wokuba kutheni engafuni kuxhonywe imifanekiso yakhe njengezinye iinkokheli. Wayephendula ngelithi “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.” Ngoko ke ooNgangomhlaba abaninzi bazakuvela njengoko yena engogciniweyo ezintlizwiyweni zethu nasezingqondweni zethu.

Hamba kakuhle ‘Rhamb’elinoboya lika Mtikrakra’
Hamba kakuhle Zondwa, kaTato, kaMadiba, kaHala,
kaDlomo, kaNxeko, kaNtande,kaToyi, kaMgutu,
kaCeduma, kaBhomoyi, kaThembu.


Aah! Ngangomhlaba! Aaah! Ngangomhlaba Aah! Ngangomhlaba.

Yours sincerely,

African Language Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities