Author: Reggie Sipho ka-Isaiah Khumalo, Book: Uphoko, Umqulu 1

The origin of the Cele clan and the Mthethwa Clan has the same source. The origin of the Cele clan stretches from the Northern Ongoye Mountain down to Mhlathuze River till the boundaries of the Dube clan at kwaDlangezwa. The Cele people evacuated the area as a result of their fight with the Qwabe clan at KwaDlangezwa, the Dube clan was attacked by Dingane and gave their area to the Mkhwanazi clan. When they left their place of origin being chased by the Qwabe clan they migrated to the place between Nonoti and Mdloti rivers across Tugela River. They claimed their place will stretch till the banks of the sea.


It is alleged that during the reign of Dingiswayo at KwaMthethwa, Dubandlela was in charge of the Cele clan. It is further alleged that Dubandlela encountered a huge problem by ruling governing till old age. It was difficult for his sons to take over his ruling after the regicide as his father lived long. His son Mdingila and Vico died while their father was still a king. Dubandlela’s grandsons, Mande and Magaye, clashed over a kingship while their grandfather was still ruling. It is said that Dubandlela’s palace was at Groutville.

In the battle of the grandsons Magaye won. Magaye left his grandfather’s palace and moved to the wells of UMhlali and his brother crossed Mvoti River and resided at KwaDukuza (Stanger). Whilst the men relaxed in their homes a messenger came sent by Shaka, he went to Mande first and said that Shaka has sent him to ask food for his regiment because they are full of hunger so they can get enough energy to fight in the war. Mande showed them an old, skinny dog and he said they can take it and eat it.

After talking to Mande they then went to Magaye said the same thing. Magaye told them that he’ll give them all they needed. When Shaka heard what Mande said, he was very angry and furious. Mande and his people evacuated the area immediately and hid in the bushes near the sea with his people and left his livestock with his enemies.

Then Shaka said he must not be followed but he will be punished by not getting food. Then they were full of hunger in the bushes, he then asked his brother to go and beg Shaka for forgiveness. Magaye did that and then Shaka allowed him to come back home.

Whilst they were relaxed in their homes, a messenger came sent by Shaka again to Mande to kill that old, skinny dog. But in fact he was referring to Mande. Mande saw that because when they came he disappeared. Shaka paid his revenge by building his house in Mande’s site and named it KwaDukuza. When Shaka died Dingane took over and he killed all Shaka’s relatives and friends. He also killed Magaye. Dingane migrated to uMKhumbane (next to kwaNobamba) across Tugela River in fact he was returning back where his father lived. After Shakas death and that Dingane has returned to uMkhumbane he thought he was free from enemies; then he returned back to his place then trouble came.

Then came the Qwabe clan led by Nqetho to KwaZulu those were Dinganes enemies because they were Shaka’s friends. Then Nqetho wanted Mande and him to become friends so they can both fight their enemies together. When they were still discussing about the issue someone came and told Mande that Nqetho people came rudely and eat food in the fields without permission. Mande was shocked and angry and that resulted negotiation not being successful between him and Qwabe people. Nqetho was clever enough on that and attacked them first. It is said that at dawn Qwabe people attacked and killed Mande and his son Mangqanga. Cele people were scattered. They ran away led by Xabhashe, Mande’s youngest son.


MORE IN THE BOOK: Author: Reggie Sipho ka-Isaiah Khumalo, Book: Uphoko, Umqulu 1


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Written by :
Martin Cele
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