Historical Research Rural Development

Historical Research

Love for Arts, Culture, History, Heritage, National Identity, Social Cohesion, Patriotism, Research and more. These are the key pillars that drive us daily. To read about Africa and its dark, bright, hidden, distorted history. Too much still remains the same. Our driving force is the desire to contribute to knowledge preservation and most important to document our own lives, norms, values, stories and more – for the benefit of posterity.

THE TITLE is: AmaZizi, the Dlamini People of Southern Africa.

The Dlamini people are a stock race that, during the 19th century,   widened in the then largely inhibited Southern Africa. They can now be  found, concentrated in Swaziland, in the Eastern Cape, in KwaZulu   Natal and in many other parts of the country including traditional   communities where some, even though they are still holding on to their  traditional leadership positions, have had to pay allegiance to  other  traditional leaders of a status that was made superior by  colonial  system of administration.

The manuscript then traces the history of these people from the   origins of the Nguni people of Southern Africa, the Tana Basin further  up in Africa some 1000 plus years ago. Archives and knowledge   preserved through our indigenous knowledge preservation methods have   played a very big role in this script. From archival material I can   count writers like RT Kawa, AT Bryant and JH Soga.


Firstly, I would like to start by congratulating you on the   achievement you have made by eventually writing this book. I am aware   that it's been a long journey. From reading the text it's clear that  this is a realisation of your life long dream. Your dream was not only   sharing your history with the rest of the world, but also to  question  the dominant versions of history and to assert the role of  oral  tradition in the writing of our history. You have made the  history of  your people come alive and I am convinced that whoever reads this book will find it enriching and critically engaging. The   style of writing is personal and self-critical. That has made your   version of the history of amaZizi educational, informative, inspiring,  provocative, engaging, challenging and insightful. *Uyibekile induku   ebandla. Ngokubhala nobaba wakho ufezekise isisho sabadala esithi   indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili*.

I believe that this book was not intended as the final authoritative   voice on the story of AmaZizi but meant to stimulate debate about the   histories of the indigenous communities of Southern Africa who,   through a series of events, found themselves constantly on the move   and thus leaving footprints through which we now trace their stories.   Your book is an essential for scholars of African history as it   carefully articulates the invention and re-invention of identities and  interpretations of history. This book is a timely addition to the   growing scholarship that seeks to interrogate the hegemonic views of   history which always foreground the role of the warrior kings without   analysing the context in which they operated. I applaud you for your  courage and determination and your bravery and uncompromising spirit   is clearly woven throughout the book. This book demonstrates that   indeed history is a human construct and our versions of history are   largely shaped by our personal circumstances and contexts. In   presenting a balanced view you also made it clear your choice or   position which is critical in the discipline of historical inquiry.   Like a true historical text your book does not purport to provide answers but gives the reader the opportunity to  partake in the journey of historical research and arrive at own   conclusions. The book takes the debate on objectivity and subjectivity  to another level.

*Ngikwethulela isigqoko. Ukube kusadliwa ngoludlala ngabe ube uyiqhawe  elihlabene okumele lixoshiswe gomhlambi wezinkomo zenyoni  kayiphumuli.  Lezo phela yizinkomo ezimhlophe qwa. Onalezonkomo  kwaZulu wayefana  nomuntu
ovalele igolide esibayeni.*

*By:  Sibongiseni Mkhize, Historian* *and Chief Director ? *Gauteng   Provincial Department of Arts and Culture

MY Background:

I was born into the Pokwana Royal House in the late 1970s, at Ngqutura  some 35 km outside of the small town of Engcobo. My grandfather,   Gwebindlala, was at the lower-end of the conveyer belt of traditional   historic knowledge at home. He was educated by elders, most of whom   were born in mid 1800s and  had been very knowledgeable about our   history, having also fought and traveled by foot from what is now   known as Zululand to Thembuland (Eastern Cape) by foot during the   Mfecane wars. When I was seven my grandfather started to download this  precious knowledge to me. I was fortunate to live with him and many  other elders in the rural eNgcobo for 17 years until he eventually   passed away at age of 92. I then wrote down most of what I could   remember in the seventeen years of historic education and then went to  research in libraries in Pretoria, Cape Town, Grahamstowna and  Mthatha.