HomeLocal NewsKing Mzilikazi grave neglected

King Mzilikazi grave neglected


Ndebele prince, Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo, yesterday said the grave of founding Ndebele King, Mzilikazi Khumalo, was now in a sorry state after years of neglect.

Khumalo urged Ndebele descendants to take interest in their history and culture and stop entrusting the preservation of their identity to other people.

King Mzilikazi died in September 1868 and was buried at Entumbane in the Matobo Hills, about 20 kilometres outside the present-day City of Bulawayo.

“The grave is the responsibility of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. The Khumalo family is only responsible for overseeing the cultural issues around the monument,” said Khumalo. “But some few years back, we did, as a family, initiate an idea that a wall be put around the grave to deter easy access to the grave site.

“It is high time people got involved in their own history and in redefining their own identity even in the face of so many pressures that might be intended to wipe that history away.”

People in Matabeleland have on several occasions raised concern over the poor state of the grave of the Ndebele founding father, which they said no longer compared with that of the late architect of Southern Africa’s colonialism, Cecil John Rhodes.

Prince Khumalo blamed the colonial and the post-independence governments for propping up Rhodes’ grave and downplaying the importance of that of Mzilikazi.

“The whites did this nation a disservice in that they emphasised the importance of Rhodes instead of both Rhodes and Mzilikazi. Our current government has also given importance to the grave of Rhodes instead of Khumalo, the nation builder who deserves better recognition,” he said.

Khumalo said the royal Khumalo family was prepared to work with all people to look after the Ndebele royal monuments.

“Those who believe they have ideas on how to take better care of these monuments can approach me. They can ask me to talk to the Khumalo elders and convene a meeting so that we see how we take this forward,” he said.

Contacted for comment, acting deputy executive director at the Natural History Museum in Bulawayo, Darlington Munyikwa, said the department maintained the grave according to the Khumalo traditions.

“The grave belongs to the Khumalos,” Munyikwa said.

“It is kept in its natural state. We are enforcing what the Khumalos instruct us to do. It must be kept in its natural state. The issue of grass cutting is a taboo. But if you want more information contact the Khumalos,” he said.

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