Fundani nicubungule nansi inqolobane yomlando woDlodlo; iqoqwe ngokaNyathi umntwana, uPhathisa.
Mbanjwa ezimagoda ziwathekeleze
Qhube ompofu ongelaqhwala
Iqhwala lakhe lidolo lendololwane
Abadla isicaba sisinye basehlukelelana
Kuphume ikhasi selilinye
The Dlodlos belong to a Nguni ethnic group called amaHlubi. Their better known ancestor was Mthimkhulu - the ruler of amaHlubi. Following Mthimkhulu’s death his son Bhungane took over the leadership of the group.
By the time of Imfecane (Difaqane) Mpangazitha had become the leader of amaHlubi. At the time when nation was turning against nation the Hlubi of Mpangazitha were attacked by the Ngwane of Matiwane Hlongwane.
Mpangazitha and his people struck westwards and crossed the Drakensberg Mountains and in turn attacked the Tlokwa under Mmantatisi.
The Hlubi leader Mpangazitha, still pursued by Matiwane, was killed. Mehlomakhulu became leader of the fugitive group. The people of Mehlomakhulu scattered - with some seeking refuge among the Xhosa where they became known as the Mfengu, the beggars.
Mehlomakhulu, known as Mahlomaholo by the Sotho, led his people away and sought refuge among the Ndebele of King Mzilikazi. The Ndebele were at that time living in settlements straggling the Vaal River and its tributaries.
King Mzilikazi himself was living at a village called eZinyosini. Mehlomakhulu and his brother Sidinani and their people came under Chief Soxokozela. The integration of the Dlodlos was achieved in 1827, the very same year that King Mzilikazi left the Vaal River area (1822-1827) to settle in the Pretoria area (1827-1832).
However, some Dlodlos and their leaders Mehlomakhulu and Sidinani deserted the Ndebele and went back to Zululand. Mehlomakhulu and Sidinani between them left behind six sons who fathered all the Dlodlos in Mthwakazi today.
Apparently the Dlodlo surname is used in Mthwakazi only, but not in South Africa where the Dlodlos go by various surnames such as Mpangazitha, Bhungane, Khali, or Mbanjwa. By the time the Dlodlo were incorporated, the Ndebele state had been in existence for at least five years. Both Nguni and Sotho groups had been incorporated much earlier.
All the same, the Dlodlos came to dominate Ndebele society. Many of them were appointed chiefs ahead of the Sotho and some Nguni people.
Before he became king, Mzilikazi had married a Dlodlo woman, the mother of Mangwana. While the Ndebele were settled in the Aapies River area (Pretoria), some Dlodlos had been appointed chiefs in the Emakhandeni section/division.
A son of Mehlomakhulu, one Dlundluluza was appointed chief of Ensingweni. He was succeeded by his son Mafa, who was killed on the orders of King Nommbengula in 1872. His crime had been that he supported the pro-Nkulumana faction during the 1871-72 civil war in Mthwakazi.
Mafa’s son, Buwehle, sought refuge in Bulilima-Mangwe. Makhulana led the people of Ensingweni. By the time of Imfazo II (1896) Somabhulane Dlodlo had become chief.
The Dlodlos, like the other Emakhandeni people, travelled to Mthwakazi in Gundwane Ndiweni’s party. They set up settlement along the Insiza River.
Layiswayo was appointed chief of Inxa village. He married a Mkhwanazi woman, a daughter of Dliso, the chief of eNtunteni. She bore him three sons: Mgandane, Mtshikitsha, and Ngungu.
Mgandane succeeded his father as chief of Inxa. It was Mgandane who, together with Manyewu Ndiweni, was dispatched by King Nommbengula to investigate the fate of royal herds allegedly confiscated by abeLungu who accused Chief Bere’s people of stealing telegraph wire.
Mgandane’s expedition sparked the 1893 Imfazo I. Mgandane himself was shot dead by Captain Lendy’s men. Oral sources maintain that Mgandane’s head was cut off. His private parts were severed and stuffed into his mouth.
Ngungu was regent for young Mtshikitsha, and later became a member of the native police, amagqokane at Filabusi. He, however, deserted in 1896 (during Imfazo II) and joined his fellow Emakhandeni people who were fighting the white invaders.
The most senior Dlodlo village was led by Linganisa, a son of Mehlomakhulu. Linganisa married several wives, five of them Khumalos, and one MaThebe.
His son by MaKhumalo, one Damasane, was the heir- apparent. Then he married a MaKhumalo who was senior to Damasane’s mother. The sons of this new Khumalo wife were Msindazi and Hole.
Just when it was thought Msindazi would be the heir Linganisa married King Mzilikazi’s daughter Bhitshi, who bore him a son, Manqila. The latter became the heir to the chieftainship.
Manqila died at the battle of Gadade on 1 November 1893. His son Vungindaba was still a minor and Msindazi became regent and was succeeded by Mdala, his son.
The early 50's witnessed the eviction of eMakhandeni people. Mdala refused to go. His son Siphoso and his people moved to Tsholotsho in 1954. Siphoso was succeeded in 1988 by Godfrey Mbulawa.
The story of the Dlodlos would not be complete without mention of Queen Lozigeyi, King Nommbengula’s favourite wife. Her father was Ngogo of Enqameni. She, however, did not conceive, so the Dlodlos sent Mamfimfi, a daughter of Mletshe, to raise seed for Lozigeyi. Her daughter was Princess Sidambe who got married to Siyatsha Fuyane, a son of Mantilingwane kaMnengeza.
At the time of the demise of the Ndebele state, Lozigeyi lived at the Queen’s kraal, kwaNkosikazi in Bubi district. She was a hot-tempered woman who was quick to use a sjambok. She died of influenza in 1919.