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Kindly allow me space to tell a short history about how the Dvuba people came to live at Mpolonjeni (which is sometimes referred to as iMpolonjeni yaseMbabane).

The Dvuba people of Mpolonjeni are a progeny of Jabhane Dvuba. Jabhane was a descendent of Ngomane, who lived at Komatipoort in South Africa. He was brought to Eswatini as a war captive during King Mswati II’s reign, after the Ngomane people were attacked and killed by the people of King Mswati II. He was brought up from a very young age by Jojo Dvuba, who was King Mswati II’s indvuna at eKufinyeni Royal Kraal. His duty was to milk cows for the royal children. Jabhane then assumed the Dvuba surname. He grew up to be one of the King’s most trustworthy men. His chief wife was LaGamedze.

Later, King Mswati II instructed Jabhane to look for a place in which to graze the Mpolonja cattle. Jabhane went and khontaed for the cattle at Ekupheleni Royal Kraal, under Prince Sobhiyose. Sobhiyose placed them at the place now known as Mpolonjeni, near Mbabane. Issues of the cattle at Mpolonjeni were periodically reported to the Ekupheleni Royal Kraal. At one time it so happened that a certain man called Mamukuyane, a subject of Jabhane, started a fire at Mhobodleni, a place near Mbabane, which burned the Mpolonja cattle. Jabhane quickly sent a delegation led by one Peter to appeal to Sobhiyose on behalf of Mamukuyane for burning the King’s cattle. Jabhane did not stay at Mpolonjeni but went to live in the bushveld (eMpolonjeni lesehlanzeni), where he later built the main royal homestead and established a cattle ranch.

The Dube people at Mpolonjeni had wished Jabhane would appoint his heir as the person in charge while he was away at Ehlanzeni but he refused, instead he appointed his son Zembe from one of his wives (LaTsabedze) to look after the people and cattle ranch. Zembe dealt with all general issues of the cattle and community, however, family disputes were reported to Jabhane’s heir, who in turn reported such issues to the governing Board at Ehlanzeni. Unresolved delicate matters were reported to the King. Other grazing lands for the royal cattle were at places such as, Wolinyana, KaMfanyana, Ludzeludze, etc. All the royal cattle in these grazing lands were looked after by Zembe. It is believed that most of the first cattle at Mpolonjeni died and that these cattle killed human beings by chasing and stabbing them with their horns.

Jabhane acted as a witness in the appointment of Sir Theophilus Shepstone Junior as Secretary of State on behalf of the Swazi Nation at eMbhekelweni on August 4, 1888 and signed another royal document at Zombodze on July 18, 1905. He died and was buried at Ehlanzeni. The Dvuba people have a role to play during the Incwala Ceremony. They lead the ‘Water Party’ (Bemanti), who fetch water from the Komati, Mbuluzi, Crocodile and Sabie rivers, to be used for the rituals. Others are the Mkhatshwas, who fetch sea water from the Indian Ocean.

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