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This letter is a response to a letter published by the Times of Swaziland (May 14, 2013), written by Ndumiso Mahleka Dlamini.

In his letter, Dlamini acknowledges that he failed to get the full genealogy of “Maseko chiefs”. It is such misinformation that prompted this response, aimed at putting things into perspective for the benefit of the entire Ngcamane Swazi nation.

Firstly, it is impossible to narrate the history of Masekos while excluding the kingship of the Ngcamane Swazi nation; these two are indivisible.
The arrival of King Sobhuza I was not the beginning of Ngcamane Swazi history. In fact, King Sobhuza I was warmly welcomed into a well-established Ngcamane Swazi nation by the then-Ngcamane Swazi King, King Khabangobe Maseko (1740 - 1820), not his son King Mgazi Maseko (who reigned 1790 - 1840).

Later on, King Somhlolo offered his daughter, Lambombotsi, first to King Khabangobe Maseko, but he refused her citing old age and King Somhlolo then offered her to King Mgazi Maseko as a token of appreciation to the Ngcamane Swazi King for offering them refuge, as Mr Dlamini mentioned that they were coming from Kaphungalegazi, pursued by Zwide who was baying for King Sobhuza I’s blood.
The main reason King Somhlolo had offered Lambombotsi for marriage was that he had hoped she would be mother to Mgazi’s heir, and by that he would be able to bind the Maseko (Ngcamane Swazi kings) closely to him.

The Maseko, however, made strenuous efforts to avoid laMbombotsi becoming Mgazi’s main wife. Firstly, her village was built ten miles from Mgazi’s capital and, secondly, laNdzimandze was installed as Mgazi’s main wife. Upon seeing this, King Somhlolo hatched a plan which was to take the Ngcamane regiments unawares; that is, to invite them for hunting at Mawelela Island. It worked and King Mgazi Maseko’s regiments were butchered on Mawelela Island. Though a few soldiers escaped to warn King Mgazi to flee, this was too late to let him get away and he was overtaken and killed at Intsakane Mountain by King Somhlolo, in the year 1840.

The innocent Ngcamane king was not killed in a war situation and that is how the Masekos lost their kingship of the Ngcamane Swazi nation.
The untold part of the Ngcamane Swazi history is as follows:
At the time of his death, King Mgazi Maseko had a son, Prince Sidzinga Maseko. After the death of his father, Sidzinga was sent to the then-Lesotho (Free State) where he lived until his death. A minority of emaNgcamane remained in the piece of Ngcamane land today called Swaziland.

Numerous other emaNgcamane who had accompanied the Prince went in different directions (mostly into Lesotho and the Eastern Cape). Subsequent generations of emaNgcamane, together with generations of Sidzinga, moved into the present-day Lesotho.
It is for this reason that, even today, the true Ngcamane Royal family is still in exile in Lesotho and the Crown Prince is Luhleko Maseko.
 The Maseko Nguni Kingship and its progression through time (by JM Maseko: 2010):

1.    Ndlovu Ntu (800 - 920 AD: The first Nguni King)
2.    Khubonye Ntungwa Ndlovu (920 - 1010)
3.    Maseko Khubonye Ndlovu (1009 -1100)
4.    Mdandulukwane Maseko (1099 -1196)
5.    Sidwabasiluthuli Maseko (1190 -1296)
6.    Mafu Maseko (1200 - 1295)
7.    Ntshangase Maseko (1240 - 1380)
8.    Luhleko Maseko I (1370 -  1480)
9.    Nsele Maseko (1450 - 1536)
10. Ngcamane Maseko I (1530 -1640)
11. Maphanga Maseko (1640 -1760: The father to Gomani I/Ngcamane II who established the Maseko Ngoni in Malawi)
12. Khabangobe Maseko (1740 -1820: Arrival of King Sobhuza I in Swaziland)
13. Mgazi Maseko (1790 - 1840: assassinated by King  Somhlolo in 1840 and was the last authentic Ngcamane Swazi King)        Royal generations who were born in exile (outside Swaziland):
14. Sidzinga Maseko I  (1840 - 1902: first king to be exiled)
15. Msutfu Maseko (1870 - 1960: born in exile)
16. Sidzinga Maseko II  (Dumakude)  (1906 -16.1.1988: born in exile)        
17. Griffiths Maseko (1936 -1991: was in Lesotho)
18. Luhleko Maseko II (born in1969, Lesotho, Crown Prince)

Editor, this is the authentic history of the Masekos and the Ngcamane Swazi nation, from oral sources as well as the following:
1. JM Maseko, ‘Return of the Ngcamane Swazi’,1998.
2. DD Mucina, ‘Revitalizing Memory in Honour of Maseko Ngoni’s Indigenous Bantu Governance’, 2004.
3. JM Maseko, ‘The Mighty Nguni’, 2010.
4. DD Mucina, ‘Ubuntu: A Rege nerative Philosophy for Rup turing Racist Colonial Storiesof Dispossession’, 2011.

Sipho Maseko, on behalf
of the Task Team of
emaNgcamane Swazi 


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