History of the Tembe Kingdom.

The Tembe people have a unique history and culture that sets them apart from their Zulu, Swazi and Shangaan neighbours. They are said to have established their kingdom in South-East Africa. The founders of the Tembe people migrated from Karanga, what is today known as Zimbabwe, to the areas surrounding Delegoa Bay around 1554.

They gradually established a mighty kingdom, which extended into the Delagoa Bay (Maputo) hinterland. Their kingdom stretched from the Pongola (Maputo) River in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east, and from Delagoa Bay in the north to around the Sodwana Bay area in the south. The kingdom reached its apex in the late 18th century under King Mabhudu III who established a powerful relationship with the Zulu King, Shaka KaSenzangakhona.

Later on, their kingdom splited into two groups. This happened after the death of Silamba. Silamba's oldest son Muhali, who represented the senior branch of the AmaThonga people, settled west of the Maputo River, north of Usuthu and the junior branch under Mangobe, settled off the Maputa River. This junior branch became to be known as Mabhudu or Maputo, which is currently the capital of Mozambique.

In1875, the British and Portuguese Imperialists clashed in the Tembe Kingdom. Mac Mahon, a French President arbitrated by drawing a line unknowingly through the Tembe Kingdom in order to settle a land dispute between the British and the Portuguese.

The Northern part of the kingdom was awarded to the Portuguese and the Southern part to the British. The border did not affect the Tembe people much until the 1980's when the South African Apartheid Government and the then KwaZulu Bantustan under the Leadership of Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi fought over ownership of Ngwavuma. [ Read More ]

Directions/ Map To The Festival

From Durban:

N2: Travel north towards Empangeni; past Mtubatuba and turn right to Hluhluwe. Follow the Mbazwana/ Sodwana route at the circles; proceed with tarred road. Go past the Mseleni hospital turn-off. At the four way circle at Phelandaba area take the route to Kwa-Ngwanase/ Farezela; continue for approximately 22km until you reach Kwa-Ngwanase.

From Johannesburg:

Travel to Bethal; Ermelo; Piet Retief and Pongola. Follow the road to Mkuze for 50km. Then turn left to Jozini. Travel through Jozini Town and take the left turn off to Ingwavuma over the Jozini/ Pongola Poort Dam wall. Travel for approximately 40km; until you reach the T-Junction. Turn right to Kwa-Ngwanase. Follow the road for approximately 40km. At Pelandaba areas at the circle take the route to Kwa-Ngwanase /Farezela; continue for 22km until you reach Kwa-Ngwanase.