At Inyati, the outlying trading station in the Matabele country, of which Lobengula
(a great and cruel scoundrel) is king, with many regrets we parted from our comfortable wagon.
Into this land marched the Rhodesian Pioneers in 1890 to challenge Lobengula
, King of the Ndebele nation.
1893 and 1896, and how their king, Lobengula
, evaded capture in defeat.
Speid, a resident of Bulawayo--the city that grew to become the colony's industrial hub and its second largest city after Harare (then Salisbury)--captured in her Conservation Song, how European settlement turned Matebeleland's once pristine environment under its Ndebele rulers (Mzilikazi and Lobengula
) into an ecological wasteland:
To me, what makes South Africa different has disturbing echoes of the immortal words of one Ndebele induna in 1868 during the fracas that preceded the installation of King Lobengula
. Francis Thompson, the Yorkshireman used by Cecil Rhodes to trick Lobengula
to hand over his kingdom to the Perfidious Albion in 1888, records in his half-finished book (which his daughter completed and published in 1936; Thompson died in 1927) that the huge disagreement within the Ndebele royal family was about which of two candidates--Lobengula and Nkulumani, both sons of the recently deceased King Mzilikazi--should ascend the throne.
Selous was to arrive in Matabeleland in 1872 as a youth of eighteen, and he secured permission from Mzilikazi's successor Lobengula
, basically to follow in Baldwin's footsteps--from which he would create "Hunter's Road", a wagon track from Bulawayo to the Hartley Hills.
(The fact that it is even more critical of the regime's hegemonic historiography has been conveniently elided.) Nor has the diaspora made much of a contribution except for websites which offer a glorification of Ndebele kingship and call on Britain to renounce the concessions made by Lobengula
so as to 'restore sovereignty'.
The first step north was towards the Zambezi, where in 1888 his representatives obtained mining concessions from the Ndebele king, Lobengula
, in return for 1,000 rifles--mostly surplus Snider-Enfields and later some Martini-Henrys--and a "monthly rent" of [pounds sterling]100.
This is why praise poets in Ndebele disagreed and criticized Lobengula
for his indiscriminate killing of his brothers to secure the throne.
The first volume (published in 1979) described the establishment of a Jesuit house near Gubuluwayo (in what is now Zimbabwe), the capital of Lobengula
, chief of the Ndebele.
His focus, the bee-hive hut, to be installed at Lobengula
's ancient kraal in kwoBulawayo the following year.
In 1888 Lobengula
, the Ndebele ruler of the region that is now Zimbabwe, signed an agreement, granting mineral rights to the British South African Company, which then occupies most of the territory, calling it Rhodesia.