New book retraces the history of BuKalanga

Updated: March 13, 2013

Reprinted from Bulawayo24News

A young Plumtree author, Ndzimu Unami Emmanuel Moyo (born 29 Mar. 1982), has written two books chronicling the history of the BuKalanga people, a tribe existing in many remote parts of Matabeleland.

Emmanuel said one of the books, The Rebirth of BuKalanga, traces the history of BuKalanga, showing that the Kalanga people were responsible for the establishment of the civilisations of Great Zimbabwe, Mapungubgwe, Khami and that they have been settled in this country, Botswana and in the Limpopo Province for about 2 000 years now”.

“This is my first book and I have written four books in total due for release this year,” he said.

“The other ones are Towards the Renaissance of BuKalanga, which is a companion volume to The Rebirth of BuKalanga. The other two are on entrepreneurship.”

Emmanuel said he was inspired to write by the desire to retrace his identity as he was of Kalanga origin.

“The book is essentially all about history and politics that argues that Zimbabwe is not only composed of the Shona and the Ndebele. The people of BuKalanga in Zimbabwe are identified as Shona and sometimes as Ndebele, yet they are not fully accepted in these communities as evidenced by the suppression of their languages and cultures. I then sought to find out where exactly we belong, and what our history is.”

The book available on Kindle as an e-book version and on Amazon.

“A hard copy will follow thereafter. I am self – publishing the book, meaning I have to finance the production process from design to printing, for which I need R64 000 or $8 000 for the printing of the first 5 000 copies. But the plan is that the hard copy will follow within two months of the release of the Kindle edition,” he said.

“Readers in Europe, North America and Australia will be able to purchase the book from Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes amp; Noble and other online bookstores. Those in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa will be able to purchase the book from Kalahari.com and Exclusives online bookstores.”

The Author, Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel Moyo (born 29 Mar. 1982) was born of Kalanga parents in the Zimbabwean City of Bulawayo, and grew up at his grandparents’ rural home in the District of Bulilima-mangwe, Western Zimbabwe (Matabeleland). He attended school from Grade One to Form Four at Tokwana High School, graduating at the top of the Class of 99. Thereafter he worked for two companies in his hometown of Plumtree, and later entered the Theological College of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2008, later dropping out in 2009 to focus on research for his book, The Rebirth of Bukalanga. During that time he also completed a Diploma in Personnel Management with the Institute of People Management of Zimbabwe (IPMZ), graduating with Distinction.

Mr Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel has also worked as a community organizer in Plumtree, serving as Organizer for the Plumtree Business Association (PBA) and Deputy Secretary for the Plumtree Residents and Development Association (PRADA). He has also served as a Union Leader, serving as a Branch Committee Member for the Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union (ZEWU) and Shop Steward at his workstation in Plumtree. A passion for justice, fairness and equality is what drives his work and life.

Briefly, the book asserts the following:

Bukalanga constitute more than 75% of the population of Matabeleland, land they have continuously settled continuously for a period of 2000 years. The assertion that the Ndebele stole land from the Shona is false and baseless. The Shona have never at any point in history settled in Matabeleland.

The Shona have no claim to Matabeleland as claimed by Shona political elites and taught in school. The Shona are no more indigenous to Zimbabgwe than the Ndebele. They settled in Zimbabgwe c.1700, whereas the Ndebele settled in the 1830s. This means the Shona cannot claim to ‘own’ Zimbabwe better than the Ndebele, they are both ‘recent immigrants’.

The people commonly styled “foreign intruders from Zululand” are mainly the Kalanga who constitute more than 75% of the population of the so-called Matabeleland, are the builders of Mapungubgwe, Great Zimbabgwe, Khami, etc. Their settlement in Zimbabgwe predates that of the Shona and Ndebele by over 1500 years. The book argues that it is therefore baseless for the Shona to accuse Bukalanga for having “stolen Shona land, cattle and women” in the 19th century when the Shona found Bukalanga settled in this land already.

The book also argues that much of Shona precolonial history taught in the schools is false and contradicts the earliest sources available, ie.,Portuguese documents dating back to 1506. Shona precolonial history is fiction which was informed by Shona spirit mediums in the 20th century. Extensive evidence is provided in the book in the form of long quotes from the original sources – Portuguese documents, missionary and explorer/hunter records and archaeological works.

After answering the question of what happened to Bukalanga, the book goes on to call for the restoration of all languages in Zimbabgwe, and to that end calls for the establishment of Zimbabgwe (and Botswana) as a Federal State made up of four states – Bukalanga (Matabeleland and parts of Midlands), Karangaland (Masvingo and parts of Midlands), Manicaland and Mashonaland.


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