The mfecane was partly caused by changes in the Nguni groups that resulted in the development of the Zulu nation. Stronger leaders began to. The causes of the mfecane were emerging by the end of the eighteenth century, when population levels increased rapidly, and ecological resources were. Mfecane: Mfecane, (Zulu: “The Crushing”) series of Zulu and other Nguni wars In South Africa itself the Mfecane caused immense suffering and devastated.

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Most states united to form mfecame kingdoms for security purposes e. They oppressed the Tsonga people living there, some of whom fled over the Lebombo Mtecane into the Northern Transvaal. Request a new password via email. Many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka.

Kingdom of Mapungubwe c. Oral history says that after the death of Mvulanethe younger brother of Phungashe, Mvulane’s sons Khoboyela and Ngqengelele escaped being killed by Phungashe over mfecan father Mvulane’s estate and went to live with Senzangakhona and Ngqengelele. Mvulane’s son Ngqengelele became Shaka’s induna and chief advisor. Discover some of the most interesting and trending topics of If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login.

To the east, refugees from the Mfecane were assimilated into the Xhosa -speaking groups in present-day Eastern Cape Provincebecoming the Mfengu. Shaka created an expansive Zulu state that waged war on neighbouring peoples, causing them to be incorporated into the Mfecabe state or to flee as refugees. Preview 2 out of 10 pages. In the Zulu defeated them, and they fled as refugees across the Mzimvubu River,…. Each new text counts as one lot! The strong ones like the Ngwane, Zulu and Mthethwa resorted to engulfing the weak ones which caused wars, displacements etc.


There was abandonment of some traditional practices such as circumcision. First of all, the population explosion in the area of Southern Africa among the Nguni people led to wars that opened the way for the Mfecane.

Causes of the Mfecane

They claim that, “Shaka andDingiswaya went into this war as a solution to get land for settlement of their subjects”. Political history of South Africa. There was massive loss of life and destruction of property i. Off was copied by Dingiswayo in abid to implement the system it caused Mfecane. In the Cape Colony it greatly increased pressures on the eastern frontier as refugees known as Mfengu crowded in on the peoples of the Transkei.

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Sebitwane gathered the Kololo ethnic groups near modern Lesotho and wandered north across what is now Botswanaplundering and killing many of the Tswana people in the way. They warred periodically with the Ndwandwe. As several ethnic groups moved from their homelands to other areas, several territories were left without owners.

This means that some modern day countries in Southern and Central Africa is can trace their roots to the Mfecane. A History of Ngamiland, to People fought one another for meager supplies of grain and cattle, hunted down whatever game they could find, and sought out any remaining water supplies in a desperate attempt to survive.

Causes of the Mfecane – History – Stuvia

In summary, the causes of mfecane are; the need for land, population growth in Natal, the Boer trek, Shaka’s military and expansionist strategy. Normal estimates for the death toll range from 1 million to mvecane million. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. At the same time, however, as a result of the Mfecane, some of the most formidable kingdoms to oppose white penetration were created—the Sotho, Swaziand Ndebeleas well as the Gaza of Mozambique.


Retrieved 12 September Mfecane was a Ngoni word used to describe times of trouble, forced causds of various people from southeastern parts of present South Africa to other parts of south, central and East Africa.

The movement of people caused many tribes to try to dominate those in new territories, leading to widespread warfare; consolidation of other groups, such as the Matebelethe Mfengu and the Makololo ; and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho.

Lack of sufficient land for grazing that generated conflicts among theindigenous tribes such as the Zulu, Xhosa Shona, and Tswana etc. It created way for European penetration i. He reorganised the territory to establish the new Ndebele order. The existence of strong communities along side weak ones.

Mfecane – Wikipedia

Corn produced more food than indigenous grasses on the same land, and thus could sustain a larger population. During this period, the Matebele left a trail of destruction in their wake. The Mfecane can be said to be a single event because all the wars that became the Mfecane and eventually led to the rise of the Zulu state were interconnected.

Earn hundreds of dollars each month by selling your written material to your fellow students. Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources. The single event that made the most profound effect on Central and Southern Africa in the nineteenth century? Portuguese Rule in Central Africa as liberal and oppressive.

Which role does South Africa play in Africa? This greatly expanded the scale of regional warfare. The causes of mfecane were not very clear; however the proposed causes for its occurrence included.