Gwali (kaTshiwo), usurper King of the Xhosa, amaGwali Chief (deceased) MP

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Managed by: Sharon Doubell
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About Gwali (kaTshiwo), usurper King of the Xhosa, amaGwali Chief

Tshiwo had three sons

  • Phalo the Paramount, followed by
  • Gwali founder of the amaGwali and
  • Thiso.

Phalo was the second son of Tshiwo but his older brother Gwali was from a junior wife and Phalo was in line for the throne. Tshiwo died the same year of Phalo’s birth so his uncle Mdange took over the reigns as regent. Gwali joined forces with Ntinde, chief of the AmaNtinde clan, to overthrow Phalo but was not successful. Phalo had troubles he was married to two women of similar rank and none of their fathers wanted their daughter to be a subordinate wife. To fix this problem an elder from the Jwara clan advised that the Oldest of the girls would be in the Great house and the youngest would be inducted into the Right Hand House. This meant that sons born to these women had the right to be Kings. The Great house though would have to be differed to and the right-hand house son would then migrate to form his own kingdom. This afforded greater expansion to the Xhosa and was followed by all kings who followed. http://amaxhosa.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/umzi-kaphalo-house-of-phalo/

Oral tradition tells that the mother of Phalo gave birth to a posthumous son of Tshiwo, who was hidden by his uncle Mdange until his maturity. He took over the Xhosa Kingship after a battle with his older half-brother, Gwali.Peires, JB: ‘The House of Phalo’. 1981, Raven Press, Johannesburg, SA

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