Joyi aNgubengcuka, Regent of the abaThembu

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Joyi aNgubengcuka, Regent of the abaThembu's Geni Profile

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About Joyi aNgubengcuka, Regent of the abaThembu

The Ancestry of the abaThembu Kings

During the 16th century Nxeko led his people from Dedesi to the Msana river (where he lies buried), a tributary of the Mbashe River in Mthatha district. At Msana, his Great Place, Nxeko accommodated, merged and assimilated various fragments from communities such as amaBomvana, amaVundle, amaMpondomise and amaMfengu to build his kingship. Although some of the communities had their own recognised traditional leaders, they acknowledged Nxeko as their principal traditional leader and shared abaThembu custom and culture. Nxeko can thus be regarded as the first king of abaThembu.

Nxeko fathered amongst others, two sons, Hlanga from the Great House and Dlomo from the right hand house. Nxeko died and was buried at Msana, in the district of Mthatha. After the death of Nxeko a succession struggle ensued between Hlanga and Dlomo which led to a battle at Msana. Hlanga, the heir apparent, was defeated by Dlomo and the traditional leadership shifted to the lineage of Dlomo. Hlanga left to establish his own separate community which was subordinate to the community led by Dlomo of the abaThembu kingship.

Dlomo was the father of Hala, ancestor of all later Kings. Hala was succeeded by Madiba, Tato, Zondwa, Ndaba and Ngubengcuka - also known as Vusani.

Ngubengcuka ruled from 1800 to 1830. He fathered Mtirara. At his death, Mtirara, his successor, was still a minor and Joyi became regent. Ngubengcuka consolidated abaThembu kingship. He merged with abaThembu fugitives from the wars of turmoil such as amaHlubi, amaTshangase, imiZizi and amaBhele. He successfully defended the kingship against amaQwathi, amaNgwane and amaVundle. Ngubengcuka established a unified Thembuland which stretched from Mthatha to the present day Queenstown. In 1827, during the reign of Ngubengcuka , Matiwane, a Ngwane chief, invaded abaThembu. This was to have a profound impact on the unity of Abathembu, as it forced minor communities like amaTshatshu and others to trek to Queenstown. Matiwane and his followers were defeated by abaThembu with the assistance of the British and amaGcaleka.

When Mtirara came of age he took his rightful place as king of abaThembu. Mtirara fathered three sons: Ngangelizwe, from the Great House, Matanzima from the right hand house and Mfanta from a minor house. Ngangelizwe, was succeeded by Dalindyebo, Jongilizwe (Sampu), Jonguhlanga Sabata, and Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo respectively. Jonguhlanga Sabata was appointed paramount chief of abaThembu as a whole, including Emigrant Thembuland and Bomvanaland with effect from 1 July 1954.

abaThembu Descent line

Possible YDNA Haplogroup E1b1a (aka E-M2)

  • Zondwa (d c1756) and Dlawu
  • Ndaba (d c1800) Ntlazi ; Xuluma ; Bawana and Bhejula
  • Ngubengcuka Vusani (c1790 -1830); Fadana, Regent; Jumba; Nkosiyane; Mni; Mphasa and Nene
  • Mtikrakra (1819 - 1839) Great House Son, King of the abaThembu; Simakade; Mandela Left Hand House Son, Chief of Mveso; Joyi, Regent; Ngonyama; Mgudlwa; Viva; Mqanqeni; Gungubele; Qhwesha; Nohuthe; Ncapayi; & Shweni
  • Ngangelizwe Qeya (c1846 - 1884), King of the abaThembu; Matanzima Raxoti Right Hand House Son; Mbambonduna; Sigunagathi & Mfanta
  • Dalindyebo Alava, (1865-1920) King of the abaThembu; Namnawe; Mrazuli; Landile; Silimela, Regent; Ndumiso, Chief at Mpeko, Umtata; Twatikhulu & Mpondlombini
  • Jongilizwe Sampu, (1902 - 1928) King of the abaThembu; Jongintaba David, Regent; Melingqili; Mpondombini; Melithafa & Norrie
  • Sabata Jonguhlanga Dalindyebo (1928 - 1986), King of the abaThembu; Melithafa; Bambilanga Albert Mtirara Dalindyebo & Nxeko
  • Jongisizwe, Buyelekhaya Zwelinbanzi (1964- ), King of the abaThembu, Ndileka & Baka

-Njanye and Bhomoyi's dates taken from: Sihele, E G. (Councillor of the Thembu King of Roda). ‘Who Are The Abathembu; Where Do They Come From?’ Handtyped Manuscript c1933

- The dispute over Kingship between the Matanzima and Dalindyebo descendants was resolved in favour of Dalindyebo ).

See abaThembu Descent Line Project for references and previous generations.


Joyi as Regent

"Sihele tells us that when Mtirara felt his end approaching, he warned his people to return to the Mbashe so as to avoid further trouble with the Whites. 72 The Great House under his brother, Joyi, heeded this advice, taking with them the child-heir, Qeya. Most members of the Right Hand House remained behind. Mtirara died in 1848.

...After the death of Mtirara a ruler was desperately needed to control the large number of Thembu on the frontier, and Joyi had no intention of leaving his Mbashe abode. No better person could be found t han Nonesi.

…Given the Thembu concept of one nation under the paramountcy of Joyi, it is understandable that they would not unanimously and willingly have accepted the diversion of the monarchy.

…The Mbashe Thembu found themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Hitherto they had experienced none of the socio-political changes that had had such a disruptive effect upon the Kaffrarian tribes. Participation in a destructive movement would have had little meaning. 33 On the other hand overt neutrality could have been risky in the extreme. Rumours were rife that Sarhili had been trying, either by persuasion or by threats, to win the Thembu over to his side. In 1856 a certain Fabu - a rather shadowy figure, though described in official sources as an influential chief - returned to Thembuland after having visited Gcalekaland allegedly on the invitation of Sarhili who promised to show him the people who had arisen from the dead. He brought with hima message from the Paramount which promised victory over the "white things" (the English) as soon as all cattle were slaughtered, and called for the peaceful unification of all the black tribes. 34 From other sources came news of an alliance between Sarhili and the mighty Moshoeshoe, hitherto the only black chief who had succeeded in defeating a British army.35 Joyi certainly realized that should the rumoured war on the Colony take place with the Gcaleka and the Sotho nlJ/o,"Ic.f! in a}t9nment, it would be necessary for the Thembu to redefine their allegiances. He therefore sent conciliatory messages to Gcalekaland. Sarhili's reply was that the river was not broad, it might be crossed without difficulty. At the same time he warned that the Thembu would not escape the general destruction if they disobeyed the proPhet. 36 But in the end these ventures made little headway. It could be that Joyi was not interested in promoting what seemed to be a Gcaleka scheme in which the Thembu were likely to be an inferior partner. Tradition has it that Joyi informed Sarhili that he would take part in the movement provided a prophet from among his own people would tell him to do so. Joyi may also have considered the possibility that the Sotho-Gcaleka alliance might fail, the white man might emerge victorious and the Thembu, through their participation might then have lost a valuable ally. Furthermore, should they refrain from killing their cattle, and the movement did fail, they would have a great advantage over the impoverished tribes. Whatever the reason for his non-participation, Joyi was one of the chiefs who succeeded in restraining his people from taking the road to self-destruction.

In the Location, conditions were less favourable . By the beginning of1857 Nonesi had to admit that she could no longer restrain her people from yielding to external pressures. While Warner adhered to the opinion that, being a woman, she was regarded by her people as a mere cipher,37 she blamed all the trouble on the weak administrative system, which forced her to cajole her people at a time when swift and effective action was necessary. In the end both Nonesi and Warner had to admit having lost control over the Location, and they realized that it was only by recognizing the authority of the Mbashe regent that trouble could be averted. As nothing came of the intended reconciliation between Joyi and Sarhili, the way was clear for Nonesi to invite Joyi to the Location. His visit showed that despite all their divisions, the Thembu were still united in their loyalty to a monarchy in which undisputed authority was vested. A favourable reaction began almost immediately, and by the time the killing of cattle came to an end about 2000 Thembu had lost their lives - a relat ively low figure.


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Joyi aNgubengcuka, Regent of the abaThembu's Timeline