Brief about Maqoma “Aah Jong’umsobomvu!!”

“Without question Maqoma was the most renowned Xhosa chief in South Africa’s 19th-century frontier wars.

Born in 1798, he was the Right Hand Son of Ngqika, King of the Rharhabe division of the Xhosa nation. Implacably opposed to his father’s ceding of the land between the Fish and Keiskamma Rivers to the Cape Colony, Maqoma became committed to regaining his ancestral home. Moving west from Ngqika’s kraals, he slipped back into the so-called Neutral Zone in 1822 to found a new chiefdom on the banks of the Kat River. Despite taking every effort to placate the Whites from his position, Maqoma was hounded continually by colonial raids and expelled from his territory in 1829, the year Ngqika died.

In 1834, faced with increased military pressure from the colony, Maqoma and Tyali (his half-brother) had no alternative but to take up arms in an attempt to prevent further dispossession. Although conquered by colonial invasion in 1835, Maqoma remained the most powerful Rharhabe chief and by 1837 a cost-conscious colonial office had ordered British troops to withdraw from Xhosaland.

A quiet period follows 1840, when Ngqika’s Great Son Sandile’s transition to manhood is fulfilled, symbolising his installation as the Rharhabe ruler. Maqoma re-emerges in 1847 when Sandile surrendered to the imposition of colonial rule over the Rharhabe. British Kaffraria was born. When accommodation and diplomacy failed, resulting in the ‘War of Mlanjeni’ (1850-53), Maqoma used his skills as general and tactician to lead a guerrilla campaign in the forested mountains and valleys of the Waterkloof that frustrated the most skilled British officers. Evidence suggests that Maqoma made covert attempts to undermine the millenarian Cattle-Killing prophecies of 1856-57 – reinterpreted in the light of recent research as a movement of frustrated Xhosa commoners seeking to oust their discredited aristocracy – which finally brought devastation on the nation.

Imprisoned on Robben Island for 12 years, Maqoma was paroled in 1869. When he attempted to resettle on his stolen land, however, he was rebanished to the infamous island prison, where he died under mysterious circumstances in 1873.

And yet his name lives on. Oral traditions and colonial and missionary documents reveal a man of considerable intellect and eloquence, striving to maintain traditional social structures and the power of Xhosa aristocracy in the face of colonial depredations and dispossession. Maqoma is remembered for his extraordinary tenacity, flexibility and political and martial skills, who tragically became the victim of an advancing colonial juggernaut.”

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15 Responses to Brief about Maqoma “Aah Jong’umsobomvu!!”

  1. I will post a more in depth summary of a book called “Maqoma: Xhosa resistance to colonial Advance” soon.

    I am busy putting that together.

    • Nkululeko Mdudu says:

      I for one will be eagerly awaiting the release of that book.

    • Vusi Higa says:

      Mbuyiselo please assist me i have been looking for this for a long time. Ndifuna incwadi or ukwazi ngokwahlukana kuka Mkwayi no Tshawe nangona sisangcama kunye nje, khona ukuze nobu khosi buwele ku Tshawe. I am tired of the stories uba nda kwaya. Please Mntwane Nkosi ndincede.

      Vusi Ka-Ngconde Higa

  2. Sithembele says:

    This is very interesting. Lencwadi ingaba ifumaneka kuzo zonke iivenkile? Do u have any other books of the Xhosa or Nguni ppl. How did it all started, i mean the separation and all that. Hope to hear from u soon.

  3. Neziwe. says:

    What I’ve just read is interesting.I’m umNgxongo I’m looking for information about who he is,who are his children for I hear they belong under abaThembu how help please.

  4. Neliswa says:

    It is good to read from your expose how the archival documents acknowledged the following about amaXhosa: The brilliance of the Xhosa leaders,. the intelligence of their subjects and their adherence to democratic practices. Most documents of the SA Historical Society do not touch on these and that is a regrettable travesty. For instance the title of one of Robert Suresh’s books: “Fit to govern: the native intelligence of Thabo Mbeki ” is borrowed from an archival find – the contents of a letter that was written by Sir Harry Smith. King Hintsa ka Khawuta was not in favour of war – there was relative calm during his reign, yet his brilliance when dealing with the colonialists rattled the British and that is why they killed him ( he was a clever black). The Great House of Phalo fought relentlessly for this country there needs to be a monument that can be built to commemorate the resilience of this great kingdom of amaXhosa and the whole Xhosa dynasty.

  5. victor krishe says:

    Ujongumsobomvu Maqoma kaNgqika uzele uNamba kwindlu enkulu ekunene uzele uKona,Namba wayohlala kulonina akazilwa imfazwe zamangesi,uNamba uzele uJamangile yena uVelenzima siye ekunene,uKona uzele uNdamase yena uMhlabeni yena uJongizulu yena Zweliyazuza yena uSigidi lo uyinkosi yamaJingqi ngoku eDikeni ngoku

  6. NdinguXOLO ,uDUNYWA ,UTHuse, hey andisazi tu esiduko sam nemvelaph yaso mandincedwe bethuna, worse notatam akasazi kakhle my number is 0736697214

  7. thulani says:

    mandibulise nam igama ngu thulani nomalayisi . mna ndicela ukubuza ukuba ingaba ama ntsundu ayakwazi na ukusebenzisa u mngxongo nje nge fani na?

  8. Nwabisa says:

    Igama nguNwabisa Gxothiwe ndichulumancile ukuva amagqabantshintshi ngembali yegorha likaXhosa unkosi uMaqoma siyi Buyelembo Village lulwazi ezisakufundisa ngalo abathengi benkonzo zethu rhoqo olu.
    Sithi Vuka Xhosa uqaqambe . Halala

  9. 0749000638 says:

    Mandicamagushe nam kumzi ka Ntu ndiyabulela kakhulu ngelikhasi lalembali yemvelaphi yethu kunga kungadeda ubumnyama kubuye kuvele ubumhlophe phantsi kokulahlekiswa zezinye iintlanga zasentshona kwilizizwe lethu nelo bawo bethu…. camagu

  10. 0749000638 says:


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