Mfecane

DifaqaneLifaqaneDifaqane warsdecimatedgreat scatteringThe Mfecane / Difaqaneumfecane
Mfecane (isiZulu, ), also known by the Sesotho name Difaqane or Lifaqane (all meaning "crushing, scattering, forced dispersal, forced migration" ), was a period of widespread chaos and warfare among indigenous ethnic communities in southern Africa during the period between 1815 and about 1840.wikipedia
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Lesotho

Kingdom of LesothoMosothoBasutoland
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 Matebele, the Mfengu and the Makololo; and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho.
Between 1821 and 1823, he and his followers settled at the Butha-Buthe Mountain, joining with former adversaries in resistance against the Lifaqane associated with the reign of Shaka Zulu from 1818 to 1828.

Zulu Kingdom

ZululandZuluZulus
As King Shaka created the militaristic Zulu Kingdom in the territory between the Tugela River and Pongola River, his forces caused a wave of warfare and disruption to sweep to other peoples.
Within two years, Shaka had defeated Zwide at the Battle of Mhlatuze River (1820) and broken up the Ndwandwe alliance, some of whom in turn began a murderous campaign against other Nguni tribes and clans, setting in motion what became known as Defecane or Mfecane, a mass-migration of tribes fleeing the remnants of the Ndwandwe fleeing the Zulu.

Fengu people

MfenguFenguFingo
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 Matebele, the Mfengu and the Makololo; and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho.
The name amaFengu translates as "wanderers" and the Fengu people – like the Bhaca, Bhele, Hlubi and Dlamini peoples – was formed from the tribes that were broken up and dispersed by Shaka and his Zulu armies in the Mfecane wars.

South Africa

South AfricanRepublic of South AfricaRSA
There have been claims in the past that the Mfecane lead to mass depopulation of the eastern part of South Africa.
Shaka's warfare indirectly led to the Mfecane ("crushing"), in which 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 people were killed and the inland plateau was devastated and depopulated in the early 1820s.

Sotho language

SothoSesothoSouthern Sotho
Mfecane (isiZulu, ), also known by the Sesotho name Difaqane or Lifaqane (all meaning "crushing, scattering, forced dispersal, forced migration" ), was a period of widespread chaos and warfare among indigenous ethnic communities in southern Africa during the period between 1815 and about 1840.
The inclusion of Setlokwa in this scenario is confusing, as the modern language named "Setlokwa" is a Northern Sesotho language spoken by descendants of the same Batlokwa whose attack on the young chief Moshoeshoe's settlement during Lifaqane (led by the famous widow Mmanthatisi) caused them to migrate to present-day Lesotho.

Nongoma

Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal
It is worth noting that there were three major ethnic groups which occupied the areas now known as Nquthu, Babanango, Empangeni, Mtubatuba, Hlabisa, Nongoma, Pongola, Vryheid, Melmoth and Mahlabathini – those ethnic groups were the Ngwane, the Ndwandwe and the Mthethwa.
This area was once the home of King Zwide, a late 18th-century Ndwandwe monarch who was eventually defeated by Shaka at the beginning of the Mfecane wars.

Shaka

Shaka ZuluShaka kaSenzangakhonaKing Shaka
As King Shaka created the militaristic Zulu Kingdom in the territory between the Tugela River and Pongola River, his forces caused a wave of warfare and disruption to sweep to other peoples. Zwide attacked King Shaka and was defeated at the Battle of Gqokli Hill which marked the start of Shaka's conquest of the Ndwandwe. Many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka.
General histories of Southern Africa are also valuable including Noel Mostert's "Frontiers" and a detailed account of the results from the Zulu expansion, J.D. Omer-Cooper's "The Zulu Aftermath", which advances the traditional Mfecane theory.

Battle of Gqokli Hill

Zwide attacked King Shaka and was defeated at the Battle of Gqokli Hill which marked the start of Shaka's conquest of the Ndwandwe.
The Battle of Gqokli Hill was conducted in about April 1818, a part of the Mfecane, between Shaka of the Zulu nation and Zwide of the Ndwandwe, in Shaka's territory just south of present-day Ulundi ( 28° 22' 23" S 31° 21' 15.77" E).

Swazi people

SwaziSwazisSwati
It is worth noting that there were three major ethnic groups which occupied the areas now known as Nquthu, Babanango, Empangeni, Mtubatuba, Hlabisa, Nongoma, Pongola, Vryheid, Melmoth and Mahlabathini – those ethnic groups were the Ngwane, the Ndwandwe and the Mthethwa.
Sobhuza I's rule occurred during the umfecane wars, resulting from the expansion of the Zulu state under Shaka.

Zulu people

ZuluZulusamaZulu
Many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka.
Zulu expansion was a major factor of the Mfecane ("Crushing") that depopulated large areas of southern Africa.

Northern Ndebele people

NdebeleMatabeleNdebele people
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 Matebele, the Mfengu and the Makololo; and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho.
During a turbulent period in Nguni and Sotho-Tswana history known as the Mfecane or “the crushing’, Mzilikazi’s regiment, initially numbering 500 soldiers, moved west towards the present-day city of Pretoria, where they founded a settlement called Mhlahlandlela.

Zimbabwe

🇿🇼 ZimbabweanRepublic of Zimbabwe
They settled in the area now known as Matabeleland, in present-day southern Zimbabwe.
The Ndebele fought their way northwards into the Transvaal, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and beginning an era of widespread devastation known as the Mfecane.

Dingiswayo

Dingiswayo KaJobe
They were respectively led by kings Sobhuza of Ngwane, Zwide, and Dingiswayo and were the most powerful ethnic groups.
It was the first of the Mfecane migrations - tribes displaced, latterly by the Zulus, and who in turn displaced others in a series of internecine wars.

Mzilikazi

King MzilikaziMoselekatseMzilikazi kaMatshobana
Around 1821, the Zulu general Mzilikazi of the Khumalo clan defied Zulu king Shaka, and set up his own kingdom.
This period, known locally as the Mfecane ["crushing"] was characterised by devastation and murder on a grand scale.

Khumalo clan

KhumaloKhumalo KingdomMantungwa community
Around 1821, the Zulu general Mzilikazi of the Khumalo clan defied Zulu king Shaka, and set up his own kingdom.
Their most famous issue was Mzilikazi, an influential figure in the mfecane, and founder of the Northern Ndebele nation.

Ngoni people

NgoniAngoniAngoniland
Zwangendaba's followers were henceforth called Ngoni.
The displacement of the Ngoni people in the great scattering following the Zulu wars had repercussions in social reorganization as far north as Malawi and Zambia.

Zwide kaLanga

ZwideKing Zwide
They were respectively led by kings Sobhuza of Ngwane, Zwide, and Dingiswayo and were the most powerful ethnic groups.
The Zulu victory was the beginning of the Mfecane or the scattering.

Botswana

MotswanaRepublic of BotswanaBotswanan
Sebitwane gathered the Kololo ethnic groups near modern Lesotho and wandered north across what is now Botswana, plundering and killing many of the Tswana people in the way.
This equilibrium came to end during the Mfecane period, 1823–1843, when a succession of invading peoples from South Africa entered the country.

Sebetwane

Sebitwane
Sebitwane gathered the Kololo ethnic groups near modern Lesotho and wandered north across what is now Botswana, plundering and killing many of the Tswana people in the way.
Facing constant attacks and losing all their cattle during the early years of the Mfecane, Sebetwane urged his people to leave their homeland:

Moshoeshoe I

MoshoeshoeMosheshKing Moshoeshoe I
Moshoeshoe I gathered the mountain clans together in an alliance against the Zulus.
Moshoeshoe and his followers, mostly the Bakoena Bamokoteli, some Bafokeng from his maternal side and other relations as well as some clans including the Amazizi, established his village at Butha-Buthe, where his settlement and reign coincided with the growth in power of the well-known Zulu King, Shaka and what is now known as the 'time of troubles' (previously known as 'Difaqane').

Zwangendaba

Zwangendaba, a commander of the Ndwandwe army, fled north with Soshangane after his defeat in 1819.
After being driven from the eastern region of what is now South Africa, near modern Swaziland, by the Zulus during the Mfecane, Zwangendaba led his people, then called the "Jele", on a migration of more than 1000 mi lasting more than twenty years.

Mthethwa Paramountcy

MthethwaMtetwaMtetwa Empire
It is worth noting that there were three major ethnic groups which occupied the areas now known as Nquthu, Babanango, Empangeni, Mtubatuba, Hlabisa, Nongoma, Pongola, Vryheid, Melmoth and Mahlabathini – those ethnic groups were the Ngwane, the Ndwandwe and the Mthethwa. Many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka.

Gaza Empire

GazaGaza kingdomemperor of Gaza
There they established the Gaza kingdom.
In the 1820s the cattle-herding Zulu, led by their king Shaka, embarked on an aggressive campaign of conquest and expansion known as the mfecane.

Afrikaners

AfrikanerAfrikaanerAfrikaner people
The resulting pressures led to massive displacement, famine, and war in the interior, allowing later Afrikaner settlers to seize control of most land.
These areas were mostly unoccupied due to conflicts in the course of the genocide Mfecane wars of the Zulus on the local Basuthu population who used it as summer grazing for their cattle.

Julian Cobbing

Cobbing's critique
In 1988, Rhodes University professor Julian Cobbing advanced a different hypothesis on the rise of the Zulu state; he contended the accounts of the Mfecane were a self-serving, constructed product of apartheid politicians and historians.
He is regarded as the first historian to attempt to discredit conventional historical beliefs about the 'Mfecane' - a period of wars during the 1820s and 1830s that resulted in the emergence of the Zulu Kingdom.