History of the amaNdebeleIn the year 1816 the rather anonymous arrival in Cape Town of a 21 year old missionary echoed similar daily arrivals and departures in a town that had by then been established as an international sea port for more than 160 years. Robert Moffat, a Scotsman and recent inductee into the service of the London Missionary society, arrived as many had before him, with a vague understanding of Africa, a rather generally directed vocation and a profound faith in the guiding hand of providence. He was one of an army of men and women of mixed denominations who followed the tenets of enlightenment.
Robert Moffat and Mzilikazi Meet
History of the amaNdebeleCoinciding more or less with Mzilikazi’s Bakwena Campaign approval was given by the government of the Cape Colony to a scheme aimed at extending the trade of the colony outwards to the scattered peoples of the interior. Licences were issued and help offered to those who wished to embark on trading expeditions north of the Cape, and one of the first to avail himself of this facility was a mercurial local character by the name of Andrew Geddes Bain. Bain was a man of many interests, amongst which his biographers list geology, palaeontology, engineering and exploration.
Mzilikazi, the Zulu, the Griquas and the Boer
History of the amaNdebele As Robert Moffat’s wagons slipped over the southern horizon and disappeared Mzilikazi turned back towards enKungwini to face arguably the greatest series of challenges to the long term survival of the amaNdebele that he had confronted thus far. The first of these was the long awaited settling of scores with the Zulu that came soon afterwards as Mzilikazi had always feared that it would. Two years earlier the short but shockingly violent reign of Shaka Zulu had been brought to a predictably bloody end by his assassination at the hands of his younger half brother Dingaan