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Nandi Bhebhe (1760 - 1827)

Nandi Bhebhe
Born in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natalmap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Died in Eshowe, Zululandmap
Profile last modified
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Queen Nandi Bhebhe was born in Melmoth in 1760. Her father was Bhebhe a chief from Elangeni. The Elangeni (Mhlongo) people then had their king called Makhedama.

Nandi Bhebhe was impregnated out of wedlock by Jama's son, Senzangakhona. The Mhlongo people demanded Senzangakhona pay damages for his non-traditional act. The Mhlongo approached the Jamas to settle the matter. Nandi was on the fore-front of this case and discussion. She personally demanded 55 herd of cattle as payment for damages done to her and the herd was delivered to the Mhlongo people. The Jamas and Senzangakhona agreed to pay the damages demanded by Mhlongo people so as to avoid war. On the other hand, Senzangakhona did truly love Nandi. After Nandi gave birth to her son, Tshaka, she initially spent some time at Senzangakhona's kraal before her relationship with Senzangakhona deteriorated, forcing her to leave the kraal. Nandi returned to her people, the Mhlongo of Elangeni, leaving Tshaka behind. Tshaka's life at Senzangakhona's kraal proved dangerous and finally his uncle Mudli brought him to Nandi at Elangeni. During that time Nandi had to protect her son from famine, assassination attempts, and enemies. However, Nandi's stay at Elangeni proved dangerous as well, so she left with her son to live amongst the Qwabe people. There, she met Ngendeyana, whom she married and had a son, Ngwadi. Nandi's stay amongst the Qwawe people was not pleasant at all and this forced her to leave Qwawe to live amongst the Mthethwa people led by chief Dingiswayo. Nandi was warmly welcomed by the Mthethwa people. She found it a good place to raise her sons, Tshaka and Ngwadi, and her daughter, Nomcoba. Her son Tshaka joined a Chwe regiment led by Bhuza. It was amongst the Mthethwa people where Tshaka devised military tactics.[1]



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