Ndebele, noun

Forms:
Ndabele, 'NdebeleShow more Also Ndabele, 'Ndebele, Ndebeli.
Plurals:
unchanged, amaNdebele, or Ndebeles; occasionally Mandebele.
Origin:
Sotho, seTswanaShow more In the Nguni languages iliNdebele, iNdebele (plural amaNdebele), adaptation of Sotho and seTswana matebele (see Matabele).
1. a. A member of either of two divisions of a people of Nguni descent who, during the 17th century, settled in what was later known as the Transvaal, and who during the 19th century harboured and gave their name to those refugee Nguni people under Mzilikazi’s leadership; Matabele sense 1 a. Often in the plural, with a qualifying word distinguishing this South African people from the Zimbabwean people of the same name (see sense b), as South Ndebele, Southern Ndebele, Southern Transvaal Ndebele, Transvaal Ndebele. b. Matabele sense 1 b. Also attributive.
1872 T.M. Thomas 11 Yrs in Central S. Afr. 153The Amandebele are divided into three divisions...The first class are the Abezansi...These came originally from Natal, with Umzilikazi, and now form the aristocracy of the land. The second class are Abenhla...This class is made up of fragments of Basutu and Bechuana tribes, which were attacked by the chief, Umzilikazi..and incorporated into one body with those who were already his people. These are at present the middle classes of the Amandebele. The other division are the Amaholi...These were the aborigines of the present Amandebele country...These are the lower classes.
1878 A. Aylward Tvl of Today 177Far north of the Republic..but separated from it by Bechuanas and peaceable tribes, dwells another Zulu nation called the Amandebele.
1898 B. Mitford Induna’s Wife 5At that place we met in fierce battle and rolled back the might of Dingane and thus saved the Amandebeli as a nation.
1923 G.H. Nicholls Bayete! 10Have I not all my life led my impi to victory; and now that I am getting old you tell me that I have lost my skill? Did the Amandebele die with Mzilikazi? Did not the Deliverer take his place?
1930 S.T. Plaatje Mhudi (1975) 51Let this success be known among the nations so that foreign armies may tremble each time they hear the mention of the name, Amandebele.
1937 N.J. Van Warmelo in I. Schapera Bantu-Speaking Tribes 53Transvaal Ndebele. These Ndebele tribes must not be confused with the Ndebele now living in Matabeleland, Southern Rhodesia. The latter left the confines of Zululand only a century ago under the leadership of Mzilikazi, whereas the former had by that time already been settled in their present territory for at least several centuries.
1937 A.W. Hoernlé in I. Schapera Bantu-Speaking Tribes 86Among the Southern Transvaal Ndebele, each..clan has a species of animal..which may not be named or eaten or used by the members of that clan.
1939 N.J. Van Warmelo in A.M. Duggan-Cronin Bantu Tribes III. i. 10The Transvaal Ndebele tribes have traditions pointing to an emigration from Natal three or four centuries ago, but prior to that all is blank.
1939 N.J. Van Warmelo in A.M. Duggan-Cronin Bantu Tribes III. i. 12The [Nguni] sub-group of the Transvaal Ndebele..in turn fall into two sections, a Southern and a Northern one.
1966 J.D. Omer-Cooper Zulu Aftermath 170The Transvaal Ndebele..appear to have established themselves on the plateau before the Mfecane.
1970 Drum Oct. 24Chieftainess Esther Kekana, head of the 10, 000 strong Mandebele tribe in the Northern Transvaal..is not herself a Ndebele. She is a Pedi from Potgietersrust, but the Mandebele of Hammanskraal have taken her to their hearts.
1975 Drum 8 Mar. 61Opposition to the establishment of the Southern Ndebele Homeland.
1975 W.F. Lye Andrew Smith’s Jrnl 1834–6 318AmaNdebele (Nguni), maTebele (Sotho), (rendered Matabili, Matabeli, etc.), Name applied by Sotho people to the invading people of Mzilikazi and other Nguni raiders. The name had not yet been adopted by Mzilikazi’s people at the time...They called themselves abakwaZulu, kwaMoshobana, amaKumalo, etc.
1976 West & Morris Abantu 77Originally, the Ndebele stem from Nguni stock and have close links with the Zulu and Xhosa. There are three distinct groups, two live in the Transvaal and the third in Rhodesia.
1979 Daily Dispatch 9 Apr. 10The Matabele, or Amandebele as they prefer to be called, had very little to contend with when they met the demoralised Mashona. Having made peace with the spirits..the Matabele had an easy passage and were soon raiding the Mashona for slaves (Maholi) and women for the Matabele to marry.
1980 Lye & Murray Transformations 32He (sc. Mzilikazi) built the Ndebele kingdom after Shaka’s model...Being relatively few in numbers, and in an alien land, the Kumalo found every opportunity to add to their strength. They often absorbed other refugees from Zululand, and also many of the young men of the Tswana clans which they destroyed.
1983 Pace Dec. 82Meet one of the most culturally rich tribes of Africa, the Ndebele of South Africa, or South Ndebele. They are also known as the Ndebele of (Chief) Mapoch, so as not to be confused with the MaNdebele of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe.
1985 Platzky & Walker Surplus People 38In 1975 these [homeland consolidation] proposals were updated and approved by parliament...A bantustan for the Southern Ndebele was to be created near Groblersdal in the Transvaal.
1985 Platzky & Walker Surplus People 179It was not part of the original Nationalist plan for ethnic ‘homelands’. The first mention of an Ndebele bantustan was only made in the late 1960s.
c1988 S. Afr. 1987–8: Off. Yrbk (Bureau for Info.) 63The Nguni comprise three major subgroups..: North Nguni: the Zulu..and the Swazi...South Nguni: the Xhosa-speaking peoples...Transvaal Ndebele: a northern and southern section.
1990 Sunday Times 25 Feb. 22I have been in KwaNdebele for some time, and could not understand why tribalism was promoted. The so-called ‘Amandebele’ are the class racists. Only Ndebeles hold the highest posts in the government services.
1994 D. Matthews in Sunday Times 9 Jan. 11Mrs Mahlangu’s mother insisted she learn traditional Ndebele painting.
2.
a. Sindebele.
1939 N.J. Van Warmelo in A.M. Duggan-Cronin Bantu Tribes III. i. 12The Rhodesian Ndebele are by far the most important, for though the empire founded by Mzilikazi in Matabeleland was overthrown by the British, a modified Nguni language and culture (Ndebele) still flourishes there now, and shows no sign of decay.
1972 Drum 8 Oct. 30They must be..able to write in English, Ndebele, Shona or Nyanga.
1973 Drum 8 Jan. 18My mother language is Shona and I can speak English and Ndebele.
1980 Lye & Murray Transformations 100Chieftainess Ester Kekana and 60 000 Ndebele followers..proposed..to join the North Sotho ‘homeland’ of Lebowa. They had been using the Pedi language, since no books were available in Ndebele.
1981 Fair Lady 1 July 108What makes life even more difficult for the KwaNdebele children is that although they speak Ndebele, the language has no written grammar, so they are taught in Zulu.
1983 Star 1 Mar. 2Black citizenship must be clarified before another homeland became independent, says the South African Institute of Race Relations. The institute was reacting to the coming independence of kwaNdebele, which could mean about 700 000 Ndebele-speaking blacks losing their South African citizenship.
1987 Pace Sept. 19Here was the opening band for the greatest show on earth singing in some language akin to Zulu but known as Ndebele in Zimbabwe.
1993 Weekend Post 9 Oct. 9If this letter is anything to go by, multilingualism including North and South Sotho,..Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele is out.
b. With a qualifying word, distinguishing each dialect of this language, as spoken in certain areas of South Africa: Northern Transvaal Ndebele, South Ndebele, Southern Transvaal Ndebele.
1952 N.J. Van Warmelo Lang. Map of S. Afr. (Dept of Native Affairs) 11Northern Transvaal Ndebele...This language is mainly spoken in Potgietersrus and Pietersburg districts...A number have emigrated to the Hammanskraal sub-district of Pretoria.
1952 N.J. Van Warmelo Lang. Map of S. Afr. (Dept of Native Affairs) 11Southern Transvaal Ndebele...This language is spoken by members of two tribes only, the Manala and the Ndzundza.
c1988 S. Afr. 1987–8: Off. Yrbk (Bureau for Info.) 68Another Nguni language is South Ndebele with 394 000 speakers living mainly in KwaNdebele in central Transvaal. Though influenced by Northern Sotho (Sepedi),..South Ndebele remains a Nguni language with strong ties with Zulu and Swazi.
A member of either of two divisions of a people of Nguni descent who, during the 17th century, settled in what was later known as the Transvaal, and who during the 19th century harboured and gave their name to those refugee Nguni people under Mzilikazi’s leadership; Matabele1 a. Often in the plural, with a qualifying word distinguishing this South African people from the Zimbabwean people of the same name (see b), as South Ndebele, Southern Ndebele, Southern Transvaal Ndebele, Transvaal Ndebele.
Matabele1 b. Also attributive.
Sindebele.

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18721994