1888D.C.F. MoodieHist. of Battles & Adventures 474An amusing scene was taking place outside between two Izibongi (jesters or praisers), each yelling out the string of praises of their respective Chiefs — Mr. Shepstone and Cetewayo — and trying to outdo each other.
1898B. MitfordInduna’s Wife 132The King..came forth.., preceded by the izimbonga, running and roaring, and trumpeting and hissing, as they shouted aloud the royal titles.
c1948H. TraceyLalela Zulup.iiA good Zulu Imbongi would be expected to string off a round of praises lasting five minutes or more without repeating himself, though many individual lines were repeated for poetic reasons.
1968Post 28 Apr. 3 (caption)A mbongi ululates before the smiling Heads of State (Kaunda and Khama).
1973Drum 8 Mar. 53The mbongis are out in their colourful dresses dancing and singing, shouting ‘Bayete’ to Mnumzana Vorster...The mbongis..climb up his ancestral tree singing the praise poems of Vorster’s illustrious forebears.
1976Drum 15 May 2The mbongi laureate will..be able in his praises to climb right up Chief Matanzima’s ancestral tree to the first Matanzima since creation.
1980M. MutloatseForced Landing 1The part the black writer has to play is rather demanding...He has to be tradesman, docker, psychologist, nurse, miner, matshigilane, tshotsha, teacher, athlete, toddler, mother, musician, father, visionary, imbongi and — above all — oral historian.
1986A. Sitas inBunn & TaylorFrom S. Afr. (1988) 277His performances initiated a revival of imbongi poetry in union gatherings in Natal and beyond. [Note] Praise-singer.
1988Spiegel & Boonzaier inBoonzaier & SharpS. Afr. Keywords 55Inkatha now has its own izimbongi (praise poets) who are called upon to praise the organisation and its leaders at various public gatherings.
1991N. Mbatha inPace Feb. 28Before the chief takes the floor, a praise-poet (imbongi) will introduce the chief by reciting.
1992S. Afr. Panorama Nov.–Dec. 75In Transkei, the iimbongi, the public orators or praise poets, have gradually shifted their allegiance from royalty to political figures.