Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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A Mzimba Ingoma Song Lamenting the Removal of Inkosi Chimtunga Jele in 1915

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
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  • In 1915 when a British official tried to raise men to serve in the much-feared Carrier Corps in the East African campaign of World War I, the Ngoni Paramount Chief Chimtunga forbade it. For this, he was removed from office and banished to the Southern Province, and DANO was applied to Ngoni country for the first time, reducing the chiefs to little more than assistants to the District Commissioner for mobilizing labour and collecting taxes. Before this event unlike other chiefs the Ngoni was at par with the District Commissioner based on the agreement that resulted in the annexation of Ngoniland into the British Protectorate in 1904. In the 1970s people still recalled this shattering event in an ingoma song:


    Inkosi Chimtunga Jere
    Chief Chimtunga Jere

    Bambeke egcekeni
    Has been publicly humiliated!

    Inkosi yelizwe!
    The chief of the land!

    Sibabaze hee!!
    We make it known!!

    Sibabaze hee!!
    We make it known!!

    Elizwe liyoneke .
    The land has been made rotten.

    Sibabaze hee!!
    We make it known!!

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