This title is an abridgement of a larger volume and retells, in an easily accessible manner, the story of Matiwane, as told by his grandson Msebenzi to his kinsman Rev. Albert Hlongwane. It tells of his flight from KZN through present day Lesotho, Free State, and Eastern Cape culminating in the Battle of Mbolompo in 1828. Rev. Hlongwane is buried in a cemetery near the mission in which he worked, in the small village of Hoffenthal, not far from Bergville in KZN.
The storyteller sat on an old gnarled tree stump of an acacia tree, under the warm afternoon sun, surrounded by children waiting for a story. The first fruits festival was drawing to a close. He could hear the heads of the tribe’s cattle bellowing and it brought back the sounds of battle, of tribes fighting for power and territory. As he began his story about one of the most feared and repected chieftains, more children joined them. They were happy to sit in the sun and rest a while after such a thrilling day. He waited for them to get comfortable then, as a hush descended, he started his tale. Just hearing the chieftain’s name sent a shiver down his spine.
‘Matiwane” he uttered, his voice no louder than a whisper.