The Rebellion of Langalibalele
This is the story of Mtwetwe Langalibalele who rose from humble beginnings to become chief of the amaHlubi. Langalibalele means ‘the sun is shining with all its strength’ and this great chief did, indeed, shine as a strong leader and a great warrior. Surviving many attempts on his life and overcoming adversity, Langalibalele earned a reputation from several Southern African peoples as both a rainmaker and inyanga. More than this, he fought hard for the unity and strength of his clan, not only rebelling against British authority but also against amaZulu domination.
In this book you will find out something of the amaHlubi and their early struggles. You can also read how, under the strong leadership of Langalibalele, the amaHlubi fought valiantly for their independence. An early prisoner on Robben Island, Langalibalele was honoured by Nelson Mandela himself who laid a wreath on the grave of the amaHlubi chief.
The sun has set and the smoke from the cooking fires drifts to the main fire, where it is story time. Around this central fire in front of the chief’s kraal sit the chief, his elders and his warriors. On the bare soil floor at the chief’s feet, the storyteller smooths out his karos, the cured skin of a springbok, on which he will sit to tell his story. He can see the women of the tribe, there by the doorway. The smallest children sit in their mothers’ laps and the older ones beside them on the still warm sand, wriggling in excitement as he begins his tale.
“Tonight, I speak of Mtwetwe Langalibalele, known as Langalibalele, and his people, the Hlubi. His name means ‘the sun is shining with all its strength’. Langalibalele would, indeed, shine as a strong leader and great warrior. He not only rebelled against British rule, but also against Zulu domination.