President Mnangagwa’s Ancestor Among Ndebele Warriors in Historic Battle of Pupu

March 21, 2024
President Emmerson Mnangagwa edmnangagwa officially commissioned the Pupu Monument and Pupu Clinic in Lupane Matabeleland North | Report Focus News
President Emmerson Mnangagwa @edmnangagwa officially commissioned the Pupu Monument and Pupu Clinic in Lupane, Matabeleland North.

In a stirring homage to Zimbabwe’s rich historical tapestry, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was introduced to a gathered crowd by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga during the official commissioning of the Pupu Battlefield Memorial Site. The Vice President revealed a remarkable lineage, tracing President Mnangagwa’s ancestry back to one of the Ndebele warriors, Muvengo, who played a crucial role in defeating colonial forces at the Battle of Pupu in 1893.

During his introduction, Vice President Chiwenga lauded, “I’m so pleased to introduce our guest of honour, President of Zimbabwe, Cde Dr Mnangagwa. Let me say a few things that relate to our guests of honour. President Mnangagwa’s great-grandfather Muvengo was part of the amabutho, the valiant Ndebele warriors who fought in the Battle of Pupu.”

President Mnangagwa, speaking to reporters, delved deeper into his family’s historical connection to the battle, recounting the alliance between his great-grandfather and the kings of the Ndebele Kingdom, Lobengula and Mzilikazi. “King Mzilikazi changed the name of my great-grandfather from Mapanzure to Muvengo, and he grew up here in the court of King Mzilikazi, then King Lobengula,” Mnangagwa shared, highlighting a narrative of adoption, cultural integration, and valor.

The President’s recounting underscored the significance of oral history in preserving the narratives of Zimbabwe’s past, illustrating a familial lineage that intertwines with the nation’s struggle and resilience against colonial encroachment.

Vice President Chiwenga, in his speech, also stressed the importance of cultural preservation and the role of traditional systems in the contemporary era. He underscored President Mnangagwa’s representation of strength and resistance, embodied through his ancestral ties to the Battle of Pupu.

The event also served as a platform to underscore the critical need for accurate conveyance of Zimbabwean history, with the Pupu Battlefield Memorial Site offering a locus for reflection on the country’s colonial resistance. The Battle of Pupu, occurring on December 4, 1893, remains a pivotal chapter in Zimbabwe’s history, marking a decisive victory for King Lobengula’s forces against colonial invaders.

In recognition of the valor demonstrated during this battle, President Mnangagwa posthumously honored General Mtshana Khumalo, leader of the Imbizo Regiment, as a National Hero. This recognition, awarded on November 30, 2020, precedes the unveiling of the Pupu National Monument in Lupane, Matabeleland North, commemorating the site of General Khumalo’s renowned victory.

As Zimbabwe continues to honor its historical legacies, the commissioning of the Pupu Battlefield Memorial Site stands as a testament to the nation’s enduring spirit and the profound impact of its ancestral heroes on its collective memory and identity.