natal mother

Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal

Nongoma, is surrounded by the Ngome Forest in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is situated 300km north of Durban and 56km from Ulundi at . It is a busy market town today, serving a large surrounding area.

The area has 4 royal palaces belonging to the current Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini:

  • Khethomthandayo Royal Palace (One of his wives lives here)
  • Kwakhangelamankengane Royal Palace
  • Linduzulu Royal Palace (his wife, Queen MaNdlovu lives here)
  • Enyokeni Royal Palace Queen MaMchiza lives here, and it is the King's only 'traditional' palace. In early September it is the site of the Umhlanga (Reed Dance) - a ceremony borrowed from Swaziland and adopted by the present King.


This area was once the home of King Zwide, a late 18th century Ndwandwe monarch who was eventually defeated by Shaka, at the beginning of the Mfecane wars. On 30 March 1883, a Zulu clan, the Mandlakazi under Zibhebhu, defeated the uSuthu (another Zulu clan which were pro King Cetshwayo kaMpande) in the Msebe Valley close by to Nongoma.

The town itself was only established in 1887 with the building of Fort Ivuna by the British as a buffer zone between the Zulu warring factions. It was originally called Ndwandwe but was later replaced by an earlier name given by the local tribesmen to the sacred area where the town stands, KwaNongoma (place of the diviner or mother of songs). In June 1888 Nongoma was destroyed by the uSuthu but later rebuilt. The fort was used during the Bambatha Rebellion of 1906.

Two zulu monarchs are laid to rest in the Nongoma area:

King Solomon kaDinuzulu (1891 – 1933), son of King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo
King Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon (1924 – 1968), son of King Solomon kaDinuzulu and father of the current Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

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