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The history of Ngoni Maseko in Malawi

By Cedric Chithenga Nyoni

The Maseko Ngoni of Ntcheu, Dedza, Chileka, Bvumbwe and Mwanza-Mneno are the descendants of Swati people of Swaziland..

It is a common misconception that people generally regard the Ngoni’s as descendants of Shaka Zulu
Unlike their cousins the Jele Ngoni of Mzimba who are the descendants of the Ndwandwe tribe of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

Most Ngoni names in Ntcheu can also be found in Swaziland (now eSwatini) like Mhlangano(Tsangano)
Even the Current Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani 5 was given the name ‘Mswati’ at birth.

The Migration

The Maseko Ngoni landed at Ntcheu in 19th Century and were led by Ngwane Maseko.

Maseko never managed to reach Ntcheu as he died before crossing the Zambezi River in 1839

The descendants of Ngwane Maseko

After Ngwane’s death, his son Mputa was supposed to succeed his father but he was still young.
Ngwane’s brother, Magadlela became as regent until his heir, Mputa became of age.

Mputa died earlier while his first born son ‘Gomani Chikuse’ was still young..

Then Mputa’s brother called ‘Chidyaonga’ took the leadership of the Ngoni’s as a regent waiting for Chikuse to come of age.

Chidyaonga died in around 1870 and Mputa’s son, Chikuse (who was the crown prince-waiting) was enthroned King (Inkosi ya Makosi) ..although others wanted Chidyaonga’s son, Chifisi to take the throne.

The Break away of Kachindamoto (currently in Mtakataka, Dedza) chieftain from mainstream Gomani supremacy

The dispute between Gomani Chikuse and Chifisi resulted in a MASEKO civil war this led to Chifisi flee to what is Dedza now now and create the KACHINDAMOTO chieftain while CHIKUSE remained as the Ngwenyama of the MASEKO NGONI at his headquarters at Lizulu
After the death of Chikuse the next King was Gomani I who died in 1896.

After Gomani 1 came Philip Gomani 2 who ruled from 1897 to 1954 then Willard Gomani 3 who ruled from 1954 to 2008.

Kanjedza Gomani 4 (the father of the current Inkosi) ruled from 2008 to 2009

And after the death of Kanjedza Gomani 4 came the Present Mswati Willard Gomani 5.

Inkosi Gomani Maseko dynasty

-? to 1832; Ngwana
-1832 to 1835; Magadlela
-1835 to 1860; Maseko Mputa
-1860 to 1878; Chidiaonga(Regent)
-1878 to 18??; Chikuse
-18?? to 1896; Gomani I
-1896 to 1954; Philip Gomani II
-1954 to 2008; Willard Gomani III
-2008 to 2009; Kanjedza Gomani IV
-2009 to Present; Mswati Willard Gomani V

Inkosi Gomani II:

Phillip Gomani II reigned from 1921 to 1954.

He had 7 children namely Linnet, Willard, Samson, Hastings, Titus, Esmas and Saulos.

The move of the headquarters from Lizulu to Mpira

In mid 1950’s, the Colonialists persuaded Philip Gomani to settle at Mpira farm (near Kasale Village)
They persuaded Phillip sighting the fact that Lizulu was a bit far from Ntcheu Boma.

Philip Gomani’s opposition to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Gomani II strongly opposed the imposition of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

He was arrested by the British and they put him in Zomba prison.

He later died at Malamulo hospital on 12th May 1954.

Gomani II’s royal family

It is said that before his death Phillip Gomani II chose Samson who was the 3rd born son to succeed him since Willard the 2nd born son was away working as district administrator in Kasungu.

His 1st born was a daughter and could not be a king as per Ngoni culture.

But The Royal Family members agreed to callback Willard to Ntcheu and Samson offered the crown to go to his elder brother Willard.

Willard took over as Inkosi Ya Makosi Gomani III.

Willard Gomani III (His dethronement and re-installation)

Willard Goman III involved himself in a political wrangle with the newly Malawi Congress Party (MCP) government and Kamuzu Banda ended the Paramountcy.

After a lengthy dialogue of discussions, Willard was re-installed in 1966.

Gomani III married Effie Phambala and had 11 children namely Margret, Edith, Rosemary, Jean, Boyson, Catherine, Phinason, Kadinazulu, Chidyaonga, Kanjedza and Josephine.

In 1970 Inkosikati Effie died leaving the Inkosi alone.

Gomani III then fell in love with a Miss Chinseu, from Mlanda near Lizulu but the protective daughters of the Ngwenyama nullified the affair under the pretext that he should mourn his wife for the rest of his life.

Willard Gomani III died on 26 October 2006 and was succeeded by his son Kanjedza Gomani IV
Kanjedza Gomani only reigned for 2 years and died in 2008 he was succeeded by the current Mswati Gomani V.

The story of Inkosi Zitonga Philip Gomani II and Willard Gomani III

Zitonga Philip Gomani II was born in 1893.

His father Gomani Chikuse died in 1896 when Zitonga was just 3 years old.

Chakhumbira Ndau because a regent from 1896 to 1922
Zitonga was Crowned in 1921 and he married Chakhumbira’s daughter.

He strongly refused to accept the introduction of the Federation of Nyasand & Rhodesia.

In 1952 he was supposed to go to London to voice out the views against the Federation
Due to his poor health he deligated his son Crown Prince Willard Gomani.

The 1953 Chaos at Lizulu, Ntcheu

Gomani II led the people in a civil disobedience in protest of the federation.

The British colonial police were sent to Lizulu to arrest Gomani II.

Crown Prince Willard & his brother Samson mobilised people to protect their father from being captured.

A huge crowd sorounded the royal palace and the police failed to capture the king.

Gomani fled to Mozambique together with and Rev. Michael Scott & Crown Prince Willard Gomani.

The Portuguese arrested The three and handed them over to the British.
Rev. Scott was was deported.

Gomani was deposed as a Kinga and was put under house arrest.
The Gomani Kingship was abolished.

On 11June, Willard was sentenced to 7 years IHL for mobilising people to defend his father.

Zitonga Philip Gomani died on 12 May 1954.

Willard Gomani was born in 1918 and ruled the Maseko Ngoni from 1953 to 2006.

After the death of Zitonga Gomani, the British refused to crown Willard as the Inkosi.

Prince Willard then became active in the independence struggle.

He became the first MP for Ntcheu & he was swan as MP on 27 Sept.1961

Willard Gomani Crowned as Inkosi Gomani III

Willard Gomani resigned as an MP in 1966 to take up the Kingship.

Dr. Banda reinstated the Gomani dynasty & Crowned Willard Gomani as Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani III after 12 yrs without a King.
He died on 26 October 2006.

He was succeeded by his son Kanjedza Maseko Gomani who was crowned in 2008 after a 2 year regency of his sister Mai Rosmery Malinki.

Next will be the story of The Jele Ngoni of Mzimba whose King is M’mberwa.

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