An Ngoni song from northern Malawi, sung at girls’ initiation ceremonies. The Ngoni were driven into exile by Shaka Zulu’s conquests, and this song presents Shaka’s achievements from the point of view of people who suffered from them.
Zwide was the chief of the Ndwandwe whom Shaka defeated in 1818 (see the poem Shaka). Soshangane, who established his own kingdom in southern Mozambique, was originally one of Zwide’s generals. See also the poem The Dirge of the Warriors’ Widows.
It is because of Zwide, chief of the Soshangane people
That though I lie down I cannot sleep.
O Zwide, chief of the Soshangane people,
Though I lie down I cannot sleep.
Shaka scatters us among the forests of Soshangane land.
from Bantu Studies 11 (1937),
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