Mbatha, Dladla, Mbeje Praisenames

Shandu son of Ndaba;
Protector of the weak;
You who fence your yard with cattle while othere fence with wattle;

Shandu who is physically small, he can fit on the palm of a hand,
Even on the tip of the spear he can sit comfortably;
Those that give birth to kingS,
Those who step out with their feet,
Those who always kick dust,
You of the black Buffalo of Nsele;

He who planted the gareden only for birds;
Birds would thank him by coming to the garden and sing tjio…tjio…tjio!!!
One who uses this sound (bha! bha!) as he stabs,
One who climbed hills of Fort Nhlazatshe,
Unclad women came out of their huts and asked what this particular man was doing;
Shandu who only wear the blanket when the sun sets,
Shandu who has beautiful teeth;
His heroism made him to close other people’s kraals ony with a shield!

As invincible as sands of the seas,
He who is as great as heavens;
The peacemaker who leaves them to solve their disputes on their own;
A king who was even recognised by Shaka son of Senzangakhona,
Shaka the invincible!
He said, “You are a king Shandu of Ndaba and you will remain King”,
You of the royal household!

Mbeje, Mndaba, Mlotsha, You who stab repeatedly like heavens,
You who complained when Mvelase was brought from the bundle of grass;

Dladla, Mpembe, Gadlela, Mhlophe, Dwala!
Mgabadeli who crossed the grounds of Bulawayo;
You who took other people’s cattle;
You who wore the buffalo hide while Zulu was still walking naked,

You who was Ndabezitha first’
They tried to take your praisenames with sinister plans,
You kept using them as you are still using them even today!
Ndaba ko Mkhulu!
You of the royal household!

These Praisenames/Izithakazelo were translated to English by Stanley Mbatha and Vusimuzi Shandu due to request by our brothers and sisters in the diaspora.

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