Tanzania chiefs and monarchs (Machifu na Wafalme wa Tanzania)

Tanganyika as it was called over 50 years ago had monarchs, kings, sultans and chiefs ruling the many different tribal communities. These royal dynasties and royal families have existed for centuries and held immense power and influence among their people. Remember they were the negotiators who signed treaties with the colonialists as the heads of these many communities. Some of them even helped a great deal in achieving independence of Tanganyika from the colonialists.

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Unfortunately after attaining independence in 1962, they were abolished by the first government of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who himself was the son of King of Zanaki. Some of these monarchs entered into the civil service and served their government as cabinet ministers, officers of the government and political leaders.

While their influence diminished overtime, some tribal communities continued the tradition of crowning new monarchs after one passes on. Their roles today are mainly traditional as heads of these clans or tribes. Most are now known as Chiefs instead of their actual titles of Kings and their dynasties still command alot of respect in the local communities

Royal titles

Most are now all known as Chifu (Chief in Swahili) but are Kings in their local titles

  • Mangi Mkuu – Paramount King by the Chagga people (incorretly referred as Paramount chief by the white colonialists)
  • Mangi – King of Chagga tribes (incorretly referred as chief by the white colonialists)
  • MkaMangi – Wife of King/Mangi
  • Sultan – King, Islam affiliated used in Zanzibar
  • Omukama – King, used by tribes/kingdoms in North western Tanzania near Uganda
  • Omugabe – King, used by Ihangiro kingdom
  • Mwami – King, used by the kingdoms near Rwanda
  • Mtwaa – King, used by the Hehe people
  • Ntemi/Mtemi – King, used by the Sukuma and Nyamwezi people
  • Ngole – Wife of Ntemi
  • Inkosi ya Makosi – King of Kings/chiefs, used by the Ngoni people of Songea
  • Kolo – King, used by the Wamanyema people of kigoma region
  • Mwene – King, used by Nyiha tribe/Fipa tribe

ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar or sultanate of Zanzibar was a monarchical Sultanate that was ruled by the al said dynasty who are related to the Oman royal dynasty. In 1856 the Sultanate of Oman and Zanzibar was split into two, with one son ruling Oman and another Zanzibar. The dynasty initially ruled the Zanzibar archipelago and the 16km coastline of Kenya but ceded the Kenya part to Kenya in 1963. The ruled for many years until a deadly revolution on 12 January 1964 by the indigenous inhabitants led to the end of the monarchy. The last Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah Al Said escaped to London with his family but is still the current pretender to the throne as of 2022. The former sultan stone palace is now a museum. After 50 years living in exile in theUK, he currently has been allowed to live the rest of his life in Oman near his royal family members

  • 1806 – 1856  Sultan Sayyid Sa`id bin Sultan           
  • 1856 –  1861  Sultan Sayyid Majid bin Sa`id            
  • 1861 – 1870  Sultan Sayyid Majid bin Sa`id            
  • 1870 – 1888  Sultan Sayyid Barghash bin Sa`id       
  • 1888 – 1890  Sultan Sayyid Khalifa I bin Sa`id        
  • 1890 – 1893  Sultan Sayyid `Ali bin Sa`id             
  • 1893 – 1896  Sultan Sayyid Hamid bin Thuwayni    
  • 1896 – 1896  Sultan Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash      
  • 1896 – 1902  Sultan Sayyid Hamud bin Muhammad         
  • 1902 – 1911  Sultan Sayyid `Ali bin Hamud       
  • 1911 –  1960  Sultan Sayyid Khalifa II bin Kharub    
  • 1960 – 1963  Sultan Sayyid Sir `Abd Allah bin Khalifa 
  • 1963 – 1964/current  Sultan Sayyid Jamshid bin `Abd Allah     

HAYA PEOPLE (WAHAYA)

The Haya tribe are a bantu ethnic group mainly found in tanzania near rwanda and Uganda borders. They were organized into various kingdoms namely: Kiziba, Ihangiro, Kihanja, Bukara, Lesster Kyamtwara, and Bugabo kingdoms etc. After the Anglo-German agreement of 1890, the kingdom of Missenye was added.

1. Kiziba Kingdom, Kagera

 Kiziba kingdom was a precolonial monarchy of the Haya people of Tanzania that existed since 1400s. The Haya people were organized into many kingdoms with different kings, kiziba being one of them. With colonisation and Tanzania independence in 1962, the monarchies and their royal rulers were abolished despite most of them fighting for independence among the political elite. The kings of Kiziba were titled Omukama and belonged to the babiito dynasty which is also related to the Tooro and Bunyoro kitara kingdoms in Uganda.

The current King of Kiziba kingdom, Tanzania is Omukama Lutinwa Mutatembwa II. He is married with three children (two are twins) namely Prince Lennox Lutinwa, Prince Lewis Lutinwa and Princess Eless Lutinwa.

  • …. – ….                Bike
  • …. – ….                Kiziba Kizindo
  • …. – ….                Ntumwa
  • …. – ….                Kanyamaishwa
  • …. – ….                Kibi I Nyakiiru Kaganda
  • …. – ….                Ishamura-Njobe “elya Kiziba, elingome”
  • …. – ….                Ishamura-Nyakabinga “elya Bunyoro”
  • …. – ….                Wanumi
  • …. – ….                Bwanamba
  • …. – ….                Matwi
  • …. – ….                Magembe I (1st time)
  • …. – ….                Kashumba (regent?)
  • …. – ….                Magembe I (2nd time)
  • …. – ….                Muzinga
  • …. – ….                Mwigara
  • …. – ….                Burungu I
  • …. – ….                Magembe II
  • …. – ….                Mboneko I
  • …. – ….                Nyarwangu
  • …. – ….                Mulimpuzi –Regent
  • …. – ….                Ruhangarazi I
  • …. – ….                Nyarwangu II
  • …. – ….                Rutajwaha
  • …. – ….                Burungu II Kakinda
  • …. – ….                Kibi II Rutahirwa
  • …. – 1870            Omukama Ruhangarazi II    
  • 1870 – 1903       Omukama  Mutatembwa
  • 1898 – 1900      Omukama Rweshabura (in rebellion)
  • 1903 – 1916       Omukama Mutahangarwa Karutasigwa
  • 1916 – 1927        Omukama Edward George Mboneko II
  • 1927 – 1937       Omukama  William Mutakubwa
  • 1937 –  1962   Omukama Nestor Lutinwa  
  • Today –   Omukama Lutinwa Mutatembwa II          

2. Kianja Kingdom, Kagera

Kianja kingdom is one of the famous organized kingdoms among the Haya people of Tanzania. Exising since 1800s, it was ruled by a king called Omukama. Their most famous King was King Kahigi II who met the German colonialists. His great great great grandson is the current King (Omukama) Hermes Peter Nyarubamba II

  • c.1810 – 1870          Omukama Kinyoni Kigaze                      
  • 1890 – 1916            Omukama Mpinzire Kahigi II                
  • 1916 – 1943            Omukama Alfred Kalemera III              
  • 1870 – 1890           Omukama Muganguze Rugamora III Ibare        
  • 1943 – 1944     Omukama Benjamin Mutembehi Rugomora IV      
  • 1944 – 1958           Omukama Bwogi IV                          
  • 1958 – 1962         Omukama Petro M.K. Nyarubamba II            
  • Today – Omukama Hermes Peter Nyarubamba II

Omukama Khigi II and Omukama Hermes

3. Rusubi/Busubi – Biharamulo, Kagera

Rusubi/Busubi (incorrectly as Ussuwi) was a traditional monarchy of the Haya people with its royal capital at Biharamulo. It was ruled by a king called Omukama. Its former Omukama was Stanislas Rugaba Kasusura II. The current Omukama is Justin Rutabingwa Kasusura

  • 1853                      Omukama Ntare II Muhire                   
  • 1853 – 1854          Omukama Rusimbya Rugaba                   
  • 1854 -1873           Omukama Ishekanyere II                    
  • 1873 – 1885          Omukama Mankorongo                      
  • 1854 – 1873          Omukama Rweswarura Nyamuhanga           
  • 1884 – 1927          Omukama Kasusura I                        
  • 1927 – 1952          Omukama Ntare III                         
  • 1952 – 1962         Omukama Stanislas Rugaba Kasusura II
  • Today –   Omukama Justin Rutabingwa Kasusura

Photos : Bullet Ruhinda /Facebook

4. Karagwe Kingdom, Kagera

Karagwe was a kingdom found in north west tanzania near the border with Rwanda. It was fromed in 1450 and exsted until 1962 when Tanzania abolished all traditional monarchies. The Kings were called Omukama.

  • Malia
  • Nono
  • Ruhinda I rwa Nyunaki “Kizarabagabe”
  • Ntare I
  • Ruhinda II
  • Ntare II
  • Ruhinda III
  • Ntare III
  • Ruhinda IV
  • Ntare IV
  • Ruhinda V
  • Ntare V
  • to 1725 Omukama Rusatira
  • 1725 – 1750 Omukama Mehinga
  • 1750 – 1775 Omukama Kalemera I Ntagara Bwiragenda
  • 1775 – 1795 Omukama Ntare VI “Kiitabanyoro”
  • 1795 – 1820 Omukama Ruhinda VI Orushongo “Lwanyabugondo”
  • 1820 – 1855 Omukama Ndagara I “Luzingamcucu lwa nkwanzi”
  • 1855 – 1881 Omukama Rumanyika I Rugundu
  • 1881 – 1882 Omukama Kalemera II Kanyenje
  • 1882 – 1893 Omukama Ndagara II Nyamkuba
  • 1893 – 1914 Omukama Ntare VII
  • 1914 – 1916 Omukama Kahigi -regent
  • 1916 – 1939 Omukama Daudi Rumanyika II
  • 1939 – 1962 Omukama Bernardo Itogo Ruhinda VII
  • Today – Omukama Cristian Rumanyika as head spokesman of the Bahinda clan

Omukama Ruhinda VII Bernard Itogo Rweihimba of the Kingdom of Karagwe was born in 1908 and died in 1983. He reigned from 1939- 1963.

5. Ihangiro kingdom, Kagera

The Kingdom of Ihangiro was one of the states of the Haya people. It was ruled by kings called Omugabe

  • c.1625 – c.1680           Omugabe Ntare I
  • c.1680 – c.1725           Omugabe Muramira
  • c.1725 – c.1750            Omugabe Buto
  • c.1750 – c.1770            Omugabe Mugunda I
  • c.1770 – c.1835            Omugabe Nyarabamba I
  • c.1835 – c.1855           Omugabe Ruhinda III
  • c.1855 – c.1870           Omugabe Ntare II
  • c.1870 – 1875              Omugabe Katanagi                            
  • 1875 – 1911                Omugabe Rukanya Nyarabamba II               
  • 1911 – 1936                Omugabe Ruhinda IV                          
  • 1936 – 1952                Omugabe Petro Mugunda II
  • 1952 – 2008         Omugabe Sylvester Ntare III                  
  • Today – Omugabe Charles Ntare

6. Kyamtwara kingdom, Kagera

Kyamtwara kingdom was naother kingdom of the Haya people, it was also known as Kabale. The king was locally titled Omukama

  • c.1700 – ….             Omukama Mutashaba
  • …. – ….                 Omukama Lyangombe
  • …. – ….                 Omukama Muhimbira
  • …. – ….                 Omukama Rukamba I
  • …. – c.1820              Omukama Rushuma                           
  • c.1820 – 1860         Omukama Kitekere                            
  • 1860 – 1888            Omukama Kaitaba
  • 1888 – 1895            Omukama Mukotani
  • 1895 – 1901             Omukama Bwahama
  • 1901 – 1916              Omukama Muntu
  • 1916 – 1939              Omukama Edward Lwaijumba                
  • 1939 – 1962             Omukama Gabriel Rugabandana                 
  • 1962 – 2007            Omukama Emmanuel Rukamba II                 
  • Today – Omukama Innocent Rukamba

7. Ngara bugufi Kingdom, Kagera

  • Today – Devid Baramba

8. Ngara Bushubi kingdom, Kagera

  • protase Nsolo

9. Maruku Bukara Kingdom, Kagera

Maruku was also known as Bukara ruled by a king called Omukama

  • …. – ….                Omukama Kashare Kanyango
  • …. – ….                Omukama Rusembo
  •                              [last before incorporation into Karagwe]
  • …. – ….                Omukama Bwogi I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Nyamigera
  • …. – ….                Omukama Kikuba
  • …. – ….                Omukama Kalemera I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Rukambyai Bwogi II
  • …. – ….                Omukama Mahe Rugamora I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Kasita Kahigi I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Nkwenge
  • …. – ….                Omukama Karumuna Rugamora II
  • …. – ….                Omukama Mpangukano Bwogi III
  • c.1860                Omukama Mwiru Kalemera II
  • …. – 1894            OmukamaBwogi IV
  • 1894 – 1915         OmukamaKishebuka I
  • 1916                     Omukama Kishebuka II   
  • 1916 – 1962         Omukama David Rugamora III
  • Today Omukama Crisipine Mutaremwa Bwogi V

10. Bugabo Kingdom, Kagera

Bugabo is another kingdom of the Haya people. It was ruled by a Omukama

  • 1860 – 1895            Omukama Kahiyoza (Kayoza)
  • 1895 – 1899            Omukama Rutahigwa
  • 1899 – 1910             Omukama Rwakyendera
  • 1910 – 1927             Omukama Rugacwa
  • 1927 – 1937             Omukama Gabriel Rutalemwa
  • 1937 – 1943             Omukama Lweikiza
  • 1943 – 1962             Omukama Galikani Rwegerera

There is still throne succcession issues

11. Missenyi kingdom, Kagera

Also known as Kivumbiro or Buddu, it was renamed Missenyi in 1890. Kings were locally known as Omukama

  • …. – ….                Omukama Wamara (Wakara) I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Kakoko I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Nyamtura I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Lwekika I
  • …. – ….                Omukama Kakoko II
  • …. – ….                Omukama Nyamtura II
  • …. – ….                Omukama Kakoko III
  • …. – 1870            Omukama Kyamkuma I Kaka                            
  • 1870 – 1913         Omukama Lwekika II
  • 1913 – 1919          Omukama Suleiman Kakoko Wamara II
  • 1919 – 1955         Omukama Paulo Rwamujongo Nyamutura III
  • 1955 -2001   Omukama Serapion K.L. Kyamkuma II                  
  • Today Omukama Paul Rwamjongo II

HA PEOPLE (WAHA)/BUHA KINGDOMS

1. HERU/ waheru

The Heru are part of the Ha people who lived in many kingdoms including Heru, Manyovu/Nkalinzi, Bushingo, Banyingu, Kunkanda and Muhambwe kingdoms. Mwami or Female King Theresa Ntare iv (TERESIA JOSEPH NDALICHAKO) was the female king of the Heru kingdom, Kasulu District, Tanzania. She was the only female monarch in Tanzania succeeding her father Joseph Ndalichako Rwasa III in 1946 and reigning until 1962/1999. Her son Costa Shinyanga is currently the Mwami or monarch of the Heru. https://theafricanroyalfamilies.com/2020/07/15/mwami-theresa-ntare-iv-of-heru/

  • c.1600                 Mwami Kilezi
  • c.1620                  Mwami Kimenyi
  • …. – ….                Mwami Maziga          
  • …. – c.1720           Mwami Masimba                            
  • c.1750 – ….           Mwami Ruhinda I             
  • c.1720 – c.1750    Mwami Kivunangoma
  • …. – ….                Mwami Kanyoni I
  • …. – ….                Mwami Ntare I                             
  • c.1855                   Mwami Bigondo Rwasa Luasa
  • 1855 – 18..            Mwami Nyamihondo Rwasa I
  • 18.. – 18..               Mwami Kanyoni II
  • 18.. – 18..               Mwami Ntare II   
  • 1890 – 1897          Mwami Rwasa II
  • 1897 – 1918           Mwami Ntare III                           
  • 1918                       Mwami Katondwa
  • 1918 – 1921            Mwami Ruhinda II (Ruyagwa)(usurper)
  • 1921 – 1929           Mwami Makwaya Kanyoni III                 
  • 1929 – 1946          Mwami Joseph Ndarichako Rwasa III         
  • 1946 – 1962  Mwami Theresa (Theresia) Ntare IV 
  • 1999 – current Mwami Costa Shinyanga

2. Manyovu

Manyovu or Nkalinzi is also another Ha kingdom headed currently by Chifu/King Fadhili

LUGURU PEOPLE /WALUGURU /ULUGURU

The Luguru people are a tribe in Tanzania that still have retained their traditional monarchs. From 1906 they were called sultans until the abolition of the traditional leaders. Today the leader is mainly addressed as chief or chifu in swahili language.

The late chief or sultan /Ruler Kingalu XIV Mwanabanzi reigned from 1962 until his death in 2015. The late monarch was a close friend of former president Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania who was bestowed with a title by the late monarch. After his funeral his successor was immediately installed as the new monarch, Sultan Kingalu XV.

  • 1687 – ….                 Kingalungalu 
  • …. – ….                 Kingalu I
  • …. – ….               Kingalu II,III
  • …. – ….                 Kingalu IV Fimbombili
  • c.1850 – 1871             Kingalu V Kisabengo
  • 1871 – 1890                Kingalu VI Mwanashaa
  • 1890 – ….                 Kingalu VII Kingo
  • …. 1906       Kingalu VIII Mwanambago              (d. 1906)
  • 1906 – 1916                …. (appointed by Germans)
  • 1916 – 1925                Kingalu IX Mwanilinga
  • 1925 -1936 They split into northen muslim and southern christians
  • – Northern Uluguru –
  • 1925 – 1936                Muhina Goso Kingo
  • – Southern Uluguru –
  • 1925 – 1927                Kingalu X Mwanamfuko                 (d. 1927)
  • 1927 – 1933                Kingalu XI Mwanarubela               (d. 1953)
  • 1933 – 1936                Gungurogwa 
  • re-united 
  • 1936 – 1943                Kingu   
  • 1943 – 1950                Sabu bin Salo    
  • 1950 – 1953                Kingalu XI Mwanamfuko/Kingalu XI Mwanarubela
  • 1953 – 1955                Kingalu XII Mwanakinoge
  • 1955 – 1962                Kingalu XIII Mwinyimvua  
  • 1962 – 2015                Kingalu XIV Mwanabanzi
  • 2015 – current  Kingalu XV

HEHE / WAHEHE PEOPLE

Hehe are a bantu speaking tribe found majorly in Iringa region. The most famous monarch was King/chief (Mtwaa) Mkwawa who reigned from 1855-1898. He is famous for his skull which was taken to Germany during the colonial era after he shot himself to resist german rule and arrest. His skull is currently on display at his museum at Iringa, Tanzania.

The current chief/king (Mtwa) or monarch is Chief Adam Abdul Sapi Mkwawa Mfwimi ii. He became monarch in 2015 after the death of his father Chief Abdul at the age of 13 and officially installed in June 2020 after reaching adulthood. He is also a descendant of the famous chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa, first speaker of Tanzania parliament.

CHAGGA / waChagga Kingdoms

The Chagga were organised into many kingdoms headed by monarchs called Mangi(King). They included Keni, Marangu, Kibosho, Kilema, Machame, Kirua, Moshi, Mamba, Mbokomu, Mwika, Ussere, Uru, Siha etc. They later came together to form a Paramountcy headed by an elected Paramount King amongst themselves called Mangi Mkuu

Machame culture

1. Marangu

Mangi mkuu Thomas Lenana Marealle II of chagga tribe of Tanzania (1915-2007) was initially the Mangi of Marangu. He was later elected to become Mangi Mkuu for all Chagga kingdoms. He attended the British coronation of Queen Elizabeth together with his wife (mkamangi) Elifuraha Marealle. His tenure as Mangi Mkuu was regarded as a golden age, marked by major improvements in education, health, the cooperative movement, and communications in his area. In particular his court system and his equitable water allocation system are recalled with great nostalgia. He later served as UN diplomat after indepndence and abolition of traditional monarchies. While he became Mnagi Mkuu of all Chagga, his brother Mangi Augustine Marealle became Mangi of Marangu and was succceeded by another brother Mangi Frank Marealle who is Mangi of Marangu.

  • Others before
  • Mangi Ndegoruo Marealle 1881-1911
  • Mangi mkuu Thomas Lenana Marealle 1915-2007
  • Mangi Augustine Marealle
  • Mangi Frank Marealle 2007-

1-Mangi Ndegoruo Marealle (1881-1911), 2Mangi Mkuu Thomas Marealle, 3-Mangi Frank Marealle

Photos; Machame culture, Wikipedia

2. Moshi

The famous Mangi (king) of old Moshi was Mangi Meli (1866-1900) who was hanged by the germans for resisting colonial rule. His skull has still not been returned. Moshi is now a big town in northern Tanzania located on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, while Old Moshi nearby is a former colonial base with many colonial old buildings

  • Mangi Rindi Mandara
  • Mangi Meli Mandara- reigned 1891-1900
  • Mangi Salema – reigned 1900- 1917, banished to Kismayu by british in 1917. Was Meli’s brother
  • Mangi Mkinde – Meli’s cousin (shortly)
  • Mangi Sudi – Mangi Meli’s son, reigned upto 1922
  • Mangi Yawawa Eli Abraham Salema Mandara- Mangi Sudi’s son , reigned 1922-1946 (died 1989)
  • Mangi Thomas A.S. Mandara – reigned 1946-1961 (died 1980)
  • Mangi heir Stephen Thomas Mandaraborn 1959-died 1991

Mangi Meli Photos: Deutsche Fotothek, Wikipedia

3. Rombo

Rombo was ruled by the Mashati dynasty. It was ruled lastly under the leadership of Mangi John Ndaskoi Maruma, he was also the first assistant minister of African Education post independence of Tanganyika now Tanzania, a minister of legislative council.

  • Mangi Saitoti Maruma Marandu
  • Mangi Joseph Maruma – son of Saitoti
  • Mangi Kinabo 1 (shortly overhtrew Joseph and in 1912 John overthrew him)
  • Mangi John Ndaskoi Maruma (died 1987) – Son of Joseph
  • Mangi Oliver Maruma
  • Mangi Harold John Maruma II – Current

Photo; Maruma Family

4. Machame

Machame kingdom was ruled by the Mushi Shangali dynasty which initally ruled Kibosho. Its famous ruler was Mangi Ndesserua who is welcomed modernization for his people and his so Mangi Abdiel Marrice Shangali. Its last ruler before abolition was Mangi Gilead Abdiel Shangali who died in 2013.The famous Billionaire Mercy Anna Shangali Mengi was the daughter of Mangi Abdiel Shangali. Today the Mushi royal compound is at Wari Mmaseni, Machame.

  • Others before
  • Mangi Ndesserua Shangali Yakobo Mushi 1877 – ?
  • Mangi Abdiel Marrice Shangali Mushi, born 1903 – 1976
  • Mangi Gilead Abdiel Shangali (died 2013)

1-2- Mangi Ndesserua Shangali, 3-Mangi Abdiel Marrice Shangali, 1903 – 1976 4-5 Mangi Gilead Abdiel Shangali, 6-7- Mercy Anna Shangali

Wachagga.com, Machame Culture

5. Mamba

Mamba was another kingdom of the Chagga people. Its rulers include

  • Mangi Ukyekekyi Mlawi
  • Mangi Kwimbere Mlawi
  • Mangi Lemnge Kwimbere ruled 1930 -1950
  • Mangi Samweli Weria Kwimbere

1-2 Chief Kwimbere, Mamba, Tanzania, ca.1901-1910 , 3-His son Mangi Lemnge Kwimbere

Photo by USC libraries, Wachagga.com

6. Siha/Kibongoto

Siha was located west of Mount Kilimanjaro from the 17th century. Its most famous king was Mangi Ngalami who was hanged alongside 18 other chagga leaders by the Germans in 1900 for resisting colonial rule.

  • Mangi Ngalami
  • Mangi Sinare
  • Mangi Jacobus
  • Mangi Malamya (outsider installed by the british)
  • Mangi Simeon

The only known photo of Mangi Ngalami

Vunjo

  • Mangi Baltazari Mashingia Moshi

UKEREWE (Kerewe) people

Bukerewe kingdom existed from 1600s by the Kerewe tribe or Wakerewe people. They largely are found on the ukerewe island in lake Victoria which is also the largest lake island in Africa. It has amazing beaches and tourist sites such as the kings palace where you can see royal artefacts and royal graves.

Late Chief Michael Lukumbuzya of Bukerewe kingdom, Ukerewe island, Lake Victoria, Tanzania. He was the 17th king (Omukama) of bukerewe or ukerewe from 1938-1981. Tanzania usually addresses traditional kings as chiefs since independence. He was the son of late16th King Chief Gabriel Ruhumbika who reigned until 1938. After the abolition of the traditional monarchies of Tanzania after independence, he entered public service serving as ambassador of Tanzania to USA, Mexico and world bank, later ambassador to Sweden, Denmark, Finland etc and last ambassador to Canada. He died in 1981. His son is the current 18th Omukama of Ukerewe and lives in Austria.

His father was also the mastermind behind the palace located at Bukindo which was built in 1927/1928 under an Italian architect.

  • … – ….                Omukama Kihira                              
  • …. – ….               Omukama Katobaha I
  • …. – ….               Omukama Kaseza I
  • …. – c.1710         Omukama Katobaha II                        
  • c.1710                 Omukama Mihigo I
  • …. – ….               Omukama Kahana
  • …. – ….               Omukama Lutsna Mumanya
  • …. – 1780           Omukama Nago                              
  • 1780 – 1820      Omukama Mihigo II                           
  • 1820 – ….          Omukama Katobaha III
  • …. – ….               Omukama Golita
  • …. – ….               Omukama Luhinda    
  • …. – 1835           Omukama Ibanda Kaseza II                    
  • 1835 – 1869       Omukama Macunda (Machunda)
  • 1869 – 1894       Omukama Lukonge
  • 1894 – 1907       Omukama Kahana Kukaka
  • 1907 – 1938       Omukama Gabriel Kaseza Ruhumbika        
  • 1938 –  1981       Omukama Michael Lukumbuzya Mwinamila 
  • 1981 – Omukama Kaseza Lukumbuzya (lives in Austria)

Photos: TZembassy, Ukerewetourism, utaliiukerewe

ZANAKI (WaZanaki) people

Zanaki tribe is one of the smallest tribes in Tanzania. they are majorly based in Butiama Mwanza region. Julius Nyerere, first president of Tanzania was the son of late King (chief) Burito Nyerere of Zanaki tribe of Tanzania, one of the smallest tribes of Tanzania. His father King (chief) Burito Nyerere reigned for 30 years from 1912 to 1942. His mother was the fifth of 22 wives of late King Burito Nyerere.Chief Japhet Wanzagi Nyerere is the current reigning monarch of the Zanaki tribe of Tanzania. He succeded his late father in 1997 after the death of his father late Chief Edward Wanzagi Nyerere who himself had succeded his late father King( chief) Burito Nyerere in 1942. He is the grandson of late King Burito Nyerere of Zanaki tribe of Tanzania. He is also the nephew of the first president of Tanzania Julius Nyerere. Chief Japhet Wanzagi Nyerere is married to one wife.

  • 1912 – 1942 King/chief Burito Nyerere
  • 1942 – 1997 King/chief Edward Wanzagi Nyerere
  • 1997 – current King/chief Japhet Nyerere

SUKUMA PEOPLE (WaSukuma)

The Sukuma people of Tanzania are a bantu ethnic group and are the largest ethnic group in Tanzania. They were organized into 52 clans or chiefdoms each headed by a chief or monarch called Ntemi/Mtemi. During colonial era they selected one of their own as paramount chief for colonial independence lobbies.

1. Busiya / busiya, Sukuma people

Busiha is an area inhabited by the Usiha subtribe of Sukuma people of Tanzania. They have always had a monarch since the ancient times which exists to today. The most famous chief monarch of busiha is late Mtemi David Kidaha Makwaia. Born in 1922 to late king/Chief Makwaia mwandu, he studied in makerere University and oxford University. He succeeded his father in 1945 as chief of Usiha. David Makwaia later became paramount chief of the Sukuma tribes federation oversseing over 50 kingdoms. In 1948 he was elected to the legislative Council for 10 years. The role he played in helping Tanzania attain a independence is usually overshadowed due to the fact that the first government abolished the role of King/chiefs.

He was among the few African royals who attended the British coronation 1953 in London and is a member of order of the British empire. He moved to Nairobi for business but later returned in 1975. He was quite popular and was at once seen as a possible president for Tanzania by the colonialists. He died in 2007 leaving his wife and four children and is buried in his Ibadakuli state house site . His brother Hussein Makwaia shortly succeded him as mtemi of Usiha. David’s son Edward Makwaia succeeded him as Mtemi of Usiha.

  • 1880 – 1905              Mtemi Mwandu                      (d. 1905)
  • 1905 – 1945               Mtemi Makwaia Mwandu              (d. 1945)
  • 1945 – 1954                Mtemi David Paul Kidaha Makwaia   (b. 1922 – d. 2007)
  • 1954 – 1962                Mtemi Hussein Makwaia             (b. c.1923 – d. 2005)
  • Current Mtemi Edward Makwaia

Mtemi Edward Makwaia and wife

2. Bukumbi, Sukuma people, Mwanza region

Bukumbi’s late monarch was Ntemi Ilago Charles Kafipa/Kaphipha who died in 2021. He was crowned in 1944 to succeed his late father Ntemi Shimbe Anthony at the age of 16/17. His father was Ntemi Shimbe Anthony Kaphipha reigned from 1915 to 1944,while his grandfather Minzimalulu reigned 1896 – 1915. He was monarch for 77 years, married to Ngole (Queen) Mary Kaphipha with children.

3. Bujashi, Mwanza

Bujashi is another kingdom of the Sukuma people located in Mwanza . Its monarch is called Mtemi. The current Mtemi is Charles Dotto Itale

NGONI PEOPLE OF SONGEA, TANZANIA

Ngoni people of Songea, Tanzania are descendants of Ndwandwe people of South Africa who escaped Shaka zulu mfecane wars led by Zwangendaba and moved to south of Tanzania. Inkosi Ya Makhosi Zulu Gama 1 is the current monarch. His descendant Inkosi Mputa Gama was hanged, withhis headmen and general public for resisting Gerrman Colonial rule during the Majimaji rebellion in 1906. The maji maji rebellion was a resistance of african tribes and muslims against forced growing of cotton by German colonials. Around 300,000 people died

SULTANATE OF KIENEMBONWE UJIJI, KIGOMA, TANZANIA (WAMANYEMA)

Sultan (Kolo) Othman Hamza Malilo II is the current reigning monarch of the sultanate of Kienembonwe, Ujiji town in kigoma region. It is inhabited by the manyema people

SAFWA PEOPLE (WASAFWA), Mbeya

Chief Rocket Mwashinga is the reigning monarch of the Safwa people of Mbeya region in Tanzania. He is famously known for rocking his natural dreadlocks

NAMWANGA PEOPLE (WANYAMWANGA)

The Namwanga people of southern Tanzania are ruled by Paramount Chief Jubeck Chipanzyamakandi Mkoma the 27th. After the establishment of colonial borders a population of left in Zambia and others in Malawi. Those in Zambia Nkonde area are ruled by a chieftainess Nawaitwika (always a woman) appointed by the Paramount chief of Tanzania. There are also senior chiefs under them.

Photos: Songwe.go.tz , SongweShindani

SHAMBAA PEOPLE / SambaaShambalaSambala or Sambara

Kimweri Mputa Magogo (1914 – 20 September 2000) was a traditional leader of the Shambaa people of the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. He was the last of his dynasty.

BENA PEOPLE (WABENA)

Chief(Mtemi) Elias Waziri Mkongwa of Bena people of Tanzania, Njombe region passed away in September 2021. His sub chief is to be crowned as royal monarch chief of the Bena .

  • …. – ….                Wakinimanga
  • …. – ….                Kibugura
  • …. – ….                Luatu
  • …. – ….                Mpingi
  • …. – ….                Nguano
  • …. – 1860            Ndaliwali
  • 1860 – 1863        Mzawira
  • 1863 – 1884         Mtengera I
  • 1884 – 1905        Kiwanga I                      
  • 1905 – 1917         Salimbingo                    
  • 1905 – 1914        –Regent
  • 1917                      Mnyaubena Kiwanga II (1st time)    
  • 1918 – 1919           Mtengera II                        
  • 1919 – 1928          Mnyaubena Kiwanga II (2nd time)    
  • 1928 – 1962         Towegale Kiwanga III              
  • …… – 2021       Elias Waziri Mkongwa                    

SANGU PEOPLE (WASANGU)

The Sangu are a ethnic group found majorly in the uSangu plain. The current holder of the chief/King(Mtemi) of Sangu/wasangu is Chief Salehe Merere VIII. Behind him is the old palace which is in ruins

  • 1834 – 1860                Mtemi Mui’Gumbi Merere I                 (d. 1860)
  • 1860 – 1893                Mtemi Towelamahamba Merere II            (d. 1893)
  • 1893                        Mtemi Mugandilwa Merere III (1st time)   (d. 1906)
  • 1896 – 1906                Mtemi Mugandilwa Merere III (2nd time)   (s.a.)
  • 1906 – 1950                Mtemi Mxabuwoga Merere IV          
  • 1950 – 1953                Mtemi Myotishuma –Regent 
  • 1953 – 1962/1988     Mtemi Alfeo Mgandilwa Merere V          
  • 1988 – c.1989             Mtemi Yusuf Merere VI (1st time)
  • 1989 – c.2002           Mtemi Ahmed Merere VII
  • 2002 – 2003             Mtemi Yusuf Merere VI (2nd time)
  • 2003 –                     Mtemi Salehe Alfeo Merere VIII

NYAMWEZI PEOPLE (Wanyamwezi)

The Nyamwezi people were organized into various smaller monarchies considered to be chiefdoms. They included Ulyankuru, Ugunda, Kiwere, Uyowa, Busagari, Unyanyembe, Ngulu, Karunde
Ibili, Bukumbi, Mwakarunde, Karitu, Puge, Mwangoye, Busongo, Nyawa, Unyambiyu,
Ndala, Usumbwa, Lunguya, Busangi, Ngaya, Ngogwa, Mpunze, Bulungwa, Ukune, Kahama, Ushetu, Ukamba, Mpunze, Uyogo each with its own monarch called Mtemi. Below are some

1. Unyanyembe

Unyanyembe was a traditional monarchy now considered a chiefdom of the Nyamwezi people of Tanzania. Their monarch was called Mtemi which means Chief or king or ruler. Their most famous monarch who was also the first minister of Justice was Abdallah Said Fundikira III who died in 2007. Currently the throne is held by 20th Chief/King (Mtemi) Msagata Ngulati Said Fundikira since 2007. He is also the vice chair of all royal chiefs/kings of Tanzania. The palace is located at Itetemia. Famous Tanzanian figures like former Speaker Samuel Sitta,

  • 1727 – 1737                Mtemi Katwanga                      
  • 1737 – 1755                Mtemi Mpute
  • 1755 – 1766                Mtemi Mputo                            
  • 1766 – 1773                Mtemi Kaundi
  • 1773 – 1780                Mtemi Nsonso Nsemamilundi (f)
  • 1780 – 1790                Mtemi Manywa                          
  • 1790 – 1800               Mtemi Mgalula                            
  • 1800 – 1837               Mtemi Swetu I                        
  • 1837 – 1859                Mtemi Isale Fundikira                   
  • 1859 – 1864                Mtemi Mnwasele 
  • 1864 – 1885                Mtemi Kiyungi I Mkasiwa            
  • 1885 – 1893         Mtemi Silanda Isike “mwana Kiyungi”     
  • 1893 – 1896                Mtemi Nyanso (f)                        
  • 1896 – 1917                 Mtemi Kalunde Mwana Gumadi (f)
  • 1917 – 1927                Mtemi Saidi Fundikira I (Sultan Said)
  • 1927 – 1932                 Mtemi Kiyungi II Mwana Isike           
  • 1932 – 1948                Mtemi Ilagila Mkasiwa (f)               
  • 1948 – 1957                Mtemi Nassor Said Fundikira II (shot himself to avoid being arrested by colonials)         
  • 1957 – 1962/2007     Mtemi Abdallahi Saidi Fundikira III     
  • 2007 –                     Mtemi Msagata Ngulati Said Fundikira (Vangwe Mlagamawi)

1– Mtemi Said Fundikira I, 2- Mtemi Nassor Said Fundikira II, 3- Mtemi Said Fundikira III, 4-5 Mtemi Msagata Fundikira

Photo:Zanzinews, EastafricaTV, Unyanyembe

2. Ngulu

Ngulu located in Sikonge was a traditional monarchy of the Nyamwezi people ruled by a monarch called Mtemi/Ntemi. Its 26th Ntemi was Haroun Msabila Lugusha (1920-died 2001) who reigned from 1940 to 2001. A graduate of agriculture at Makerere, he was the first African to be appointed Deputy Speaker of the Tanganyika Legislative Council and later asisistant minister for local government. He attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and received a coronation medal, MBE. His son is the 27th Ntemi Kimwaga Mhalule Lugusha.

  • Others
  • 1916 – 1921          Ntemi Pagama
  • 1921 – 1922         Ntemi Kimwaga
  • 1922 – 1940        Ntemi Lugusha
  • 1940 – 1962        26th Ntemi Harun Msabila Lugusha
  • Current – 27th Ntemi Kimwaga Mhalule Lugusha


FIPA PEOPLE (WAFIPA)/NKANSI

Fipa people (WaFipa) (was also called Nkansi) in swahili are a bantu speaking group in South western Tanzania particularly based in Sumbuwanga, Nkasi and Rukwa regions. It was ruled by a monarch called Mwene. One of their monarchs was a woman Mwene Ngalu (see photo below) Current Monarch is Mwene Aldolf Wangao Kapufi IV.

  •  Ntatakwa
  • …. – ….                Mwene Sulandasi
  • …. – ….                Mwene Ntaseka
  • …. – ….                Mwene Msili
  • …. – ….                Mwene Ndaasi
  • 1780?                  Mwene Ntinda I Mkolokombe
  • …. – ….                Mwene Suumba I Mwaana Nsia
  • …. – ….                Mwene Nandi I wa Kukutango
  • …. – ….                Mwene Ntinda II Kwasiganwa
  • …. – ….                Mwene Ncinga Cileengwi
  • …. – ….                Mwene Suumba II Kalonga “inkosi”
  • …. – 1860           Mwene Sangu Capitimpuunda
  • 1860 – 1891        Mwene Nandi II Kapuufi                
  • 1891                     Mwene Suumba III
  • 1891                     Mwene Ntinda III Kiteta (1st time)      
  • 1891 – 1898         Mwene Nandi III Msuulwa
  • 1898 – 1916         Mwene Ntinda IV Kilatu                  
  • 1916 – 1931          Mwene Ngalu Cisicamfipa (a woman)
  • 1931 – 1956         Mwene Ntinda III Kapere (2nd time)       
  • 1956 – 1962       Mwene  Joseph Kapuufi II
  • Current Mwene Adolf Wangao Kafupi IV
    • Malema I Richard Sinyangwe

Woman Mwene Ngalu, Mwene Joseph, Mwene Adolf and Malema

Photo; Mkwinda blog

NYIHA PEOPLE (WANYIHA)

Nyiha people are Bantu people found around Mbeya region in Tanzania. They were governed into various chiefdoms or kingdoms notably headed by a monarch called Mwene. Three of the most powerful included Mwene Nzunda, Mwene Mwamlima and Mwene Nzowa. The current Mwene is Mwene Nzunda

GOGO PEOPLE (WAGOGO)

Gogo/Gongwe (Wagogo) are an ethnic group found in Dodoma region, Tanzanias capital city. Its most famous monarch was Mtemi Daudi Mazengo Salomona Chalula who ruled for 84 years dying at the age of 106. He ruled for four consecutive terms, from 1876 to 1887 (before colonial era), 1888 to 1919 (During German colonialism), 1920 to 1961 (England colonialism), and from 1961 to 1963 under former premier, Mwalimu Nyerere.He was also invited to bless the independence celebrations by President Julius Nyerere. The name Ikulu used today as substitute for State house was originally used for the palace of the monarch – Mvumi Ikulu.In 1958 he was appointed to grace an official welcoming ceremony of Britain’s Princess Margaret in Tabora Region. Mtemi Solomon Mazengo, as he was known in his last days, was married to six wives and fathered 30 children with 50 grandsons upon his death at the age of 106 in 1967. Their current Monarch is Mtemi Henry Mazengo II.

HADZABE (WAHADZABE)

Hadzabe are a hunting and gathering community living in Tanzania. Their current monarch is Chief Edward Mkumbo.

SINGIDA

Paramount Chief Mugenyi Senge Mugenyi Ndovu of Singida region is the overall senior chief of all chiefs in this region.

Photos : Diramakini

NYATURU PEOPLE (WANYATURU)

1. Unyikungu

Chief Singu Missanga Senge is the current monarch of Nyikungu chiefdom of Nyaturu people

BONDEI PEOPLE (WABONDEI)

Bondei are a bantu ethnic group closely related to the Shambaa people. They were named Bondei to mean valley(bonde) in swahili by the Klindi dynasty. Its famous chief (Mtema) in 1958 was Erasto Andrew Mbwana Mang’enya who served as an ambassador and UN representative

Tanzania Embassy

Luo people

Chief MSANGI ONGATI NGATI NGOJE of Kakseru and chairman of the 18 luo clans in Rorya district of Tanzania


Sources

Worldstatesmen.org

notesandrecords

http://www.wachagga.com

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2 thoughts on “Tanzania chiefs and monarchs (Machifu na Wafalme wa Tanzania)

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  1. This website is very useful and informative. I am happy that a person like you, committing yourself and your time to educate us.
    Be blessed. And keep your work ip.!!

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