Xhosa Kingdom, amaXhosa people of South Africa

Xhosa Kingdom is a traditional monarchy of the amaXhosa people of South Africa. They are a nguni speaking people who speak the isixhosa language and the second largest ethnic group in Southern Africa. The Kingdom was founded in 15th century by King Tshawe.

AmaTshawe is Royal clan that rules Xhosa Kingdom. It is named after King Tshawe KaNkosiyamntu.

Royal Titles

  • King – iKumkani
  • Queen – iKumkanikazi
  • Queen Mother / great royal wife – iNdlunkulu (Great royal wife/house), sometimes Indlovukazi
  • Prince – iNkosana
  • Princess – iNkosazana
  • Chief – iNkosi
  • Palace – Nqadu Great Place

Kings of United Xhosa

  • Xhosa kaMnguni (Nguni nation would come to be known as AmaXhosa)
  • Malangana KaXhosa
  • Ngcwangube KaMalangana
  • Nkosiyane KaNgcwangube
  • Nkosiyamntu KaNkosiyane
  • Tshawe KaNkosiyamntu (Xhosa royal clan is named after him)
  • Ngcwangu KaTshawe
  • Sikhomo KaNgcwangu
  • Togu KaSikhomo
  • Ngconde KaTogu
  • Tshiwo KaNgconde
  • Phalo KaTshiwo – 1736 to 1775
  • Gcaleka KaPhalo & Rharhabe KaPhalo.

According to history, King Phalo married two royal brides , amampondomise and abathembu pincesses who both arrived the same day. This resulted in a crisis on who would be senior to the other. This was solved by having one wife as Great royal wife and the other as Right hand royal house. Gcaleka KaPhalo faced tried to usurp his father’s rule and interclan war broke out resulting in the Xhosa nation to split into two major sub-groups

This kingdom is today divided into two according to the two sons of the two royal houses :

  • Gcaleka – Great royal house. Named after Gcaleka, Great royal Son and heir of King Phalo and amaMpondomise princess. Today Lineage rules Xhosa Kingdom
  • Rharhabe – right hand house. Named after Rharhabe, right hand house son of King Phalo . Today lineage rules Rharhabe Kingdom

Prior the arrival of the Europeans, the Xhosa territory stretched from Mbhashe River to Gamtoos River in the Southern Cape. The Gcaleka House had jurisdiction from Mbhashe river to Kei river, and the Rharhabe House beyond the Kei River and extended beyond the Fish River.

Gcaleka Kings: Great House / Xhosa kingdomRharhabe Kings: Right Hand House
King Gcaleka KaPhalo – 1775 to 1792King Rharhabe KaPhalo
King Khawuta KaGcaleka – 1792 – 1804King Mlawu KaRharhabe
King Hintsa KaKhawuta (The most renowned & respected King in Xhosa history – Aa! Zanzolo!) – 1820 – 1835King Ndlambe kaRharhabe
King Sarhili KaHintsa – 1835 – 1892King Ngqika KaMlawu
King Sigcawu KaSarhili – 1892 – 1902King Maqoma KaNgqika(Also commander of the Xhosa Army, – Aa! Jongumsobomvu!)
King Gwebinkumbi KaSigcawu – 1902 – 1921King Sandile KaNgqika
King Ngangomhlaba KaGwebinkumbi – 1923 – 1933King Gonya KaSandile
King Zwelidumile KaGwebinkumbi – 1933 – 1965King Faku KaGonya 
King Xolilizwe KaGwebinkumbi – 1965 – 2005King Velile KaFaku
King Zwelonke Calvin Mpendulo KaXolilizwe, Aa! Zwelonke – 2006 – 2019King Mxolisi KaVelile
King Ahlangene KaXolilizwe Aa! Vulikhaya – currentKing Maxhob’ayakhawuleza KaMxolisi
King onguxolo KaMaxhob’ayakhawuleza (Aa!Vululwandle!) 
see more on –Rharhabe Royal Family
  • King Xolilizwe Sigcawu
    • Queen Nondwe Sigcawu born Princess Feziwe Ndamase of amaMpondo AseNyandeni (Great wife)
      • Prince Siseko Sigcawu
      • Princess NomaGcaleka Sigcawu
    • Queen Nozamile Sigcawu
      • King Zwelonke Sigcawu Calvin Mpendulo
      • Prince Simphiwe Sigcawu
      • Princess Vuyiswa Sigcawu
      • Princess Nontathu Sigcawu
    • Queen Nogaweni Sigcawu
      • King Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu
      • Princess Bukelwa Sigcawu
      • Princess Thobeka Sigcawu
      • Princess Sheila Sigcawu
    • Queen Nolusapho –
      • Prince Phandulwazi Sigcawu
    • Queen Nolitha
  • King Zwelonke Sigcawu Calvin Mpendulo
    • King had eight children, including three sons including Princess Inathi NomaTshawe Sigcawu with four wives namely
    • Queen Nolwando Sigcawu
    • Queen Sive Sigcawu
    • Queen Simanye Sigcawu
    • Queen Liyema Sigcawu
  • King Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu
    • Queen Nonzuze


  • Inkciyo Eastern Cape, Xhosa Kingdom Heritage Celebration




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