ISBN 9780797442665
Pages 364
Dimensions 210 x 148 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations and Maps
Published 2011
Publisher AmaGugu Publishers, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Lozikeyi Dlodlo

Queen of the Ndebele

by Pathisa Nyathi, Marieke Clarke

In 1999, a defiant 76-year old Mr Stanley Mhlanga confronted the Zimbabwean Forestry Commission. He claimed that Queen Lozikeyi had given his people the land from which they had been evicted. Who was this woman, an inspiration to an old man 80 years after her death? Queen Lozikeyi was the senior queen of Lobhengula, king of the Ndebele people in what is now Zimbabwe. Her early life has been wreathed in mystery, but now at last her story can be told.

This book is one of the first studies of a woman who led her people while the British colonial power occupied her country. She was the intellect behind one of the most effective anti-colonial revolts. Queen Lozikeyi continues to be an inspiration to Zimbabweans today. Queen Lozikeyi, as an Ndebele royal woman, interited a strong constitutional position from Nguni royal foremothers in Zululand. This study shows how Lobhengula's senoir queen and other Ndebele royal women uses their power.

Read an article about the book in the Oxford Mail here.

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"Overall, I feel Marieke Clarke has succeeded in her aim of restoring Queen Lozikeyi to her rightful place in the history of the Ndebele nation, and in doing so she has also made a major contribution to the study of gender in the politics of 19th century southern Africa."

Lozikeyi Dlodlo.doc.pdf — PDF document, 519Kb
John Pinfold,

“…offers a welcome addition; first because it is largely set in the years prior to 1918. Secondly, as the biography of a prominent Ndebele woman, this book brings forward valuable and little-acknowledged elements about women in a kingdom long viewed as male-dominated and militaristic…Clarke offers a fine-grained and suspenseful retelling of the events of the 1890; the unfolding of the 1893 war, the disappearance of the King, the dispossession and grievances  against the British South Africa Company (BSAC), Rhodes’ indabas (meetings) with the Ndebele izinduna (chiefs) that brough the 1896 war to an end. Glinting along this re-told pathway are the crucial bits where the role of Lozikeyi figures into the narrative.”

Journal of South African Studies, vol.38, no.1, March 2012

"Lozikeyi Dlodlo Queen of the Ndebele is a must read for all those interested in knowing the minute details of Ndebele history and social formation. The book is based on a superb combination of rich archival, secondary and oral sources to yield a very readable and enlightening book."

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, South African Historical Journal

About the Authors

Pathisa Nyathi

Pathisa Nyathi is a published poet, playwright, historian and biographer. He is a columnist for the Sunday News, Umthunywa, The Sunday Mirror and Sky Host in Zimbabwe. His creative writing appears in the anthology Short Writings from Bulawayo.

Marieke Clarke

Marieke Clarke is an educator, a former teacher in Zimbabwe, and was Oxfam’s educational materials editor. She is the author of We are the Original People (Ajanta, 1991).

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