The Xhosa, popularly known as the "Red Blanket People," are descendants of Nguni, like the Zulu. The term Xhosa refers to a number of proud clans, including the Pondo, Bomvana, Thembu, and the Xhosa tribe itself.
The traditional colors of the Xhosa, Tembu, and Bomvana were red and ochre orange ("the red ones"). The Xhosa (formed up of the Gcaleka, Ngqika, Ndlambe, and Dushane clans), Thembu, and Pondo were among the earliest Nguni immigrants to arrive in South Africa.
However, these tribes were later joined by a second group of Nguni-speakers. These were the tribes driven out of Zululand by Shaka, the Zulu monarch. When peace was declared, some returned to Zululand, but others who stayed were known as the Mfengu and were integrated into the Xhosa tribe. The Xhosa nation's backbone was created by early immigrants, and they have a right to be proud. They were not only the second largest group of black Africans in South Africa, but also the only ones who had never been vanquished or enslaved by another tribe.
According to historical evidence, the Xhosa people have been in the Eastern Cape since at least 1593, and most likely far before that. The discovery of archaeological evidence implies that Xhosa-speaking people have resided in the area since the 7th century AD. The Thembu tribe had settled near the Nbashi River by the mid-seventeenth century, while the ancient Xhosa tribe had settled around the Kei River and beyond.
The senior Xhosa chiefdom was respected and paid honor to, but it was not feared. The senior chief lacked the military might to become king of a more centralised state. When Rarabe, the chief's brother, disputed his brother's leadership and was chased away with his followers, the chiefdom was severely undermined. His son Ndlambe replaced him as senior western Xhosa chief, followed by Ngqika, his grandson, who took over the chieftainship from his uncle in 1796.
There are some Xhosa people that live in Zimbabwe, and it has been proven that they have lived there for years and still practice the same traditional practices as the Xhosa people in South Africa, but Xhosa people do not come from Zimbabwe.
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