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Lobengula(lō'bĕng-go͞o`lə), c.1833–94, king of Matabeleland (now in Zimbabwe). After succeeding his father (1870), he tried to turn aside the approaches of European colonizers. In 1888, however, under pressure from Cecil RhodesRhodes, Cecil John
, 1853–1902, British imperialist and business magnate. Business Career
The son of a Hertfordshire clergyman, he first went to South Africa in 1870, joining his oldest brother, Herbert, on a cotton plantation in Natal.
..... Click the link for more information. , he ceded his mineral rights in exchange for small payment, and Rhodes used those concessions to form the British South Africa Company (1889). When British gold miners began appearing, Lobengula rallied his people and in 1893 attacked the British. The results were disastrous for the NdebeleNdebele
, Bantu-speaking people inhabiting Matabeleland North and South, W Zimbabwe. The Ndebele, now numbering close to 2 million, originated as a tribal following in 1823, when Mzilikazi, a general under the Zulu king Shaka, fled with a number of warriors
..... Click the link for more information. (Matabele); Lobengula died while fleeing north.
Born circa 1836; died 1894. Inkosi (ruler, supreme chief) of the Matabele people. The last powerful independent African ruler in Southern Africa (1870–94).
During the 1880’s Lobengula attempted to exploit the conflicts between Great Britain, Germany, and the Transvaal in the area between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers, using diplomacy to retard imperialist expansion in the region. In 1888 he was compelled to conclude a “friendship treaty” with Great Britain and a “treaty” with agents of C. Rhodes, granting concessions for mineral resources in his country. He led the Matabele liberation struggle in 1893.