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(ĕndəbē`lē) or


(mătəbē`lē), 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 across the Drakensberg Range into present-day NE South Africa. Reinforced by other Zulu deserters, the Ndebele raided as far south as the Orange River, destroying or absorbing the surrounding tribes except for the Ngwato of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), who paid tribute. Driven north (1837) by the Boers and by the Zulus, Mzilikazi crossed the Limpopo River and established his people in Matabeleland, their present homeland. From his successor, Lobengula (1870–94), the British South Africa Company secured (1888) the mineral concession for all of Matabeleland. Restive under the restrictions placed on them by European settlers, the Ndebele attacked the settlers. Lobengula was soon defeated by the British and died in hiding. With the suppression of a revolt in 1896 the Ndebele abandoned war and became herders and farmers.


See D. Carnegie, Among the Matabele (1894, repr. 1970); J. M. Selby, Shaka's Heirs (1971).



a people living in Transvaal Province in the Republic of South Africa. Population, about 300,000 (1970, estimate). The Ndebele language, Isindebele, belongs to the southeastern group of the Bantu language family. Most of the Ndebele adhere to ancient traditional religious beliefs, such as the cults of the powers of nature and of ancestral leaders; some of them are Christians. Their main occupations are livestock raising and farming. Many Ndebele work on farms owned by Europeans, in mines, or in the cities of the Republic of South Africa.


Potekhin, I. I. Formirovanie natsional’noi obshchnosti iuzhno-afrikanskikh bantu. Moscow, 1955.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, Ndebele is quick to point out that the planned upgrade of the three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban had been planned long before this southern African nation won the rights to host the global football event.
Ndebele, Njabulo S (1996) 'A home for intimacy', The Mail & Guardian, April 26-May 2.
Nevertheless, as Ndebele and other black South African writers are aware, the readership for novels written in the indigenous languages of this country, other than Afrikaans, is tiny.
Martyn Yorke, former director of nursing at the hospital, told the Nursing and Midwifery Council that Ms Ndebele should have reported the problems she found immediately.
Njabulo Ndebele se "The cry of Winnie Mandela" en Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela se "A human being died that night" het onderskeidelik te make met twee kontroversiele openbare figure: Winnie Mandela en Eugene de Kock.
Premier Ndebele had complained after the radio reports aired, claiming that he had neither been pelted with objects nor driven from the stage.
We have a new chairman in Themba Ndebele, and an excellent black steward - Brian Makwabarara - two black owners, and one black trainer.
Victor Ndebele, aged 29, of Edmund Road, Foleshill, Coventry, was also charged with drivingwithout insurance and obstructing a police constable in the execution of his duty.
Wilson's Ndebele, set to Steve Reich's Drumming Part IV, took its inspiration from the graphic designs of Zimbabwe's Ndeble people.
The purpose of this study was to determine if an indigenous Ndebele plant, isithundu (Xeromphis obovata) extract inhibits Caspase-3 activity, in vitro.
Kwa-Ndebele, a small peri-urban settlement about 60 km northeast of Pretoria, was supposed to be home for the South Ndebele South Africans.