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A new Village near Bungeni Big tree, Bungeni Village
A new Village near Bungeni Big tree, Bungeni Village
Bungeni is located in Limpopo
 Bungeni laêditšê ka gare Limpopo
Coordinates: 23°12′22″S 30°13′26″E / 23.206°S 30.224°E / -23.206; 30.224
Naga Afrika Borwa
Porofense Limpopo
Mmasepala Setereke Vhembe
Mmušôselegae Makhado
 • Total 10.94 km2 (4.22 sq mi)
Setšhaba (2011)[1]
 • Total 10,297
 • Density 940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
Dipersente tša merafe (2011)[1]
 • Bathobaso 99.6%
 • Bammala 0.2%
 • MaIndia 0.1%
 • Makgowa 0.1%
 • Šele 0.1%
Dipolelo tša ntlha (2011)[1]
 • Setsonga 90.3%
 • Sevenda 7.3%
 • Šele 2.5%
Nomoro ya poso (Setarata) Molaô la pôsô
Nomoro ya poso (Lepokisi) 4813

Bungeni is a sprawling rural settlement situated at the foothills of the Soutpansberg mountain range in the former Gazankulu homeland, Limpopo Province, South Africa. It lies 35 km East of Makhado, Bungeni is in the Hlanganani district, on the R578 road between Makhado and Giyani. In 1994, administrative control of this western portion of Gazankulu was allocated to Makhado local municipality, in the Vhembe district. It consists of more than 11 large villages, namely Xikhulu, Mabodhlongwa, Xitaci, Mtsetweni, Xihambanyisi, Nwa-Mhandzi, Xivambu, Nhjakanhjaka A, Nhjakanhjaka B, Wayeni, and Mahatlani. According to the 2015 mid-year population statistics, Bungeni has a population of approximately 30,000 people.

Geography and Geology[lokiša | edit source]

Geologically, Bungeni village is located on the 'tail end' of the Soutpansberg mountain range. When the Soutpansberg range was formed over a billion years ago, it resulted in the formation of broken hills all over the village of Bungeni, which is a Geological feature of Bungeni today. These broken hills at Bungeni village were known as 'Spelenkon Hills' Which stretches from Bandelierkop in the west. The name 'Xipilongo' was derived from the railway station situated near Bandelierkop called 'Grootspelenkon'. The village itself is just less than 6 km from Levubu Agricultural plantations and 8 km from the Soutpansberg Mountain range. The soil type is the same as those on the Soutpansberg mountain range. Rainfall at Bungeni corresponds to the climate of the Soutpansberg mountain range, with maximum temperatures during summer reaching as high as 34 °C. The total elevation of the village is 700 metres above sea level.

History[lokiša | edit source]

The name 'Bungeni' is the name of the first son of Nkonwana from his second wife. The hes son was supposed to be Phalani from the first wife of Nkonwana and was the only son from his mother. Bungeni Royal ares/village was named after him, That is where the name "Bungeni" originated. The village should have been named after the surname of the King (Mavunda). Naming a village after the surname of the chief is a common practice amongst the Tsonga people, for example, the village of Mbhokota is named after the surname of chief Mbhokota. The village of Bungeni and its Royal Family originates in KwaZulu Natal where they were known as Mazibuko Clan, where they were a powerful ruling class in Pre-Colonial Natal. The Mazibuko Clan dominated and ruled villages on the slope of Drakensberg Mountains in Northern KwaZulu-Natal for centuries. They left KwaZulu Natal in 1700 with their hundreds of followers, headed east and settled on the coastal plains of Mozambique, where they also became senior chiefs or rulers.

There were many reasons why they left or departed KwaZulu-Natal, one of the common reasons was that they have always been attacked by the Zulu clan to the south, who were in their early stages of forming the Zulu Kingdom by invading or killing other clans. At that time, the Zulu were not an ethnic group but were a clan, like the Mazibuko clan, who both spoke an ancient dialect of the Zulu language. The Mazibuko Clan were harassed again and again by the Zulu clan until they finally decided to leave KwaZulu-Natal and to go and found a new kingdom for themselves in Southern Mozambique. Upon arrival in coastal Mozambique, they adopted Xitsonga language and culture and changed their clan name from Mazibuko clan to Mabunda clan or also known in Tsonga as Vahlavi. However, some retain the Mazibuko surnames, while others preferred Mabunda. The Mabunda clan ruled southern Mozambique for more than 110 years and were finally expelled from Mozambique by the invading armies of Soshangane between 1820 and 1825.

Therefore, Bungeni village, as it is known today, is of relatively recent origin. Hosi Bungeni and his subjects arrived here between 1819 and 1820 from Mozambique during the wars of Soshangane, also known as Manukosi and became the Paramount chief of Tsonga refugees in the Spelenkon (Xipilongo in Xitsonga), Hosi Bungeni exercised Authority over all Tsonga refugees who were fleeing the brutal formation of the Gaza Kingdom by Soshangane in Southern Mozambique, the natural home of the Tsonga people. As Paramount Chief, Hosi Bungeni was responsible for the allocation of land to the Tsonga refugees, the provision of military protection, provision of food, as well as exercising authority over all these refugees.

Upon arrival in Spelenkon as refugees, Chief Bungeni established Bungeni village. Bungeni was a king of sSpilonkeng, but with the introduction of apartheid during the 1960s, Hosi Bungeni was made a Senior Tsonga Chief and ceased being a kingship, by contrast, Hosi Njhakanjhaka was made a Headman who presided over a small village of Shirley, Waterval township, Lemana, Njhakanhjaka village and Mabobo village at a place collectively known as Elim. The authority of Hosi Njhakanhjaka was therefore destroyed over Bungeni Village during Apartheid. Hosi Njhakanhjaka's paramount Chieftaincy was restored in 1995 and is now recognised as a Tsonga paramount Chief.

Chief Bungeni and his people, while in Mozambique, led a rebellious campaign against Nguni invaders, who not only oppressed the Tsonga people but also enslave Tsonga woman and children. Chief Bungeni tried to defend his people but was easily defeated by Soshangane and his soldiers. To avoid death and execution by Soshangane, Chief Bungeni and his followers fled and sought refuge at a place known today as Bungeni, under the protection and authority of chief Njhakanjhaka and was a subject of Hosi Njhakanhjaka. Chief Bungeni was made a senior headman by chief Njhakanjhaka. Another waves of Tsonga migration into Bungeni happen again between 1859-1863 during the civil war between Mzila and Mawewe, the two brother were fighting for a Kingship after the death of their father Soshangane. The last wave of Tsonga migration into Bungeni happened between 1890-1895 during the Portuguese and Nghunghunyane wars.

Hosi Nhjakanhjaka Mukhari, the headman of Spelenkon (which included Valdezia and Elim), along with Joao Albasini, was a chief of all Vatsonga people in a place known today as Hlanganani. A place where Bungeni is situated today was known as Spelenkon (Xipilongo in Xitsonga) and was one of the most important sites of the Great Spelenkon empire, under the mighty arm of Joao Albasini. Hosi Bungeni was an assistant to Joao Albasini and Hosi Nhjakanhjaka, later, Hosi Bungeni was made a Senior traditional leader by the Apartheid government during the 1960s, a position he did not deserve to hold since he fell under the authority of Hosi Nhjakanhjaka. By contrast, the real paramount chief of the Vatsonga of Spelenkon, Hosi Nhjakanhjaka Mukhari, was made an 'Independent Headman' and was given a Tribal Office at Waterval township, below Elim Hospital. Bungeni village, along with Nwa-Xinyamani, Chavani, Mbhokota, Bokisi, Lemana, Njhakanhjaka (Elim), Shirley and Valdezia were collectively known as Spelenkon and became home to thousands of Tsonga refugees fleeing the murderous and oppressive Gaza Kingdom under Soshangane, a Zulu General who has conquered the homeland of Vatsonga people in and around Southern Mozambique.

Soshangane oppressed and terrorised the Tsonga people to such an extent that a wave of immigration into the Transvaal took place, thousands of Vatsonga fled their homes (ku Baleka) and settled at Spelenkon. By length, Bungeni share a border with Nwa-Xinyamani and Ha-Mashamba (Venda settlement) until Ka-Nkuzana, which is Template:Convert long, its brendth, it share a border with Ha-Mashau (a Venda settlement) until Bellevue (Ka-Wayeni), which is also Template:Convert long, making Bungeni one of the biggest Traditional Authority in the Makhado local municipality. In 2019, Bungeni village will be 200 years old.

Education[lokiša | edit source]

Bungeni has 5 secondary schools, which are Russel Bungeni High School, Hluvuka High School, Marholeni Secondary school, Bellevue secondary school and Mahatlani Secondary School. There are 12 Primary schools at Bungeni. There are: Nhjakanhjaka Primary, Muhluri Primary, Mkhono Higher Primary, Bungeni Primary, Xitaci Primary, Mtsetweni Primary, Xihambanyisi primary, Ndlavheya Primary, Nwa-Mhandzi primary, Wayeni primary, Mahatlani primary and Masungi primary.

Health[lokiša | edit source]

Health care is extremely poor, there are 2 community clinics, which are Bungeni health centre and wayeni health centre, both are attached to Elim Hospital. HIV and Aids has been a leading cause of death amongst young people but with the availability of ARV's, death toll has slowed down. There is a private medical centre at the Diza complex. A number of traditional healers (witchdoctors) still ply their craft in the villages.

There are no specific numbers to add to the claim that HIV and Aids has been the major cause of death among young people. Bungeni remains one of the communities with a domination of elderly people, it might be because of the traditional food such as Tihove, Xiendlahivomu, Ximbhundhwa, Xigugu, Xirhidza, etc. and the lifestyle in general.

Development[lokiša | edit source]

Bungeni is one of the most developed villages in the Makhado local municipality. Amongst the most developed section of Bungeni is Nhjakanhjaka A village a small suburban called Mandela and Tana na Pulani has houses and mansion that compete with Makhado Town and other developed areas in the South Africa. The Bungeni 'post office' is situated at Bungeni Xikhulu area. Nhjakanhjaka A has a fully fledge filling station, Pharmacy, Fresh Loaf Bakery Shoprite U Save complex, Pep Store and Fish & Chips which opened on 27 October 2014 and a community Radio, known as Hlanganani Community radio.The village has seven famous soccer team: Bungeni Young Tigers,Basani Arrow Chiefs,Njhakanjhaka Mighty Chiefs, Nwa-Mhandzi All Dangerous, Bungeni Junior Birds, Mahatlani All Stars & Bungeni New Born.

Economic Development[lokiša | edit source]

Bungeni, along with other villages situated in the area, is currently experiencing strong economic growth in the property market. A number of major retail hardware stores operate in the area, selling construction materials. This has led to the once rural villages of the area becoming semi-urban areas.

Famous People[lokiša | edit source]

Well-known people from Bungeni include David Mathebula,Lebo Manyama from Njhakanjhaka (Xavunyami), footballers in the South African Professional Soccer League. Jacob Tshisevhe, a former Kaizer Chief defender, was born at Njhakanjhaka Village (The Tshisevhe family still resides in the village). Another notable individual is Falaza Mdaka, who is the Chief Whip of the African National Congress in the Limpopo Legislature. Robert Nkuna who is the former Advisor to the Minister of Transport. Tiyani Rikhotso is a spokesperson in the Department of Transport. Chicco Twala (His Parents were born at Mabodlongwa village, the Twala family still reside in the village), Judge George Maluleke, North Gauteng High Court (He himself was born at Mtsetweni village in 1945). Dr Risimati Dazmen Mavunda. Son of Jack, son of Vuromo (Abraham), son of Phalani the sibling of Bungeni. Dazmen was the first black person to qualify in Nuclear Medicine in South Africa. He is now practicing as a chief Physicist at Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA). And is lecturing at University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology and Venda University.He obtained his primary education at Rivoningo Primary and his parents's home is still at Ribungwani.

Bungeni Royal lineage and Succession[lokiša | edit source]

  • Nkomberi
  • Nkonwani
  • Bungeni I (Date of birth not known), Born in Mozambique
  • Sifahla (1880-1969)
  • Russel Bungeni (1910-1986)
  • Surprise Bungeni (1950-2014)
  • 2015–Present, Vacant

Ditšhupetšo[lokiša | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Main Place Bungeni". Census 2011.