King Silamba Commemoration on 4 March 2017
The King Silamba Annual Commemoration will be held on the 4 March 2017 at the Komjekejeke Heritage Site, Walmansthal, North-East of Pretoria. The event was launched in 1984 by his descendent and the current King Makhosoke II Mabhena. The event which celebrates Ndebele culture, arts and heritage seeks also to promote cultural tourism, contribute to economic development and attract investment in the Ndebele Kingdom.
Since its inception over three decades ago the number of tourists attending this event has grown immensely attracting people from South Africa and beyond the borders. It is attended by approximately over 20 000 people from diverse walks of life. It is also attended by dignitaries including Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Royalty from different parts of South Africa and beyond the borders including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo to mention a few.
King Silamba ascended the throne in the 1800s after his return from exile in GaMangoato or KonoNgwadu in Botswana following the tragic assassination of his brother Khuleka. After a bitter conflict over land with Afrikaner farmers‚ led by JG Bronkhorst‚ King Silamba and his followers, history tells, relocated to KoMjekejeke in the 1850s.
This it is said was also a way to avoid slavery of his people. He is also known for fiercely resisting colonisation of his people, the infiltration of his people by missionaries and to have fought for the preservation of his tribe’s cultural identity and heritage, hence he is celebrated as one of the bravest Kings of this nation and thus very revered. He died in 1892 and was buried in Komjekejeke.
Komjekejeke was declared a National Heritage Site in 1999.
By Stella Sigcau