Tibati Nkambule of Swaziland

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Tibati Madvolomafisha Nkambule
Ndlovukati of Swaziland
Predecessor Sisile Khumalo [1]
Successor Labotsibeni Mdluli [1]

Tibati Madvolomafisha Nkambule was the Queen Regent and Indlovukati of Swaziland from 1889 until 1894 following the death of King Mbandzeni (Dlamini IV). Tibati has been called "strong, traditionalist and well respected among her peers". [2] She led the country during the tumultuous period before the kingdom was placed under the administration of the South African Republic in 1894.


Ndlovukati is the Siswati title for the female head of state of Eswatini and is roughly equivalent to a Queen Mother or Senior Queen in other countries. The title is given preferentially to the mother of the reigning King, or to another female royal of high status if the King's mother has died. Indlovukati rules alongside the Ngwenyama, and when there is no King, she rules as a Queen Regent. The current Ndlovukati is Queen Ntombi Tfwala, the mother of Ngwenyama Mswati III and wife of Sobhuza II. She has also been Queen Regent from 1983 until 1986 when Mswati became King. The most notable Queen Regent was Ndlovukati Labotsibeni Mdluli who ruled Swaziland from 1899 until 1921 when she abdicated for Sobhuza II.

Mbandzeni (1855–1889) was the King of Swaziland from 1875 until 1889. Ingwenyama Mbandzeni was the son of Mswati II and Nandzi Nkambule. His mother the wife of King Mswati had died when he was still very young. Mbandzeni ascended to the throne after his half brother Ludvonga II died before he could become the king. Ludvonga's death resulted in his mother Inkhosikati Lamgangeni adopting Mbandzeni who was motherless as her son, thus making him King and her the Queen mother of Swaziland. His royal capital was at Mbekelweni. During his kingship Mbandzeni, granted many mining, farming, trading and administrative concessions to white settlers from Britain and the Transvaal. These concessions granted with the help of Offy Sherpstone eventually led to the conventions of 1884 and 1894, which reduced the overall borders of Swaziland and later made Swaziland a protectorate of the South African Republic. During a period of concessions preceded by famine around 1877 some of the tindvunas (governors) from within Swaziland like Mshiza Maseko and Ntengu kaGama Mbokane were given permission by King Mbandzeni to relocate to farms towards the Komati River, Mshiza Maseko later settled in a place called eLuvalweni, where he was later buried. Mbandzeni, still in command of a large Swazi army of more than 15000 men aided the British in defeating Sekhukhune in 1879 and preventing Zulu incursion into the Transvaal during the same year. As a result, he guaranteed his country's independence and international recognition despite the Scramble for Africa which was taking place at the time. Mbandzeni died after an illness in 1889 and is quoted to have said in his deathbed "the Swazi kingship dies with me". He was buried at the royal cemetery at Mbilaneni alongside his father and grandfather Sobhuza I. Mbandzeni was succeeded by his young son Mahlokohla and his wife Queen Labotsibeni Mdluli after a 5 year regency of Queen Tibati Nkambule. Today a number of buildings and roads in Swaziland are named after Mbandzeni. Among these the Mbandzeni house in Mbabane and the Mbandzeni Highway to Siteki are named after him.

South African Republic Former republic in southern Africa

The South African Republic, also referred to as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent and internationally recognised state located in what is now South Africa, from 1852 to 1902. The ZAR defeated the British Empire in what is often referred to as the First Boer War and remained independent until the end of the Second Boer War on 31 May 1902, when it was forced to surrender to the British. After the war the territory of the ZAR became the Transvaal Colony.

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Ngwane V was the King of Swaziland from 1895 until his death on 10 December 1899. Ngwane was born the son of Mbandzeni and his mother Labotsibeni Mdluli. He ascended to the throne after a short regency of Queen Mother Tibati Nkambule. He was only 16 years old when he became king. His royal capital was at Zombodze while the Queen Mother's residence was at Lobamba. Ngwane became the king after the Swaziland convention of 1894. This had led to the classification of Swaziland as a protected state of the South African Republic which was then led by President Paul Kruger. During this time Swaziland had a partial Dutch administration in parallel to Ngwane's administration. The Dutch or European for European interests and Ngwane as head and authority of the Swazi nation. An annual payment was made to Ngwane and Labotsibeni while they were in office from taxes collected and from contributions from concessionaires and taxes. Ngwane's rule was short. In 1899 the Anglo-Boer war began, and brought to an end the Dutch or Boer partial administration of Swaziland and hence gave way to independence. However Mahlokohla died on 10 December of that year while dancing incwala. This was hid from the nation until the ceremony was over. Ngwane was succeeded by his four-month-old son Nkhotfotjeni and his wife Lomawa Ndwandwe. His mother Labotsibeni who had been very influential during his reign continued as queen regent until Sobhuza was crowned in 1921. Ngwane's reign gave way to a stable territory surrounded by conflicting states. Today Mahlokohla is named for one of the main streets, Mahlokohla Street in Swaziland's capital Mbabane.

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  1. 1 2 Siyinqaba (1984). "The Swazi Monarchy" (PDF). Africa Insight. 14 (1): 14–16.
  2. Hugh Gillis, The Kingdom of Swaziland: Studies in Political History, 1999, Greenwood Publishing Group, page 82
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King Dlamini IV of Swaziland
Queen Regent of Swaziland
Succeeded by
King Ngwane V of Swaziland