Encyclopedia > Matabele

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The Matabele are a branch of the Zulus who escaped from King Shaka under the leadership of Mzilikazi[?].

First they moved westwards wreaking havoc wherever they went, then they came into contact with the Tswana who a credited with giving this band of Zulus the name "Matabele". Tabele comes from tebela which means to chase away.

This band of Zulus chased away all the other tribes they came into contact with. They did not settle in the west of Africa as there was always a chance that Shaka could get them there. They then moved northwards into Zimbabwe where they settled.

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