Mapulana tribe commemorates Mohololo battle in Arconhoek, Mpumalanga

mapulana tribe commemorates mohololo battle in arconhoek mpumalanga

The Mapulana tribe has commemorated the battle of Moholoholo at Dipokolong, near Acornhoek, in Mpumalanga. The 1864 Battle of Moholoholo took place on the foot of Moholoholo Mountain or Mariepskop.

The Swazi Impis, who were led by Zimase, the younger brother of King Mswati II, were returning from an expedition in the Zoutpansberg in December 1864 when they decided to attack the Mapulana.

A number of Swazi impis were killed during the battle.

The Swazi Impis camped on the western side of the Mapulana settlement along the Motlatse River at a place called Tswateng – which was called Swatini ‘the place of the Swazis’ and today is known as Swadini.

The Swazi Impis waited for the perfect time to attack, but unbeknown to them the Mapulana had already spotted them and were fully aware of their intentions.

The Chairperson of the Moholoholo Renaissance Group, Mathibane Mashile, says they want to unite all Mapulana and promote the conservation of their history and heritage.

“This day is very important the commemoration of Moholohololo because it signified about the victory it made us more organised and to be more settled. Because otherwise, if we could have been scattered the tribe could have disappeared. But because we’re one and here we are Mapulana and we still fighting for other recognition of our land, the heritage site. So this is the beginning of creating the identity of the Mapulana.”

A member of the Mapulane Renaissance, Alpheus Chilone, describes the battle. “During the battle what happened The Swazi army was coming. They decided to attack the Mapulana tribe who were living here unknown to them. The Mapulana Impis were watching them. They were aware of the Swazis so they were prepared to save their lives. So in December, they lure them to the top of the mountain by tidying a cow there so the Swazis thought the Mapulana were hiding there with cows and women there everybody, not knowing that was a trap. So when they went up the mountain boulders rocks, and everything was rolled down to them.”

Plans are underway to preserve and promote the language, culture and heritage of the Mapulana. An author, Sekkie Makhubendu-Chiolane says they are engaging the government to recognise their language.

“That’s why I decided to write a book in Sepulana so that my people and our grandchildren can learn in Sepulana they can read it and in the future, we are fighting with the government for the language to be one of the official languages.”

The battle will be commemorated annually on the misty mountain of Mariespskop (Moholoholo).

Video: Mapulana tribe commemorates the 1864 battle of Moholoholo

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