140th Anniversary of the passing of Kgoši Sekhukhune - Mega Artists Media

140th Anniversary of the passing of Kgoši Sekhukhune

This year markes the 140th anniversary of the death of Kgoši Sekhukhune, a Marota (Bapedi) chief who originated from the Bakgatla people of the Western Transvaal. Kgoši Sekhukhune was a proponent of African unity who fought tirelessly against colonization.

Sekhukhune was an illegitimate ruler who came to power using military force. As a result, his half brother, and legitimate heir, Mampuru was forced to flee from the Kingdom. As a result of lack of legitimacy, he built his power by entering into diplomatic marriages with various royal dynasties, by incorporating other societies into his empire, and by military conquest. This increased his support base and gave him legitimacy.

Paramount King of Bapedi : Kgoši Sekhukhune

To defend his empire from the European colonization, Sekhukhune sent young men to work in white farms and diamonds mines. The money they earned was taxed and used to buy guns from the Portuguese in Delegoa Bay and cattle to increase the wealth of the Marota people.

On the night of August 13, 1882, Sekhukhune was murdered by his half-brother, Mampuru, who claimed that he was the lawful king of the Marota and that Sekhukhune had usurped the throne on Sep. 21, 1861, when their father Sekwati, died. Thereafter Mampuri, fearing arrest escaped and sought refuge first with Chief Marishane (Masemola) and later with Nyabela, king of the Ndebeles.

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