Thembu people are one of the handful of nations and population
groups that speak Xhosa in South Africa.
The most internationally famous Thembu person was Nelson Mandela,
whose father was a reigning nobleman from a junior branch of the
Madiba clan of kings.
1 Name 2 History 3 King 4 Lineage 5 See also 6 References 7 External links
In Xhosa, the name is abaThembu, aba- being a common prefix for
peoples. The land in which they lived was historically known as
In the 19th century, the Thembu were frequently known as the
"Tamboekie" or "Tambookie" people. This name was originally the
Khoisan term specifically for the Thembu followers of Chief Maphasa
who moved into the area west of the Great Kei River in the 1820s.
Europeans however, who were often not aware of the distinction, used
the term as a synonym for "Thembu" for much of the 19th century.
Main article: Thembuland
Prior to the British conquest and incorporation of their territory,
called "Tembuland" in the 19th century, the Thembu had an independent
kingdom. The clan name of the Thembu kings is Madiba.
Recent kings, including Sabata Jonguhlanga Dalindyebo, have used the
surname of Dalindyebo, from the name of a 19th-century king.
After conquest, the Thembu were administered by the government of the
Cape Colony as one of the Transkeian Territories, which with the
exception of a few missionaries and white traders, were treated as
lands reserved for African occupation. Other peoples in the
territories who had formerly had independent kingdoms included the
1800 - 10 Aug 1830 Vusani Ngubengcuka a Ndaba May 1989 - 2014 Buyelekhaya Zwelinbanzi Dalindyebo a Sabata
Xhosa clan names
External links Media related to Thembu people at Wikimedia Commons
Royal lineage at worldstatesmen.org
v t e
Ethnic groups in South Africa
Bhaca Bhele Fengu Hlubi Ndebele Pondo
Swazi Ndwandwe Thembu Xhosa
Gcaleka Gqunukhwebe Gaika Xesibe
Bakoena Bataung Batlokwa
Hlengwe Xika N'walungu Gwamba Tswha Rhonga Hlanganu Nhlave Bila Dzonga Copi Ndzawu Thonga
Khoi and San
Boer Cape Dutch Huguenots
British Germans Greeks Irish Italians Jews
Cape Coloureds Cape Malay Griqua Oorlams