vhaVENDA (Tribe)

 
TITLE: Khosikhulu RELIGION:
STATE: South Africa DYNASTY: maKwinda or Singo
   
PRESENT RULER: Khosi
                Peter Toni Mphephu RamabulanaKhosi Thovhela Peter Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, Paramount Chief of the vhaVenda since 1997
born 2nd August 1972 at Nzhelele, educated at Dzanani and Nzhelele Primary Schools, then at Mphephu High School till 1990 and at the University of the North, crowned in November 1998 at the Dzanani Palace in the presence of Nelson Mandela, presently he is in the process of transforming the institution of traditional leadership to enable it to be more responsive to today's socio-economic challenges that continues to confront the Venda people. This is being done by faciliating and ensuring good relationships between the headmen, civic organisations and the people. He also encourages NGOs and other investors to invest within his area of jurisdiction, this endeavour will assist in ensuring that employment opportunities are created. On this all important task he is assisted by his Deputy King Mbulaheni Mphephu and other members of the royal council, particularly Vhavenda David Mphephu.

PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: According to Venda traditions, Khosi Dambanyika (meaning one who refused land and sometimes referred to as Dyambeu or Vele la Mbeu), split from the group that would be led by his younger brother (Lewanika, ancestor of the present day Litungas of Zambia's Barotseland) and led his followers into the present day Northern Limpopo and settled at Dzata. He found there the peaceful aboriginal Venda residents (Vhangona, whose language is the present day Tshivenda language that is spoken in the area) and subjugated them, traditionally stated to have occurred around 1650, though some authors date it to around 1688. The tribe split into three sections following the death of Khosi Thohoyandou, the Mphaphuli section was located in the Eastern plains, the Tshivhase section  was located in the Central mountainous region east of Nzhelele Valley and the Ramabulana Section ruled west of the Nzhelele Valley, whilst the original seat of the Kingdom, Dzata was abandoned. Rulers were...
  • Khosi (name unknown), Paramount Chief of the vhaVenda, married and had issue.
    • Khosi Dimbanyika (qv)
    • Khosi Lewanika
    • Khosi Nelunguda [Mphaphuli] (qv)
  • Khosi Dimbanyika, Paramount Chief of the vhaVenda fl.1688-1720, originally from Zimbabwe following the break up of the Monomotapa Empire, he and his people moved into the present Limpopo area about 1688, settling in the Dzata region, married and had issue. He died in the Nzhelele Valley about 1720.
    • Khosi Thohoyandou wa Dimbanyika [Phophi] (qv)
  • Khosi Thohoyandou wa Dimbanyika, Paramount Chief of the vhaVenda, initially regent but he refused to vacate the throne when his nephew, Tshisevhe, came of age; king of the last group of immigrants to arrive in Venda, to the Nzhelele Valley. He conquered and absorbed the inhabitants there and established an empire like structure and his hegemony covered the area from Zambezi to modern Pietersburg, with Dzata as the capital of Venda; married (amongst others), Dzekiso, and had issue. He disappeared mysteriously about 1790 (Venda traditions hold that royal intrigue saw to it that he was secretly assasinated) into the unknown.
    • Khosi Tshisevhe wa Thohoyandou (qv)
    • Khosi Rampofu wa Thohoyandou [Munzhedzi or Tshikalanga] (qv)
    • Khosi Raluswielo wa Thohoyandou [Vele or Tshivhasa], his section went east to Dopeni, eventually settling at Mukumbani (qv)
    • Khosi Bele wa Thohoyandou, he ruled at Vuvha.
    • Khosi Phophi wa Thohoyandou [Rambuda]
    • Tshavhungwa or Tshavhungwe (by Dzekiso)
  • Khosi Tshisevhe wa Dimbanyika, Paramount Chief of the vhaVenda, he was installed amidst protest from those who challenged his mother's blood and did not reign for a very long period, at the most, he may have ruled up to 1800 from Dzata, because by this time, the Ramabulanas and Tshivhases were already entrenched in their respective teritories, and it appears that Thohoyandou's supporters also saw to it that he too was also assasinated; he was the last of the kings to have ruled a united Venda kingdom from Dzata, and after his death his sons and brothers set up independent chiefdoms; married and had issue.
    • Khosi Ravhura wa Tshisevhe, he was too young to succeed, his father, and his aunt, Tshisevhe's sister, fearful of another assasination, took him and fled with him to Makonde where he finally dislodged the Ngona leadership under Nemakonde to finally entrench himself as lord of the area. He died in 1900, apparently aged over 100 years. 
    • Khosi Ragavhela wa Tshisevhe, assasinated enroute to Kekana.
haRAMABULANA Section: West of the Nzhelele Valley
  • Khosi Mpofu wa Thohoyandou, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1790/-, fought with his brother, resulting in a split in the tribe, his section left Dzata and went west to Songozwi, married and had issue, the Ramabulana lineage of the Singo dynasty.
    • Khosi Ravhele wa Mpofu [Tshigevheti, Ramabulana, Rasithuu] (qv)
    • Chief Ramavhoya wa Mpofu, he vied with his brother for supremacy, but was killed by his brother with assistance from the voortrekker leader, Louis Trichardt and the Tlokwa of Mmamkotopi.
  • Khosi Ravhele wa Mpofu, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana -/1864, married, and had issue. He died 1864.
    • Chief Davhana wa Ravhele (eldest son), rival claimant, tried to usurp the leadership following his fathers death, may have held it only briefly in 1864.
    • Khosi Makhado wa Ravhele [Ramabulana or Tshilwavhusiku, meaning "Night Fighter"] (qv)
    • Chief Khangale wa Ravhele, rival claimant, tried to usurp the leadership following his fathers death.
    • Chief Nthabalala wa Ravhele, rival claimant, tried to usurp the leadership following his fathers death.
    • Makhadzi Ndalammbi (f)
  • Khosi MAKHADO RAMABULANA
                    (c1825-1895)Khosi Makhado wa Ravhele, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1864/1895, born about 1825, 3rd Chief of the line of Thohoyandou, 6th in the genealogy of Venda Chiefs, he imposed his rule over all of Venda and was known as the Lion of the North due to his successes against the Boers; married (amongst others), Midana of the Phahwe, and had issue. He died (possibly poisoned by his wife or his lieutenants with an overdose of an emetic) in 1895.(#1)
    • Khosi Mphephu wa Makhado [Mphephu Ahlilali Tshilamulele] (by Midana) (qv)
    • Chief Kuthama wa Makhado fl.1931, Chief of a breakaway group.
    • Chief Sinthumule wa Makhado fl.1931, Chief of a breakaway group, sought military assistance  against his brother from other Vha Venda chiefs, who refused on the grounds that he and Mphephu were one family, he also sought help from the Boers who were happy to oblige as they perceived Mphephu as a scourge. 
    • Khosi Maemu Malise wa Makhado (qv)
    • Chief Tshamaano wa Makhado, married and had issue.
      • Sam Ramabulana
  • Khosi Maemu Malise wa Makhado, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1895/1896, he was deposed by his brother.
  • Khosi Mphephu wa Makhado, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1896/1924, born 1868/1869, the Boers finally conquered and subjugated the Vhe Venda in 1898, causing Mphephu to flee with many of his followers and they crossed the Limpopo into Shona territory, he married and had issue. He died 1924.(#2)
    • Khosi George Mbulaheni Mphephu (qv)
  • Khosi George Mbulaheni Mphephu, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1924/1949, married and had issue. He died 1949.
    • Khosi Patrick Ramaano Mphephu (qv)
  • Khosi Patrick Ramaano
                    MphephuKhosi Patrick Ramaano Mphephu, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1949/1988, born 1926, 1st State President of the Republic of Venda -/1988, married and had issue. He died 1988.
    • Khosi Tshimangadzo Dimbanyika Mphephu (qv)
    • Khosi Peter Toni Mphephu Ramabulana (qv)
  • Khosi Tshimangadzo Dimbanyika Mphephu, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana 1988/1997, born 1967, married and had issue, one daughter. He died 25th December 1997 near Tshipise, buried 3rd January 1998 at Mphephu Royal Cemetary near Nzhelele Village in Northern Province.
  • Khosi Thovhela Peter Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, Chief of the vhaVenda haRamabulana (see above)
haTSHIVHASE Section: Central mountainous region east of Nzhelele Valley (Thohoyandou, Northern Province)
  • Khosi Raluswielo wa Thohoyandou, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase fl.1790, he ruled at Dzata after the flight of Ravhura then at Phiphidi, married and had issue.
    • Khosi Mukhesi wa Tshivhase (qv)
    • Khosi Phophi Rambuda wa Tshivhase, founder of a breakaway group of Venda, married and had issue.
      • Khosi Vele wa Rambuda, married and had issue.
        • Khosi Tshikose Rambuda -/1924, married and had issue. He died 1924.
          • Khosi Ratshibvumo Rambuda, 1924/-
        • Khosi Khaku Rambuda, leader of a breakaway group, married and had issue. He died 1923.
          • Khosi Tshitongani Rambuda, Chief 1923/-
    • Khosi Luvhengo wa Tshivhase (qv)
  • Khosi Mukhesi wa Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase, married and had issue.
    • Khosi Ligegisa Tshivhase (qv)
  • Khosi Luvhengo wa Tshivhase , Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase, he moved the royal household from Phiphidi to the present day Luaname; married and had issue.
    • Khosi Ligegise Tshivhase (qv)
  • Khosi Ligegise Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase ca 1872/1893, moved his capital from Muiluwani to Mukumbani, married and had issue.
    • Khsoi Raidani Tshivhase (qv)
    • Khosi Ramaremisa Tshivhase (qv)
  • Khosi Raidani Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase, he briefly ascended the throne after Ligegise's death but he was ejected by his younger brother; he was not well liked because he had interefered with his father's younger wives while the father was still alive.
  • Khosi Ramaremisa Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase fl.1931, married and had issue.
    • Khosi Ratshimphi Tshivhase [Rasimpi (Phiriphiri, i.e pepper)] (qv)
  • Khosi Ratshimphi Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase ca1931/1946, he was deposed by the apartheid government; married and had issue. He died 1946 in prison in Pretoria.
    • Khosi Thohoyandou Tshivhase [aka Thikhathali] (qv)
    • Chief A. A. Tshivhase (qv)
    • Chief John Tshivhase [Shavhani] (qv)
    • Chief Mailula Robert Sibasa, born 16th December 1923.
  • Khosi Ratshalingwa, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase, briefly held the throne, but he is not considered to be a legitimate ruler by the Tshivhase family, as he was installed by the apartheid government.
  • Chief Ramushasha Takalani, Venda Regent of the vhaVenda haTshivhase
  • Khosi Thohoyandou Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase 1946/1966, married and had issue. He died 1966 in a car accident.
    • Khosi Kennedy Midiyavhathu Tshivhase (qv)
  • Chief A. A. Tshivhase, Regent of the vhaVenda haTshivhase 1966/-, deposed by the apartheid government.
  • Chief John Tshivhase, Regent of the vhaVenda haTshivhase 1966/1970, he refused to vacant the throne to make way for Khosi Kennedy during the days of the independent republic of Venda.
  • Chief Kennedy Midiavhathu
                    TshivhaseKhosi Kennedy Midiyavhathu Tshivhase, Chief of the vhaVenda haTshivhase 1970/-, born about 1962, educated at Pokolwane, a Royal aspirant, installed in 1970 but only assumed office in 1993, Member of Committee/s: Land, Agriculture and Environmental Affairs; Public Services (alt); Security and Justice, Member of the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, MLA (Limpopo).
haMPHAPHULI Section: Eastern Plains - haMphaphuli Dynasty  (Mbilwi Royal Palace)
  • Khosikulu Shamboko Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli fl.1872
  • Khosikulu Ratsibi Masindi Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli, married and had issue.
    • Khosikulu Tshikalange Mphaphuli, fl.1893, had issue.
  • Khosikulu Tshikalange Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli fl.1893, married and had issue.
    • Khosikulu Makwarela Mphaphuli wa Tshikalange (qv)
    • One or Two generations
      • Chief Gilbert Rangoezi Tshikalange, born at Tshififi, succeeded his father as Chief at Tshififi in 1963, deposed 1966. Succeeded by Chief Mudzhadzi Mphaphuli.
  • Khosikulu Makwarela Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli, married and had issue. He died in April 1928.
    • Khosikulu Phaswane Mphaphuli (qv)
  • Khosikulu Phaswane Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli 1928/-
  • Khosikulu Piet Makhobo Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli, he was also transferred to Tshaulu village by the apartheid government.
  • Khosikulu Khorombi Hector Makhuvha-Mphaphuli, Acting Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli -/2001, died 15th December 2001 at Pietserburg, buried 22nd December 2001 at Tshilivho.
  • Khosikulu Thovhele Musiwa Gole Mphaphuli, Chief of the vhaVenda haMphaphuli 2001/- , born 1976, installed on 18th December 2001.
OTHER MEMBERS:
  • Frank Nndwakhulu Ravele, born 1926, a close kinsman of Patrick Mphephu, State President of the Republic of Venda 1988/1990, died 25th December 1999.  [June 16 1994 Sapa The Ravele chieftainship will be restored at Mauluma near the Levuvhu farms in the Northern Transvaal on Saturday, (18/6/1994) SABC radio news reports. The Ravele Royal Council on Thursday said former president of the Republic of Venda, Headman Frank Ravele, would be restored as chief of the Ravele tribe.]
  • Tshamano G. Ramabulana
  • Ramano Mphephu, married Marubini (Mphephu), and has issue.
    • Mbulaheni Charles Mphephu, born 10th September 1970 in Dzanani Musanda, Deputy King of Vendas.
The help of Khathu Sikhitha is gratefully acknowledged, February 2008.
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1. Dictionary of South African Biography, W.J. de Kock then D.W. Kruger (Eds), Volumes 1 to 5, 1972, vol.III p.561
2. Dictionary of South African Biography, W.J. de Kock then D.W. Kruger (Eds), Volumes 1 to 5, 1972, vol.III p.639