Lomawa Ndwandwe

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laNgolotsheni (Lomawa) Ndwandwe[1]
Ndlovukati of Swaziland
PredecessorLabotsibeni Mdluli[3]
SuccessorNukwase Ndwandwe[4]
Bornc. 1860/1875
DiedSeptember 1938[5]
Ngwenyama Bhunu
FatherChief Ngolotjeni Nxumalo [6]
MotherMsindvose Ndlela [7]

laNgolotsheni (Lomawa) Ndwandwe[1] (died September 1938) was the Ndlovukati (Queen Mother) of Swaziland, the wife of King Ngwane V, and the mother of King Sobhuza II.[8][9]


Early life[edit]

Ndwandwe, of the Esikoteni branch of the Ndwandwe clan,[5] was born to Chief Ngolotjeni Nxumalo and Msindvose Ndlela.[10] She was the eldest of three sisters.[10] Her siblings included her full sister (and ultimately, co-wife) Nukwase Ndwandwe, who succeeded her as Ndlovukati,[11] and her brother Benjamin Nxumalo, who later provided counsel to Sobhuza II.[8][9][12]

As a descendant of Zidze Ndwandwe and as the daughter of a respected chief, Ndwandwe was selected by the council of elders as the main wife for Ngwane V.[1][13]


Following the death of Ngwane V, Ndwandwe was selected from among his widows, by the council of elders, as the next Ndlovukati, and her infant son Nkhotfotjeni was named King Sobhuza II.[13]

As the Queen Mother, Ndwandwe was the guardian of Swazi rituals.[5]


Ndwandwe died in September 1938.[5] In order to avoid weakening King Sobhuza II via association with death, the King was prevented by the council of elders from attending his mother's funeral.[14] Ndwandwe was buried with her church membership cards, at the insistence of her sister, Nukwase Ndwandwe.[14]

Religious views[edit]

Ndwandwe was not baptized, in deference to the wishes of Labotsibeni Mdluli.[15] Nevertheless, Ndwandwe became a recognised supporter of the Methodist church.[14] She was also sympathetic to a nearby Zionist Separatist church whose local leader espoused political views that overlapped strongly with her own.[14]

The question of which denomination Ndwandwe identified with was, in any case, not of significance to Sobhuza II, who was critical of divisions between sects.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Kuper, Hilda (1965). An African Aristocracy: Rank Among the Swazi. Oxford University Press. p. 29.
  2. ^ McDonagh, Eileen (2009). The Motherless State: Women's Political Leadership and American Democracy. University of Chicago Press. p. 250. ISBN 9780226514567.
  3. ^ Siyinqaba (1984). "The Swazi Monarchy" (PDF). Africa Insight. 14 (1): 14–16.
  4. ^ Hlophe, Stephen Shisizwe (1995). Irvine, Keith (ed.). The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography. Vol. Three: South Africa- Botswana-Lesotho-Swaziland. Algonac, Michigan: Reference Publications Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kuper, Hilda (1986). The Swazi: A South African Kingdom (2nd ed.). CBS College Publishing. p. 142-143.
  6. ^ "Genealogy". Archived from the original on 2018-05-19. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  7. ^ "Genealogy". Archived from the original on 2018-05-19. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  8. ^ a b "Observer". Observer. 2015-03-29. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  9. ^ a b "Ndwandwe, Nukwase, Swaziland, Methodist/ Roman Catholic". Sthweb.bu.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  10. ^ a b Radcliffe-Brown, A. R.; Forde, Daryll (3 June 2015). African Systems of Kinship and Marriage - A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, Daryll Forde - Google Books. ISBN 9781317406105. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  11. ^ Kuper, Hilda (1986). The Swazi: A South African Kingdom (2nd ed.). CBS College Publishing. p. 33.
  12. ^ "Nxumalo, Benjamin, Swaziland, African Methodist Episcopal". Dacb.org. 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  13. ^ a b Kuper, Hilda (1986). The Swazi: A South African Kingdom (2nd ed.). CBS College Publishing. p. 15.
  14. ^ a b c d Kuper, Hilda (1986). The Swazi: A South African Kingdom (2nd ed.). CBS College Publishing. p. 70-71.
  15. ^ Youé, C.; Stapleton, T. (2001-06-17). Agency and Action in Colonial Africa: Essays for John E. Flint - Google Books. ISBN 9780230288485. Retrieved 2016-10-29.