Shoshangana was one of two vassal chiefs under Zwide Ka Langa who fled in the aftermath of the Battle of Mhlatuze River. This book tells his story and the emergence of the AmaShangaan/Tsonga nation.
In 1895 the government of the Transvaal Republic introduced a hut tax on people living in their suzerainty. Kgosi Maleboho and the Bahananwa refused to pay taxes and three commandos were sent to subdue them, besieging their mountain fortress. This book tells the compelling story of the Siege of Leboho and the events that led[…]
Greatest of the Pedi Kings
This book tells the story of Sekhukhune, of whom The London Times wrote on 30 August 1882: “… We hear this morning from Durban of the death of one of the bravest of our former enemies, the Chief Sekhukhune. He, with his son and fourteen followers, have been killed… The[…]
Exiled King and Freedom Fighter
This book offers a stimulating portrayal of the activities of the great Gaza-Nguni leader, King Nghunghunyani of the Gaza kingdom. A military leader and diplomat, Nghunghunyani was determined to defend his military and diplomatic independence at all costs. At the height of his power he was the undisputed ruler of[…]
The first part of Mzilikazi’s story ended with his departure from KwaZulu-Natal. This second book sees the roving conqueror moving yet further away from the influence of Shaka Zulu and sowing chaos among the Sotho clans to the north. After many conquests, he finally settles in his great kraal at the Crocodile[…]
A Khumalo Prince This is the first of three books on the life of one of southern Africa’s most powerful Chiefs. Set in KwaZulu-Natal, the story follows the life of Mzilikazi from his birth until he defied Shaka Ka Senzangakhona. Together with his people he was forced to flee the great king’s wrath.
Chief and Statesman In this second in a series of three books, Moshoeshoe had grown into a wise and just leader, but he could be ruthless when called upon to defend his people. As more tribes entered the Caledon valley and with increasing numbers of white men travelling into the interior of Africa, Moshoeshoe found[…]
Forging the BaSotho Nation This book is the first in a series of three stories about Moshesh and begins with his childhood. As a young boy Moshesh preferred talking through problems rather than fighting about them. But he soon realized that he had to be strong and often ruthless to gain the respect of his[…]
Founder of the AmaJingqi The first in a series of three, this book tells the story of a Chief born to rule but forced by circumstance to leave his father’s kraal. This book covers his early life and includes the Battle of Amalinda.
Final Resistance The second in a series of three, this story begins when Maqoma, undaunted by the increase of the colonial military might in the Eastern Cape and the loss of his land, soldiered on. He was intent on keeping his Rhardebe clan supreme and on being a chief that was widely respected. Many times[…]
Heritage Publishers was launched to tell the previously unpublished stories of all South Africans before these are lost to us.
Through the Our Story series, Heritage Publishers hopes to preserve the future of our past. We hope that the Our Story series will generate new interest in the remarkable story of the people and events in South Africa.
Further, Heritage Publishers is the publisher for nine indigenous language National Lexicography Units. These are State Agencies constitutionally and legislatively mandated to elevate the status and increase the use of our indigenous languages.
"For the past thirty years I have had the extraordinary good fortune to travel frequently through rural southern Africa and South Africa in particular. During this time I have formed close friendships with South Africans of all backgrounds, learning a little of each of our languages and a great deal about the past of our people.
Our Story was born in the garden of the house of a friend, Konanani Mathivha, when we acknowledged how little is known about the exploits of our ancestors. My friend turned to me and said, “You know a little of each South African language. You understand the challenges faced by educators in our schools. You appreciate the culture and past of all our people. And you have extensive publishing experience, why don’t you do something about it?”
I hope that this series excites the reader and that they find as much pleasure as I have in discovering the stories of our ancestors along with a new respect for them and the challenges they faced."
Manthatisi and Sekonyela – Queen of the Batlokwa During a time of great turmoil in South Africa, Manthatisi stepped into leadership of her tribe on behalf of her son, Sekonyela. In this extract from the first of two books about Manthatisi and Sekonyela, we read how events beyond the borders of the territory of the Read more about Manthatisi and Sekonyela – Queen of the Batlokwa[…]
Mzilikazi – A Mountain Falls (Book 4 of 4) The fourth and final book in the series on Mzilikazi takes us on the final leg of the Great Road. Mzilikazi and his Matabele still had a long way to go and many battles to fight. In this extract read how Mzilikazi continues the long march Read more about Mzilikazi – A Mountain Falls (Book 4 of 4)[…]
Mzilikazi – The Great Bull Elephant The third book of four about Mzilikazi tells how the Great Bull Elephant settles into his new Great Kraal where Pretoria North is today. He was not going to be able to rest there for too long, for other groups of people began to move across the land. In Read more about Mzilikazi – The Great Bull Elephant (Book 3 of 4)[…]
Mzilikazi – The Roving Conqueror (Book 2 of 4) In this second book of four in the story of Mzilikazi, we find out that the great leader of the Matabele built three large military kraals where Pretoria North is now. In this extract you can read more about this great feat, and where he got Read more about Mzilikazi – The Roving Conqueror (Book 2 of 4)[…]
Mzilikazi – A Khumalo Prince (Book 1 of 4) The story of Mzilikazi is told over four titles in this exciting series. In this extract from the first book, we meet Mzilikazi after he fought against his own grandfather, Zwide, at the Battle of Mhlatuzi River. After that battle Mzilikazi’s cruel great-grandmother met her end Read more about Mzilikazi – A Khumalo Prince (Book 1 of 4)[…]
Sekhukhune, The Greatest of the Pedi Kings In this extract, read how Sekhukhune struggles against the Boers until they both fall foul of the colonial aspirations of the British. Sekhukhune continued in the footsteps of his father, King Sekwati, and his forefathers, building a powerful Bapedi kingdom. The times were changing, though, and the tribe Read more about Sekhukhune: Greatest of the Pedi Kings[…]
The Siege of Mafeking This long-drawn out siege was pivotal in the war that was supposed to be between the British colonial forces and the Boers. It was inevitable, though, that others would be drawn into the conflict. In spite of being warned not to meddle in the ‘white man’s quarrel’, the Barolong were severely Read more about Mafeking: The Siege of Mafeking[…]
Meeting Shaka Henry Francis Fynn was the first white man to meet Shaka, staying with him for nine years. He recorded their strange friendship in his diary, giving us a glimpse of Zulu life, culture, tradition and customs, as well as insights on the most powerful king in Africa. An Englishman, Fynn interacts with Shaka Read more about Shaka: Meeting Shaka[…]
The Siege of Leboho In 1895 the government of the Transvaal Republic introduced a hut tax on people living in their suzerainty. Kgosi Maleboho of the Bahananwa refused to pay these taxes. He also could see no reason why he should acknowledge any authority higher than his own. In this extract from this little-known story Read more about The Siege of Leboho[…]
Hope’s War In 1880 there was an uprising of the AmaQwati and AmaMpondomise in Sulenkama against British rule in the Eastern Cape. This is an extract from Hope’s War, which tells the story of this conflict with colonial authority. Here we meet Mhlontlo, son of Matiwane, as he becomes king of the amaMpondomise and before Read more about Hope’s War[…]
Maqoma: Warrior and Peacemaker The third book of three on Maqoma tells how this great leader became a peacemaker as he grew older. In a land full of strife, with the different Xhosa clans – and the British, the Boers and the missionaries – each with their own agendas, finding peace would not prove easy. Read more about Maqoma Book 3: Warrior and Peacemaker[…]
Maqoma: Final Resistance In this, the second book of three on Maqoma, an age-old dispute over the chieftainship arises. As the regent for external affairs, Maqoma (who was also known as Jongumsobomvu) becomes concerned with the actions of the British and the Eastern Cape farmers. When King Ngqika died in November 1829 after a chest Read more about Maqoma Book 2: Final Resistance[…]
Maqoma: Founder of the AmaJingqi This book extract is from the first of three titles about Maqoma, the great chief of the AmaJingqi. This part of the story begins at the same time that Shaka was building his kingdom. Maqoma, the senior son of Ngqika, was sent to take revenge on an uncle who had Read more about Maqoma Book 1: Founder of the AmaJingqi[…]
Makgoba Kgoshi Mamphoku Makgoba came into conflict with the government of the South African Republic when he stood up against what he thought was not right, even if it meant being arrested. Read about how Commandant Swart Barend Vorster (who we met during the Siege of Leboho) enters the picture, what happens when Makgoba resists Read more about Makgoba: Kgoshi Mamphoku Makgoba[…]
Makhado In a previous extract, we read something about Dimbanyika, the first Vhavenda King south of the Limpopo. Generations later, we encounter Makhado and learn of his struggles to defend the Venda people and keep them united. Under threat from the Portuguese and the Boers, he also faced division from within. After assuming the kingship, Read more about Makhado: Defender of the Vhavenda[…]
Dimbanyika Much of the story of Dimbanyika has been lost, but those that remain agree that he is the one who began the unification of the Venda clans, becoming the first Venda king. Dimbanyika is one in a long line of disappearing kings, and stories of his death are the stuff of legends. Tied up Read more about Dimbanyika: First Vhavenda King South of the Limpopo[…]
Moshoeshoe Book 3 In the third book on Moshoeshoe, we find out how this great statesman consolidates the Basotho nation. This did not always go smoothly and he encountered many obstacles along the way. In this extract, we read about the beginning of the end for the Basotho as the Boers invade their country, and Read more about Moshoeshoe Book 3: Peacemaker[…]
Moshoeshoe Book 2 From the second book of three about Moshoeshoe(Moshesh), we read about this great statesman’s attempts to make ThabaBosiu a place of peace. Not everyone agreed with his decisions, though, and the Koranna were a disturbing force in the area at that time. By the summer of 1829, about five thousand people were Read more about Moshoeshoe Book 2: Chief and Statesman[…]
Moshoeshoe Book 1 We meet Moshoeshoe(Moshesh) at a time when news of his settlement on ThabaBosiu had spread. People came from far and wide, refugees looking for food and shelter. Not all people came in peace, however, and Moshoeshoe and his people were threatened on more than one occasion. Matiwane had survived the time of Read more about Moshoeshoe Book 1: Forging the BaSotho Nation[…]
Nghunghunyani: Exiled King and Freedom Fighter Nghunghunyani, son of Muzila, was determined to defend his military and diplomatic independence at all costs. In this extract, see how he attempts to keep his multi-ethnic and multi-cultural kingdom intact. He could not predict that wooing the British would not prevent the Portuguese from ultimately imprisoning him and Read more about Nghunghunyani: Exiled King and Freedom Fighter[…]
Muzila the Survivor: Son of Soshangana Muzila, the son of Shoshangana (or Soshangana, as it is now spelt), and the father of Nghunghunyani, had to fight his own brother for his kingdom. Read how Muzila battles it out with Mawewe to gain control over the Gaza kingdom. It was this bitter struggle that led him Read more about Muzila the Survivor: Son of Soshangana[…]
Shoshangana In this book, one of Zwide’s generals, Shoshangana refused to pledge allegiance to Shaka after the defeat of the Ndwandwe at the Battle of Mhlatuze River . Forced to flee, Shoshangana encountered both allies and enemies as a new AmaShangaan/Tsonga nation emerged under him. As time passed, Shoshangana and his followers became less afraid Read more about Shoshangana[…]
The Battle of Mhlatuze River In a rich and impeccably researched new series of illustrated history books called Our Story, aimed at children and adults alike, South African Heritage Publishers is telling the tales that shaped the nation, playing out in all nine provinces. In this, the first of a series of extracts in City Read more about The Battle of Mhlatuze River[…]
In the third book on Moshoeshoe, we find out how this great statesman consolidates the Basotho nation. This did not always go smoothly and he encountered many obstacles along the way. In this extract, we read about the beginning of the end for the Basotho as the Boers invade their country, and about an extraordinary Read more about Week #20 Moshoeshoe 3: Peacemaker[…]
From the second book of three about Moshoeshoe, we read about this great statesman’s attempts to make ThabaBosiu a place of peace. Not everyone agreed with his decisions, though, and the Koranna were a disturbing force in the area at that time. Buy the City Press each Sunday for an extract from the Our Story Read more about Week #19 Moshoeshoe 2: Chief and Statesman[…]
The third book of four about Mzilikazi tells how the Great Bull Elephant settles into his new Great Kraal where Pretoria North is today. He was not going to be able to rest there for too long, for other groups of people began to move across the land. In this extract read about the visit Read more about Week #18 Mzilikazi 3: The Great Bull Elephant[…]
In the second book of four, we find out that Mzilikazi built three large military kraals where Pretoria North is now. Read more about this great feat, and where he got the labour that he needed to do the hard work. Buy the City Press each Sunday for an extract from the Our Story series. Read more about Week #17 Mzilikazi 2: The Roving Conqueror[…]
The first nine extracts from the Our Story series in City Press was so well received that it was extended by another six weeks. Then we decided to include an extract from a forthcoming publication, making sixteen weeks of extracts from sixteen books. The stories are so popular that, together with City Press, the extracts Read more about Celebrating SA’s heritage[…]
After a bitterly cold night, something other than the cold slipped down the mountains and into the village of the sleeping Batlokwa. Mpangazitha and the Ngwane attacked at dawn, and the rising sun was soon blood red in the smoke of burning huts. Part 1 of the story of Manthatisi and Sekonyela will be published Read more about Week #16 Manthatisi and Sekonyela[…]
Mhlontlo, son of Prince Matiwane of the amaMpondomise, was said to have inherited the magical powers of his grandfather. He survived the burning of an iphempe, a temporary shelter, when everybody was certain that he had been burnt to death. Much later, Mhlontlo was implicated in the death of Magistrate Hope. Buy the City Press Read more about Week #15 Hope’s War[…]
At the time that Commandant Swart Barend Vorster was the leader of the commando units in the greater Soutspansberg district, the biggest cause of friction between the boers and the BaTlou, BaLobedu and other tribes was the land issue. Makgoba was a strong-minded man, and resisted the Boers. This meant that he and his tribe Read more about Week #14 Kgoshi Mamphoku Makgoba[…]
The young Henry Francis Fynn, an intrepid adventurer, travels to meet the great King Shaka. When he was still a boy, Nandi (Shaka’s mother) was exiled from the Zulu tribe and went to live with the eLangeni tribe. As a man, Shaka never forgot those who had injured his mother and himself, and he was Read more about Week #13 Meeting Shaka[…]
Nghunghunyani was sent into exile together with other political prisoners. His children, Godide, Buyisonto and Mulungo were sent with him to the Azores islands. Waiting for deportation under a tree outside the fort in Maputo, the prisoners were heckled by people passing by. Buy the City Press each Sunday for an extract from the Our Read more about Week #12 Nghunghunyani[…]
As he grew older, Muzila’s father, Soshangana, became suspicious of diviners and began to persecute them. Buy the City Press each Sunday for an extract from the Our Story series. See the link below for the Muzila the Survivor extract which was published on 9 October 2016.
Makhado was the first Singo prince to be circumcised, but not the first Muvenda. When he returned from the circumcision lodge, he was rejected by his brothers and felt excluded. Buy the City Press each Sunday for an extract from the Our Story series. Here is the link for the Makhado: Defender of the Vhavenda extract which Read more about Week #10 Makhado: Defender of the Vhavenda[…]
The black stadt of Mahikeng was also badly affected during the siege of Mafeking. Refugees poured in from the mines near Johannesburg, as well as from the neighbouring farms. It was well known that the Boers didn’t like Mafeking or the Barolong. At first, Baden-Powell did not include the stadt when he prepared the town’s Read more about Week #9 Siege of Mafeking[…]
The story of Dimbanyika and the Vhavenda goes back hundreds and hundreds of years, tied up in stories told by the elders. The legend of Ngoma Lungundu tells of an illness that ravaged an ancient city and that people fled in all directions to escape the epidemic. We do not know if that city was Read more about Week #8 Dimbanyika: First Vhavenda King[…]
Kgosi Maleboho was so distraught at being captured by the British that he threw himself into the fire. He was pulled out by his captors, but had to be tied up after he tried to do it a second time. So it was that the prisoners, Maleboho and the men with him, were taken to Read more about Week #7 Siege of Leboho[…]
The brave resistance of Sekhukhune ended in a bloody battle which the British would not have won without the help of the Swazis. Under the light of a full moon, the Swazis gathered with hardly a sound, forming an eerie, cloud-like mass of shifting shadow with the waving plumes on their heads. Buy the Read more about Week #6 Sekhukhune: Greatest of the Pedi Kings[…]
Even though he was destined to be chief, the young Maqoma herded cattle along with the other boys of his village. He proved to be an excellent hunter, and when he wore the leopard skin of a chief, it was that of one that he had hunted himself. His leadership skills became apparent when he Read more about Week #5 Maqoma- Founder of the AmaJingqi[…]
When the cannibals that had eaten Old Peete were brought to Moshoeshoe, he would not have them killed. He had a duty to honour Old Peete, and he did this by arranging a burial ceremony over the bellies of the cannibals. Moshoeshoe and Mobe, the medicine man, took turns blessing the stomachs of the cannibals Read more about Week #4 Moshoeshoe blesses the cannibals bellies[…]
Once a trusted general, Mzilikazi forced Shaka’s hand by defying him. Not able to withstand ongoing conflict with the great Shaka, Mzilikazi is forced to embark on what is now called his ‘Great Road’. Buy the City Press each Sunday for an extract from the Our Story series. See the link below for the Mzilikazi Read more about Week #3 Mzilikazi 1: A Khumalo Prince[…]
Shoshangana (also spelt as Soshangana) applied the scorched earth policy – a tactic he had learnt from Dingane and Shaka – between KwaZuu-Natal and the southern part of Mozambique. The pursuing Zulu were badly affected as they crossed the dead and barren land. Burnt crops and dead cattle offered no food, and some starving warriors Read more about Week #2 Shoshangana[…]
These stories have it all: intrigue, drama and magic. In The Battle of Mhlatuze River, read how Zwide sends ‘… his sister, the beautiful Ntombazana, as his ambassador to Dingiswayo, accompanied by an attractive cousin. She was to win the love of Dingiswayo and, secretly, she was to obtain some item he was wearing for Read more about Week #1 campaign: Battle of Mhlatuze River[…]
Info: ISBN: 9780994660138 Price: 100.00 (ZAR) Siege of Mafeking – The siege took place at the beginning of what was then known as the Anglo-Boer war. For a long time it was considered a ‘white man’s war’ but was not because it affected everyone who lived in South Africa, ultimately costing the Boers the war. Read more about The Siege of Mafeking[…]
Info: ISBN: 9780994660060 Price: 100.00 (ZAR) Meeting Shaka – From the Diary of Henry Francis Fynn Had a bored eighteen-year-old Londoner not sought adventure on the Dark Continent, the legend of Shaka may have remained a myth. Having crossed the Indian Ocean, Henry Francis Fynn found little of interest in Cape Town. The boredom continued Read more about Meeting Shaka[…]
Info: ISBN: 9780994660077 Price: 100.00 (ZAR) Mzilikazi 3 – The Great Bull Elephant Chief Mzilikazi, founder of the Matabele nation, began his journey in the green valleys of KwaZulu Natal. In Mzilikazi 1 and 2, the story is told of how he traveled from the place of his birth after a bitter battle with Shaka, Read more about Mzilikazi 3[…]
Info: ISBN: 9780992228873 Price: 100.00 (ZAR) Muzila The Survivor – Son of Shoshangana This book tells of Muzila, the son of Shoshangana, and the father of Nghunghunyani. After the death of Shoshangana, Muzila was determined to take control of the Gaza-Nguni kingdom from his brother, Mawewe. After a bitter struggle, and many battles, Muzila assumed Read more about Muzila The Survivor[…]
Info: ISBN: 9780994660091 Price: 100.00 (ZAR) Moshoeshoe 3 – Peacemaker In this, the final book in a series of three, an aged Moshoeshoe begins to lose control of his headstrong sons and chiefs. Towards the end of his life, Moshesh’s health started crumbling and the confidence that had always served to fortify him in times Read more about Moshoeshoe 3[…]
Info: ISBN: 9780994660084 Price: 100.00 (ZAR) Maqoma 3 – Warrior and Peacemaker The final in a three-part story, this book highlights Maqoma’s lifetime concern, which was to keep the colonial patrol system from returning to Xhosaland. When his half-brother, Sandile, reached manhood in 1840, this heralded a newRharhabe ruler and the stepping aside of Maqoma. Read more about Maqoma 3[…]