History of the Bayeke


Who was Mwenda M'siri?

 

MWENDA MSIRI ali nde?

Izina lye kabutamwa kamwe ne Mugala Ngelengwa. Alabutwa mu shalo shye Busabaga, omwane ishye ali amihe butemiwa bwe Mwami Mwinula we Buleve. Izina limw’ishye nge Kalasa Mazuiri mwene Muhemwa. Kaya kamwe kali ne Kazimana. Nina umwa Ngelenwa ali Manena Liahanze, n’awe bamukanyangako Nakahindi mukuba ishye Mukindi, lero nina alaswerwa mu Bushirombo.

Olo nhola ilafika Busumbwa angu ku mweri gwe Tanganika shiliho shalo shye nsabo ningi mnone, Kalasa Mazuiri ne mugulwe wamwe Kamana Magulu-Kungweshi baladoganya bugeni bukuru bwa kwiza n’abo heno Kadata. Kalasa nge ali mundeba, lero mwine ali munzyalira. Kufik’eno balavisanga vintu vyonane kati omwa benderanga; masabo ge mitindo zyona; Milinda (mukubo) masaba nkumbi mpu zye ngwe ne vindi vyona vye bukwavi. Kalasa alasana mukago ne bami bana shalo aba: Katanga, Mpande, Fukutu, Lupola, Mubambe, Sompwe ne bandi…Olo balamara ikwava byabo, balakotoka Bugaraganza (Busumbwa) batimbirwe ne masabo.

Lugendo lwa kabili tyoti. Kalasa Mazwiri aliza ne mwana wamwe shilondera shigula. Ngelengwa nko ashyali muyanda wa kubula nolo kumerwa kisaku. Mvuno ilamuhamagizya Kalasa kwiza n’oya muyanda, ne kumugumya mwizo ni kumushembeka mu milimo ye bukwavi, mu kuba Basumbwa bali bamanirire kuzya ngendo ndele ng’oko kukova nsabo. Ngelengwa alatumbagira nenzane ne kutumama kati muntu mukuru.

Mu nzira ya kulevuka ku wabo, nge alafwa Kamana Magulu-Kungweshi, alogirwe ne bihwa bamwe ba Mihambo ne Kulwa. Ngelengwa alomvwa magambo aga gonane ne kugatula mu mwizo. Kupuna olwa lugendo lwa kabili, Kalasa Mazuiri ataliza kandi heno Kadata. Alikara lonane eyo Busabaga amazire kusaba mnone kufika ne ku kufwa kwamwe.

Nolo nsiku zilakwira, mwizo gumwa Ngelengwa gwali kwihuka tuhu kusubir’eno mwene-kili n’ikula lyamwe lya basumba. Ku muhay’ogwa, alasola nsabo zyona ezyo ishye ali amuhere alazigulamo mitumba zye myenda, baruti ni mata kone vindi; lero nsabo zindi alakoba tuhu kwisoleramo maganga ge buhike bwe bugondo mu Busumbwa ku mufumu nimwine izina lyamwe Masuka. Kufum’eyo alazya mwa Liwamika mu Bulozi kukoba mu masara ga Bangoni ge mukingo nolo bukamkyape. Olo alagera nizya vimwanda vyamwe, alavigema vyone Bugaraganza, alabona angu: “Ee, ivyamoga, lugendo lwa kuzya Kadata lwabirabira.”

Kati nali namitengera mbele, musumb’oya ali ne masara ga kuhinda basumba bishyamwe bingi bihute ku awe, ba mu vise vyona vye Bagaraganza: Basabaga, Baleve, Babagwe, Bashyetu, Bashirombo, Basonge, Banzeve, Bagomba, Bayogo ne Bahindi kome bona bandi; abo bikumbwanga kwiza kutahula masabo ge Kadata. Itungo elyone, ishye ashyali muhanga.

 

 

Who was Mwenda Msiri?

His name at birth was Mugala Ngelengwa (the one who will astonish the world). M’siri, the future king of the Bayeke, was born in a region known as the Busabaga (land of the pathfinders-farmers), in the village of Kazimana in modern-day Tanzania. It is said that his father gave him the name of Mugala Ngelengwa because he was born on the day of an eclipse. Grandson of Mwami Muhemwa and Mugoli (queen) Mahanga, and son of Mwami Kalasa Mazwiri and Mugoli Manena Liahanze, M’siri and his forebears were vassals to Mwami Mwinula Kipamira of the Bulebe. His mother Manena Liahanze was also known as Nakakindi (Ina-Bahindi), perhaps because her father was from the Bahindi people. Her mother, on the other hand, was a Mushirombo.

When the people in the Busumbwa got wind of a very rich land, west of Lake Tanganyika, Kalasa Mazwiri and his brother (dearest friend) Kamana Magulu-Kungweshi gathered many men with whom they would make the journey to Kadata (land of copper- Katanga). When they arrived, they found astonishing riches and wealth they had been looking for, such as copper, elephant tusks, ivory, animal skins of leopards, lions and elephants.  It is during this time that Kalasa became blood brothers (common practice in those days to solidify friendships) with local Kings, such as Katanga, Mpande, Mubambe, Sompwe, Fukutu, Lupola, Kinyama and Katara from Mitumba. At the end of their journey, they returned to the Bugaraganza laden with riches, promising their return.

During the second journey, the objectives were roughly the same. However, this time Kalasa brought his younger son Ngelengwa. At this stage, we are told that Ngelengwa was approximately 15 years old because of his soft and hairless face (a measure of maturity in those days). Kalasa chose to take his younger son along in order to strengthen his heart. In their land, the Basumbwa were used to long journeys in search of riches, they were merchants. Ngelengwa impressed his father during the trip and received many accolades.

On their way back to the Bugaraganza, Kamana Magulu-Kungweshi, Kalasa’s dearest friend, mysteriously died. According to stories that were later shared, Magulu-Kungweshi’s nephews Mihambo and Kulwa had bewitched him. Ngelengwa witnessed this tragedy and carried that memory for the rest of his life. After the second journey, Kalasa never returned to Katanga. He stayed in the Busabaga for good, and lived as a wealthy man until his death.

Even though many years had gone by, Ngelengwa had only one thing on his mind: to return to Katanga with his own convoy of men. As a result, he took a portion of the wealth that was bequeathed to him by his father and bought fabrics, powder, rifles among other items. With the rest of the wealth, he proceeded to seek out supernatural/enchanting powers in the Busukuma. The purpose of these powers was to protect his body from bewitching powers. There, he befriended Masuka Muhembeka, a man with extensive knowledge in this field who happened to be related to his mother Manena. From the Busukuma he went to several other places to search for more enchanting powers, such as those of invisibility. As a man energized with his discoveries, Ngelengwa went home to prepare for the trek, and concluded the following: “Indeed, it is enough. I am now ready for my journey to Katanga”.

At this time, Ngelengwa was ready to assemble many of his countrymen who would follow him for the journey. They were from different families of the Bagaraganza, such as, the Basabaga, Baleve, Babagwe, Bashyetu, Basonge, Banzeve, Bagomba, Bayogo, Bahindi, Bashirombo, and the Bagaya. All of them wished to go and find riches in Katanga. Some stayed with Ngelengwa, while others returned to the Busabaga.

In these early stages of Ngelengwa’s life, nobody could have predicted what was destined for him. As his powers progressively grew, M’siri began to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with and his influence became uncircumventable in Katanga, parts of Zambia and Tanzania.    

Segments of this summary are taken from the book entitled, « Les Bayeke du Garanganze, Tome I: De l’origine du peuple à la mort du fondateur de la dynastie, 2005 », written by the late Mwanangwa Célestin Nsamba Malezi, who was a member of the great council of the Bwami of the Bayeke.