The book is an attempt towards a comprehensive history of the Tsonga people of South Africa from the earliest groups to occupy the present day South African territory to the beginning of the 21 century. It records the early movements of the early tribes of the Tsonga and some succession information within the traditional leadership of those tribes. The book dispels the myth that is prevalent in major history books about the black people of South Africa claiming the Tsonga people are recent entrants to the society of South Africa. This myth is supported mainly by the incorrect view that the first Tsonga to occupy South Africa did so in 1895 when the last king of the Gaza, Nghunghunyani, was defeated by the Portuguese and his kingdom destroyed. The book reflects on some of the Tsonga tribes that have been in South Africa far earlier than the date that most history books suggest. The content of the book also contains some clarity on the difference between the Shangaan or Machangani and the Tsonga and argues that the name of the people is Tsonga, even though the two names are often incorrectly used interchangeably to refer to the same people. The book argues that the Shangaan or Machangani refers to a sub-group of the Tsonga, which is one of several such sub-groups. Other sub-groups include the Rhonga, Tshwa, N’walungu, Dzonga, Thonga and Hlengwe. Significantly, the book is the first of its kind about the Tsonga people of South Africa and, although it leaves out more detail, it does provide the basis from which more research on the history of the Tsonga can be conducted. Since it was first published in 2002, it has prompted many such research projects that are beginning to yield positive results in projecting a correct picture of the Tsonga history and the consciousness about the proper identity of the people.
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