Chief Falo Mgudlwa: An Inspirational African Giant

Chief Falo Mgudlwa: An Inspirational African Giant

In celebration of a distinct African hero, Chief Falo Mgudlwa and our Royal Family, and in the spirit of promoting Black History, it’s important to remember and share our history to build our society.

Through reflecting on the story of this African family, the Mgudlwa family, is yet another example of the untold giganticness from our painful but courageous past that needs to be made available in schools, colleges and universities.

The Mgudlwa line was established by Falo’s father, the Chief Mgudlwa ka Jumba, which in many ways can be classified as a ‘Premier Family of Africa’ belonging to the Thembu Nation.

Falo led his people to settle at Qhumanco, in agreement with the Qwathi Chief Dalasile of the royal Gcaleka house of Hintsa in 1860.

Chief Falo ka Mgudlwa who was born in 1843, was a Chief of AmaJumba Clan, of the abaThembu people in Qhumanco, Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape province in South Africa.

And his household was based at Lucwecwe, Ngcobo.

Falo and his brother Langa were sons of Chief Mgudlwa.

His sister Nowaka married Chief Dalasile.

Chief Mgudlwa was instrumental in bringing a new formal schooling system to his region of Thembuland, Eastern Cape.

He fought gallantly and died in the rebellion of 1880–81, against the British and the Sprigg Government of the Cape.

Through his visionary leadership and powerful human relation skills, Falo ka Mgudlwa had a long tenure as Chief. Falo was also instrumental in establishing a mission station in the region.

His principal Councillor was the warrior Mbombini Molteno ka Sihele. Mbombini was a large, fierce man of great cunning and charisma.

In spite of being illiterate. In later life Mbombini became a national poet for the Thembu people, and a keeper of Thembu oral history and lore.

And through Mbombini’s influence, Falo also contributed to the “Thembu History per Chief Falo Mgudlwa at Qumanco” (18/06/35. McLaughlin Papers, Cory Library, Grahamstown).

It has been revealed that Falo’s homestead became a major repository of history for the Thembu and Qwathi nations, and several chroniclers such as Cronje Mlahleni Xundu had spent time in his household to study this history.

Former leader of the Transkei, Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima spent a portion of his childhood in the household of Chief Mgudlwa.

Falo was one of the first Chiefs of his nation to convert to Christianity.

The later Thembu Council writer described him as having an unusually dark complexion, a birth mark and extraordinary physical strength.

Falo died at the age of 95 in 1939.

His death was followed by numerous disputes among his adopted sons Qaqawuli (Qaqauli) and Daliwonga, and succession disputes among his own children. His own children included Matsolo, Harold Guleni, Colenzo, Attwell, Isaac, Cecil, Stormont, and Buller.

Mbombini, who had been charged by Falo on his deathbed, to look after his descendants, was involved in resolving these disputes.

In resolution, Falo was succeeded as Chief by his sons Matsolo and Harold Guleni Mgudlwa.

In My Heritage Family Tree website, which forms a partnership with The New York Times, Fox News Channel, The Wall Street Journal, Good Hope and the Geni World Family Tree the linage is reflected as Chief Falo Mgudlwa was born in 1843, to Chief Mgudlwa kaJumba and Metha Mgudlwa.

Furthermore, Chief married Noflarha Mgudlwa. They had one son: Cecil Dangatye Mgudlwa.

Chief married Nowisile Mgudlwa. They had one son: Chief Matsolo Mgudlwa. Chief married Nonjani Mgudlwa. Chief married Notolofiya Mgudlwa. Chief married Nobhokisi Mgudlwa. Chief passed away in 1939, at age 96.

Chief Khawulele Mgudlwa was born to Chief Qaqawuli Mgudlwa. They had one child. Chief passed away in 2007.

Chief Matsolo Mgudlwa was born to Chief Falo Mgudlwa and Nowisile Mgudlwa .

Chief was born in 1843. Chief had one brother Cecil Dangatye Mgudlwa. They had one son Chief Qaqawuli Mgudlwa.

Chief Qaqawuli Mgudlwa was born to Chief Matsolo Mgudlwa.

The Chief also later married.

They had one son Chief Khawulele Mgudlwa before the Chief passed away.

South Africa is also a beneficiary of several Mgudlwa primary and high schools in various provinces of the country, including the Mgudlwa FET College.

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