The Mbatha are Nguni people who originate from Mageba the son of Zulu through his grandson Sontshikazi. Mageba was a twin brother to Phunga who became a chief of the Zulu clan. Phunga and Mageba were seperated during infancy because they were twins and it was taboo to the Nguni people of the time for twins to grow up in the same household. Mageba grew up at her martenal home at Nkandla so that he wont be a threat to Phunga who was heir to the Zulu throne.
At Nkandla Mageba fathered Zitha (Phangizitha) who fathered
Sontshikazi. When Sontshikazi was old enough, his father Zitha left him to be head of the family and homestead when he went to be a regent of the Ntombela clan who were his relatives and had no strong leader at the time. Around the same time Mageba was called to be a chief of the Zulu clan as Phunga suddenly died without leaving a male heir. That is where Mageba begat Ndaba for Phunga who is a progenator of the Zulu kings. By that time the house of Mpangazitha was independent from the Zulu and it was taken as different clan altogether.
Sontshikazi became very prosperious and he had many cattle and wives as he was a famous sangoma (diviner). Sontshikazi loved to wear a full buffalo hide like a blanket, and his peoplE followed suit by wearing full cow hide like a blankets. When the neighbouring clans noticed the Sontshikazi people dress code they started to call them ‘AMAMBATHA’ (those who are always clad in blankets). The name stuck soon Sontshikazi’s homestead was referred to as ’emambatheni’ it even became more so when Sontshikazi’s son Ndaba fathered many sons amongst others Mbeje, Dladla, Shandu, Dumisa, Mngeni and Nsibankulu were all called ‘Mbatha’ or sons of Emambatheni.
This makes it clear that the surname ‘Mbatha’ originated from the house of Sontshikazi due to their act of always be clad in blankets it then stuck up to today. It is also clear that there was previously no person named Mbatha although others started to give their sons this name due to its popularity. It was later used as a surname.
Thanks to Sontshikazi’s act today this surname ‘Mbatha’ is owned by millions of people.
In time Mbatha became a clan name on its own with many surnames under it. We can count among others, Mbeje, Dladla, Shandu, Khali, Kweyama, Vezi, Mangcengeza, Manyosi, Makhubalo, Mngunyana, Mathabela, Dumisa, Mngeni and others.
There are supposed to be six chieftaincies of Emambatheni, but there are at present two recognised by the RSA government…Vezunyawo at Nkonjeni Mahlabathini and Ndokozane at Ncome Vryheid/Uitrecht district. Amambatha have their annual heritage day at their main royal house at Nkonjeni Mahlabathini in September every year.
You can also check ‘Imvelaphi yesibongo sakwa Mbatha at