Mission to unite the Memela clan

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

The Memela family in Kwazulu-Natal has embarked on a historic journey to unite the Memela clan throughout the country and the continent.

Family leader and president of the tribe Wilson Memela said his family had played a prominent role in the history of the province.

"Our forefathers date back to the 1800s. They were true followers of the Zulu nation and still respect our leader King Goodwill Zwelithini. They were peace-makers when rivalry once existed between various clans.

"We now as a family want to recognise and pay homage to our past leaders," Memela said.

Last weekend, the family held a special ceremony to honour their fallen leader Mdingi Memela, who died in 1823. "After much investigation and talking to those who lived in the area where our family first settled, we confirmed that our leader died a natural death and was not killed during a faction fight as was long claimed.

"He was buried without honour in a common grave in the Kwamgayi area on the south coast.

"The family has now chosen a special site in the Memelas' long- time rural home in the foothills of the Donnybrook mountains in southern Kwazulu-Natal "in memory of our leader," said Memela.

He said the ceremony was attended by more than 3000 members of the Memela clan. Seven cows were slaughtered.

The local Nkosi Bashawudile Memela and other community leaders also attended.

Memela says the family has also compiled a book on their history and that a website is currently under construction.

"The site will have information and news of interest for all members of the family. The Memelas are scattered in this province, Eastern Cape, Zimbabwe and Lesotho."