In life knowing your identity and your background can make you know exactly who you are, where you are from, where you are and where you are going to. My name is Thandwayinkosi Fananaye Myeza (aka Bomba), I am currently 21 years old and I am a proudly South African who was born at Nkandla Hospital and grew up in a family of eight (four girls and four boys), except my late brother whose father passed away before my mother married my father. I am the fifth one (in the mid position) in my family. I grew up at KwesakaMagwaza area, Nkandla. I started school at Ntolwane Primary school (where President Jacob Zuma usually votes) and I matriculated in the school named Magqama High School in the year 2008. I currently live at Kwa Mashu, H 71, Bhejane Road in my grandmother’s house. I am currently doing IT and Computer Science at Elangeni FET College, Kwa Mashu Campus.
I was blessed to be born in a Christian family and my mother blessed us with very wonderful names that make me proud of her and myself. It seems like she used to spend a lot of time to think before she give her child a name. She didn’t use English names and avoided cursing names. Her naming technique starts from the eldest to the youngest as follows:
- Zimisele Ntanzi (passed away in December 2009)
- Thandanani Myeza (my father’s first born)
- Fikakahle Myeza
- Sesinabo Myeza
- Thandwayinkosi Myeza
- Lomsongaka Myeza
- Phumlani Myeza
- Simthande Myeza and
- Nakhokonke Myeza (last born)
My father is Funokwakhe Myeza, his surname praise names are:
owathwala kuqala bengakathwali nabezindlwana,
Mavel’endumeni, owehla ngomzukulu wasala wabola…
I cannot continue because “inkosi kayiqedwa, uyibinda dimbane…”
He grew up in a place called Emahlabathini. My grandfather (my father’s dad) was Vendle Myeza who passed away in 1983 before my eldest brother Thandanani Myeza was born. My grandmother (my father’s mom) was KaMabaso, oMntungwa who passed away before my mother met my dad. My father was a polygamist but he was very supportive to all of them because he managed to build an eight room house for my mom, where we grew up and raised the eight of us and my brothers and sisters from the other mothers. He met my mother in early 1980s and they had their first born (Thandanani Sbusiso Myeza) in 1984 and married my mother in 1993.
My father was very creative to make things happen without having to go to school because he was a well known bricklayer with a very good reputation for the big suburbs that he constructed successfully before I was born until now. He could read the planning drawings and interpret them in order to build a house exactly as it was planned in the paper without going to the university or being academically skilled.
My mother is Nozipho Nomvoti Magwaza, uMayengwayo, uNjinji, Manqondo who grew up at Nkandla, KwesakaMagwaza, kaBhekuzulu (komalume or uncle’s house) in a family of seven (in Mabhengu’s house). My grandfather (my mother’s dad) was Hambayedwa Magwaza (uSamgewuz’isilwane), who also had two wives Mashange, who passed away before I was born and MaBhengu, who is still alive. My mother belongs to MaBhengu’s house. My grandmother (my mother’s mom) is Mtoso Bhengu: oNgcolosi, Dlabazana, Shongololo, ngabe siyakudla manje sesaba lezizinyawanyawana.
My grandfather (my mother’s dad) was a traditional man who was very talented in doing traditional work (imvunulo) like amabheshu, isinene, amahawu, imbatha, imiqhele, imisila etc using animal skins. He had a place at Dalton next to Dalbridge train station where he manufactured traditional clothing (imvunulo), Zulu sandals (izimbadada), traditional weapons (izagila, amawisa, umbazo, ubhoko, ihawu etc). He worked with my grandmother (MaBhengu) and taught her everything about making traditional stuff before he passed away in the year 2000 when I was 10 years old. He left my grandmother (MaBhengu) to run this place.
Mabhengu (my grandmother) had seven children from Hambayedwa Magwaza (my grandfather), my aunts and my uncles are:
- Mbongeleni Magwaza
- Sthembiso Magwaza
- Nomvoti Magwaza
- Ntombenhle Magwaza
- Ngenzeni Magwaza
- Maphoyisa Magwaza
- Muntukayise Magwaza
One of my uncles that I admire the most is Maphoyisa Magwaza, ‘ubhola lensimbi indiling’engenasibambo’ who was born and grew up at Nkandla before he came to KwaMashu. I use to admire him due to his intelligence and commitments. He inherited the intelligence from my grandfather and he struggled very hard to make something out of the traditional things that he learnt from his father. He has good narrative skills and always telling funny stories.
He believed that our beliefs and cultures are a very significant aspect that plays a vital role in our identity and background. He was prepared to make something to pass the traditional history about our culture as black people. This includes our dress code, music and dance and all the other cultural activities that are our values as Africans. He believed that one image can tell a lot of stories in order to pass and share the indigenous knowledge from generation to generation; hence he used the paint and brush to draw the traditional craft in a variety of places where he left his legacy/foot stamps.
The places where my uncle left his foot stamps are (but not limited to) the following:
- KwaMashu Train Station
- Thembalihle Train Station
- KwaMashu L-Hall
- H 71 KwaMashu (at home)
- ICC Cape Town
- Durban (Market) and many more
The Story of a Spear
His aim was to see our former president Dr. Nelson Mandela when he was arrested, but it was very hard for him to do that as a normal individual because everyone wanted to see him. He thought of a plan to make his dream happen. He took a bush knife and went to Nkandla forest. He chopped the most suitable kind of trees/sticks to make the attractive wooden spears. Then he went to give that spear to Mandela as his gift. Everyone was so impressed by his talent and they did not want to take it for free, they asked him how much he would sell it, he only wanted R25.00. They just laughed at that and gave him extra money that he didn’t expect and then Mandela asked him where he learnt all these things that he did, he told him that he had no money to go to school/university in order to further his studies in arts. They gave him the forms at Economical Centre to study at UCT for Communication, Video Filming etc at Community Art in Cape Town. He was very excited to receive this bursary because he was financially unstable at that time.
He then put the least money in the wallet and hides, the other money and went to sell the remaining spears and swords in the bus. The tsotsi in the bus tried to pickpocket his wallet and ran out of the bus, he chased him and left his craft on the pavement and pick out one of the wooden spears in the bag and chased the tsotsi. When he came back there was a group of people surrounding his amazing and unusual craft and complimenting on it until he came back, so his stuff was safe for that reason.
The spear that he gave to Mandela was shown in the Rainbow festival where the policemen attacked Maphoyisa Magwaza for bringing the weapons in such an event. The police did not want to let him enter the premises with the traditional weapons in the box. He thought of a plan to free himself, then he told them that if they don’t want to let him in it means that the whole function must stop/halt because Mandela (the owner of the function) inside had the same spear that Maphoyisa had outside. Then he made another psychological strategy to defeat them, he moved forward slowly and lay the box down, then he moved backwards very slow and gave them the keys to open the box.
Surprisingly, nobody wanted to come closer!!!
He won that bursary that he applied for and then he went to Cape Town. He had no money, the only money that he had in his pocket was R80.00. He didn’t even know how the passengers in the plane were classified, when an announcement called for Economic class and Business class he was afraid to go to Economic class because he thought that Economics might be all about transactions and might require some fees to be paid, therefore he went to Business class. Fortunately he was in the right place. The funniest thing he did was to panic to eat because he thought that meals were paid for. Later he discovered that his bursary covered all those expenses. He had no blankets, so he used an animal’s skin as his blanket. Interestingly, everyone in the plane and in Cape Town admired his traditional style and wanted to buy it but he denied selling it.
Finally he passed all those subjects and succeeded in life. He also played a significant role in the construction of the big mall located in the INK (Inanda Ntuzuma KwaMashu), Bridge City. He was the chairman who appeared in the Metro Beat Newspaper about several times for his good reputation he had. He currently works in the department of housing in Durban at KwaMashu, next to KwaMashu Police station and Library. He lives at Ntuzuma where he built himself a double story with an underground floor, where he stays with his wife and 5 children (my cousins). He is driving an expensive car, silver coloured Mercedes Benz, Avant-garde, C220 (CDi) but he cannot forget all those former days of struggle.