Origin Nyungu ya mawe

Origin Nyungu ya mawe

  • Nyungu ya mawe was born in Unyanyembe near Tabora among the Nyamwezi.
  • He was a prince from the royal family of Unyanyembe.
  • Nyungu ya mawe was a praise name meaning ‘Pot of stone’ (the pot that never breaks).
  • Nyungu ya mawe was also able to build a big empire using the services of Ruga Ruga mercenaries.
  • He also employed the Ngoni fighting methods.
  • In 1874, he abandoned his people and formed his capital at kiwele.
  • He attacked the Kimbu in the East and also captured the trade route between Tabora and Ufipa.
  • Nyungu ya mawe was a brave and ruthless military strategist.
  • He could not hesitate to risk the lives of his soldiers and he referred to them as Mapimpiti meaning Logs, to achieve his targets.
  • Nyungu ya mawe also created a centralized system of administration.
  • All conquered areas were given new chiefs called Vitwale (plural) or Mtwale (singular).
  • He divided his empire into six provinces each under a Mtwale directly appointed by him.
  • The Vitwale were directly appointed by Nyungu ya mawe and were his eyes and ears. In most cases they were his relatives.
  • Nyungu ya mawe created a highly disciplined army.
  • His army underwent physical and psychological training and didn’t lose morale after his death.
  • Nyungu ya mawe did not bother establishing good relations with Europeans.
  • He heavily taxed them which displeased them.
  • In December 1884, Nyungu ya mawe died as a one eyed man.
  • He was succeeded by his daughter Mgalula who ruled successfully until 1893.
  • When she died, her daughter took over and ruled until the Germans captured her capital at Kiwele and conquered it.
  • This marked the end of Nyungu ya Mawe’s empire.
  • The Germans replaced the Vitwale with new chiefs called Akidas.
  • The Germans later introduced direct rule.