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Ah!! Zwelonke – Agriculture mourns for a giant

“The rinderpest has done a great deal to wean the people from their old traditions of heathenism, as cattle have always been the foundation of their whole system, social, political, and a great extent religious; and although they are rapidly collecting cattle again… they will never be to them what they were in the past”

Kumkani Sigcau Aah! Zwelonke!!! At the July 2016 Beef Indaba in Mbhashe

The late Kumkani Zwelonke Sigcau as a descendent of Kumkani Hintsa Aah! Zanzolo !!!, and many of the great Kings, had a pedigree of warriors who have always demonstrated their selfless nature towards people across the land. Imbongi Zolani Mkiva refers to him as “Inkonyana yohlanga, ithole leenkunzi zomgquba, ingqanga-ngqanga eqodwe ngamaJingqi…” (the nation’s chosen one, a special creed in close proximity with amaJingqi). From the very onset of taking over from the late father Aah! Xolilizwe !!! he demonstrated deep and profound understating of the importance of abantu looking after the land and ensuring its productivity. In many platforms Kumkani Sigcau decried the plight of the sense of the loss of the well being of the area under his reign. Overseeing the Beef Indaba of the National Red Meat Development Programme (July 2016) he made a clarion challenge for all iinkosi to invest on the land and ensure that it productive. He threw the gauntlet asking “sizakuthi sifuna ubuyiswe njani lo Mhlaba xa singawusebenzi lo sinawo? “(we need to demonstrate that we can work the land hence the call of it being returned).

As his passing on he leaves the AmaJingqi macadamia program under Inkosi Dumalisile Aah! Ngwenyathi!!! – in full bloom and the Ngangegqili Custom Feeding program (the only facility with cattle and small stock) under Inkosi Sigidi Aah! Zwelinizima!!! Having turned livestock into actual currency.

Kumkani Sigcau always emphasised the following principles to Isizwe SikaXhosa and the various developmental programs that they should:

  • Fight poverty
  • Stimulate the economy
  • Meet basic needs
  • Improve service delivery quality
  • Capacity building
  • Sustainable development

As leader he would often refer to history behind the current situation the province and the country finds itself. In one instance referring to circumstances that are informed by a series of events he reminded us of what was said by a Bishop Bramsby Key in 1904 “The rinderpest has done a great deal to wean the people from their old traditions of heathenism, as cattle have always been the foundation of their whole system, social, political, and a great extent religious; and although they are rapidly collecting cattle again… they will never be to them what they were in the past”

Not only is Kumkani Sigcau’s passing untimely and unfortunate, he departs at a time when we beginning to feel his aura and vast presence. At a time, the nation was looking up to him for guidance and engaging of leaders in government and beyond. Both the Eastern Cape Premier and the President have acknowledged the void he leaves behind. As royal as he is, he demonstrated a down to earth personality willing to engage with the old and the young. A colleague fondly reminisces as when the King stopped and assisted with a punctured wheel- prepared to be late for an event that pass people by.

In his “Bless Afrika” song the late Stompie Mavi quips “Sikelelela ubuzwe bethu, sikelela umhlaba wethu, sikelela ilizwe lobawo, sikelela inzala yethu, sikelela abazali bethu” (bless our nationhood, bless our land, bless our country, bless our children, bless our parents).

The void left by Kumkani Sigcau is both immense and immeasurable – how does a nation moves on in circumstances like these? We hope the person he became has inspired many of us to always put people first at all times.

Lala ngoxolo mzukulwana wooNgcwangu, Togu, Phalo, Tshiwo, Malangana!

Uze uba xele nganye nganye sisebugxwayibeni!!!

Dr Xolile Ngetu

Ah!! Zwelonke – Agriculture mourns for a giant
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