Mkhosi to be crowned M’mbelwa V after burial of Malawi’s Ngoni Paramount chief

Eldest son of the late Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa IV, Mkhosi Jere, will ascend to chieftaincy after the burial of his father, Zwangendaba, who died Tuesday after a battle against diabetes in the commercial city of Blantyre. He was 56.

The 28 year-old  crown prince, a bank clerk with the First Merchant Bank (FMB) in the capital city, Lilongwe, will hold his late father’s spear, standing by his Ngoni-style coffin, right before the remains of Malawi’s most influential Ngoni Chief, are lowered into the grave.

Inkosi Mpherembe of Mzimba said in Lilongwe the young Jere will be enthroned as Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa the Fifth (V) after burial and a set period of mourning at the headquarters at Edingeni, Mzimba. Engalaweni is the official Inkosi ya Makosi enthronement village.

Born April 16, 1985, he is the eldest of three brothers Mswati and Allan and a sister.  M’mbelwa IV  was  installed chief in 1984.

Crown prince Mkhosi: Takes over M’mbelwa throne
Crown prince Mkhosi: Takes over M’mbelwa throne

According to his Facebook profile, Mkhosi Jele was born on April 16 1985 and works as a bank clerk at the First Merchant Bank, which he joined last April. Before that, Mkhosi worked as a date entry clerk at the Electoral Commission between March 2008 and June 2009. In 2006, he was at St. Patrick’s High School.


In typical Ngoni tradition, a gun will be shot before taking the body of M’mbelwa outside the funeral house to the graveyard, where another shot will be sounded again.

Before the last trip, the deceased Ngoni chief will be wrapped in the Nguwo (cow hide) and a cow gall bladder put on his body to symbolize the power he posses as a chief.

At the graveyard, Mkhosi will stand by the coffin side with a spear symbolizing ascendancy to power, before an Ingoma dance will be performed by the madoda/impi (elders). Further mourning and head shaving will follow.

Inkosi Mpherembe said the solemn event expects Goodwill Zwelethini of Zululand in South Africa; King Msawti of Swaziland, Inkosi ya Makosi Mpezeni of Chipata in Zambia, and Inkosi Magodi of Zambia to be in attendance.

President Joyce Banda, Vice President Khumbo Kachali who comes from the same area as the deceased, and government officials will be present at the burial accorded a State funeral status.

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