Chewa chieftainship Supremacy: Lundu vs Gawa Undi…..Why Lundu claims that Gawa Undi is not Chewa Supreme leader?


…..Why Lundu claims that Gawa Undi is not Chewa Supreme leader?…

By Cedric Chithenga Nyoni

During the reign of Kalonga Chidzonzi, a younger brother of the king called Undi Chisakamzondi was assigned by the king to distribute land to other subchiefs on behalf of Kalonga Chidzonzi.

This was where the name ‘Gawa.’ (which literally means ‘one who shares’) was derived from.

Succession dispute between Undi and Mazula:

Upon the death of Chidzonzi, Undi wanted to become Kalonga (King), but Muzura the king’s nephew was propelled as the new Kalonga.

The Maravi people were matrilineal and a nephew (son of king’s sister/mdzukulu) was the one supposed to be the next king Mazula was rightful candidate to succeed his late uncle Kalonga Chidzonzi not Undi who was young brother to the departed king.

After losing the succession dispute with Mazula, Gawa Undi broke away from the kingdom with his followers and headed to Zambia border and established their own kingdom with their capital Maano near Kapoche river.

Undi’s followers were called the Nyanja and their language is chiNyanja widely spoken in Eastern province of the present day Zambia.

The rise of Lundu
Lundu was also a nephew of Kalonga Chidzonzi, cousin to Kalonga Mazula.

He was tasked to move to the Shire highlands to create and expand the Maravi Empire frontiers.

Lundu left Mankhamba, around Mtakataka in Dedza district (The Capital ) with a religious section of the Banda clan establishing his headquarters in the lowershire.

The Mbona Shrine at Khulubvi
At first Lundu was reporting to the Kalonga Mazula (his cousin) as a subchief but stopped doing so as he had his own religious shrine which Gawa Undi did not have.

His religious leader was Mlauri/M’bona son of his sub chief Ngabu.
At his peak Lundu and M’bona had taken over the control of Shire highlands establishing M’bona cults at Michiru, Mpemba, Thyolo, Malabvi and Chiperoni mountains.

Lundu had risen so powerful than any other subchiefs because of his control of the religious centres.

This led Lundu to be in conflict with Kalonga Mazura who joining with the Portuguese to subdue Lundu.

The fall of Lundu
Lundu was finally deposed and killed by the Makololos in 1863 marking the end of Maravi rulers.

The reinstatement of Lundu Chieftain
Soon after attaining independence, Dr Banda reinstated one of the descendants of Lundu as a paramount chief of the Mang’anja while deploring the Makololos as invaders.

Dr Banda did not reinstate any remnants of the royal Kalonga family to be Kalonga (Supreme head of all the Chewas)

Dr Banda also deposed Chief Mwase of Kasungu the only remaining senior of the Chewa Chiefs..

There was a power vacuum as there was no any Kalonga for the Chewa people.

This power vacuum led to the growth of Gawa Undi of Zambia claiming the KALONGA title even over the Chewa, Chipeta, Nyanja and Mang’anja of Malawi.

Lundu still maintains that Gawa Undi is not Kalonga but he is as any subordinate chiefs because he (Undi) broke away from the Kingdom after losing succession battle with Kalonga Mazula.

Therefore, Lundu remains legitimate Kalonga King not Gawa Undi as it has been advanced for years as Chewa tribe is matrilineal not patriarch.- maravipost


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