One of the homelands or Bantustans of South Africa under the apartheid regime, Gazankulu was the nominal home of the Shangaan (or Tsonga) people, near the border with Mozambique. There is a Gaza region in Mozambique near Maputo.

The territory was created on 1 July 1971 under the name of Machanga, and became self-governing as Gazankulu on 1 February 1973. Its capital was Giyani. The long-time chief minister Hudson Ntsanwisi died in March 1993 and was succeeded by Samuel Nxumalo. Like the other homelands it was fully reabsorbed into South Africa on 27 April 1994.

The flag was three horizontal stripes, white between middle-blue, and on the white stripe a traditional Shangaan emblem, two spoons joined by a chain, all in black. In their culture these are carved out of a single piece of wood and represent harmony and hospitality. They were also depicted, in gold on blue, on the shield, which also had cogwheels and flames below them. The motto was Mintirho ya Vulavula, and I can't tell you what that Xitsonga phrase means in English.

There is a song "Paradise in Gazankulu", recorded by Harry Belafonte, containing the lines

I'm the Shangaan
Pope of hope.
I do the African

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.