Subject: Hear ho Yisrael black Yisrael Mwene MuTov
Shalom Amen Acheim!!
My first name is knosinathi "Kosi - na - thi" (Spirit - with - us) typically Xhosa mother told me it is reserved for first born males as a sign that "Kosi" G-d is with us for we are blessed with a first born son to carry the family name with pride". The Bantu language stem "Kosi" means, "Spirit" for us the "Almighty". However Kosi is used in addressing a chief or king for respect but does not mean we think the king/chief is invisible or an "Almighty" spirit and creator.
Curiously in Bantu the only way to describe the "Almighty" Kosi / Nkosi a Creator "Spirit" is air or wind = "Moyah". Inherently immeasurable the immensity can not be calibrated split up or calculated in any way, our Nkosi remains for us invisible and ultimately most sacred to the Bantu family. Worldwide no other people seem as strict about the almighty as the Jewish people and "Nkosi sikelela Africa" our national anthem is clear testimony, appealing directly to "Moyah"/ "Air" to bless us its people. To us this is a "sign" or our signature.
Iím Gouteng born and my mother is of BaXhosa decent. My grandfather is of BaSuthu origin and my male lineage has resided in Zimbabwe for a century along side VaKalanga/Ndebele, BaVenda and northern BaSuthu of South Africa and like so many Bantu tribes practice male circumcision rigorously as initiation. Some of us still stick to the eighth-day law pertaining circumcision. My point being, unlike other nations we seem frantic about circumcision even though not all-original Jewish laws have been kept accurately we still keep to its framework.
In my view these cultural actions may seem insignificant and inconsequential but are central and essential to our basic day to day existence and proud heritage for millennia. Mistaken for pagan and persecuted as heathens or non-believers because an invisible "almighty" seemed for others unfathomable and with no objects or idols to show as proof of our beliefs we fled our homeland.
With our belief and identity misunderstood we left Palestine and many of us went south to be known as "lost tribes" of Yisrael / Judah. We entered Africa to live with other Semites, Hamites and Kushites descendants of our great grandfather Noah. Some of us went to Yemen and lived with Arabs who influenced us as did the Koi and San later on but we kept very Jewish and discernible until we reached our southern African destination along the eastern coastline of Africa. This movement circa 2500 years ago was later nicknamed the Bantu migrations.
To day we are known as Bantuís and all too often "gentiles" too. This is misunderstanding as to our actual identity so I feel compelled to respond to a statement on one of your web pages titled "Abrahamís black African Descendants" which reads;
"Professor Mathivha is passionate about the Lemba oral history, passed down through centuries. Stories told by the elders of the Lemba, of how they were led out of the Holy Land by the Bhuba to Senna in Yemen, and then further south, "over vast waters" to the territories of the Northern Province, Mozambique and Southern Zimbabwe; where they live peacefully amongst the "gentiles".
My specific inquiry is who are the gentiles in this case? Because if Bantu people are suppose to fall into that category let me explain that 70 % to 80 % of southern Bantuís are not gentiles nor are we simply Hamitic-Pygmy admixtures producing Negroes as current history may purport. Our oral traditions suggest that we are Jewish with songs like Jerusalema and places like "Dombo Ra Mwari / Nwali" "Rock of G-d" in the Epworth district, as outstanding features and proof of our spiritual past let alone our bloodlines. Yes we have mixed with many people and nations but have remained basically dark / black in complexion throughout the ages.
Over seventy years ago Zimbabwean elders started tracing our origins and Great Zimbabwe seemed a logical place to start the search. This search led to my own research and like most looking for our true history, I arrived at the same conclusion. We are the 12 tribes of Yisrael in their entirety descendants of Avrham Isaac and Yakov who built temple Dzimba dze ma bge (Houses of Rocks) out of a rock called "Bgwe" and then around it a trading centre "very Jewish huh?"
We are Jews, witness this by what we do and how we live as the good book suggests and not by what we look like besides original Jews were dark and still are, to this there can be no mistake. We believe we are the living breathing Torah and have kept Torah in our hearts. Torah in Shona the main Zimbabwean language translates to, "take" or Tolah in Zulu/Xhosa and was "given" on Mt Sinai to be "taken" by the Yisralites. This pattern of similarities permeates Bantu culture and languages, which are merely off shoots of original Hebrew.
We still pay "lobola" to the parents of a bride as Isaac and Yakov did by working their fields for seven years or some form of labour and gifts but now cows as a sign of wealth are acceptable. Jews resident in Yisrael and Europe have forgotten its practice. We keep one day of the week sacred called "Tshisi" in Zimbabwe. Many of us have forgotten all the old ways mainly due to colonisation Diaspora and Christian missionary education that slowly but surely has eradicated our identity and knowledge of it, so once again it is in great jeopardy.
As for sister Rudo Mativha her first name means love in Shona and surname suggests to me that her family-tribe ascribe to water of the pond like Rueben "unpredictable" as "water". "Tivah" = "Dzivah" in Shona and they are a major family-tribe living in the Zambezi valley like the BaTonga and Mkishi and are strict in male circumcision and ascribe to the elephant that relies on the water pond or its mud as protection. They are heads of this major tribe therefore head of the elephant "Thoha ya ndou " = "Msoro ya nzou" in Shona. Ndou = Nzou = Ndlovu in Ndebele Xhosa Zulu. The Ndlovu family-clan is consistent throughout south and east Africa dotting our entrance route into Africa from Palestine led by our eldest brother Rueben.
Also reliant on the natural pond is the fish eagle and the people who ascribe to it amazingly ascribe to the "Dzivah" too. They are the fish eagle family-clan "Hungwe" that decorate the great enclosure at the temple of great Zimbabwe, relatives of the Mativhaís I bet. Note well Nelson Mandela ascribes to Ma - Diba = The Ponds. For curtain purposes I can not reveal too much at the moment but I do hope to release a short book with a fuller story.
However 70 years ago we started to rekindle our culture and with it itís inseparable religion. Congregation Betel was formed and is now lead by Rabbi Cohen Maguwazah from our Rusape Shul / Synagogue as head rabbi of southern African Jews. We now have branches in South Africa Zambia Botswana Malawi and are associated with Betel in America.
Iím am so pleased and proud to see
such great efforts finally been made in addressing the significant genetic
finds made by Parfitt and others. These are rather interesting and ground
shaking discoveries but this information has been known for centuries. We
are not seeking special recognition, any form of special attention or status
we are just black Jews now called Bantuís but unlike many of us are finding
truth about who we are and how we ended up south of the equator.
Generally speaking a negative myth and mistaken identity has been portrayed of Jews throughout our history that is why we left Palestine in the first place and lived in Diaspora for centuries. Our failure to show objects as our "almighty" got Romans and Greeks regarding us as pagan or heathen yet they are the gentiles. Later Arabs called us kiferís because they could not understand how we knew of blood separation in animal slaughter (Kosher killing) if we hadnít read their "book" the Koran that has echoes of our Torah anyhow which for us is written in our hearts.
We should never under estimate the power of the "Almighty", in that our tribe is much bigger than we think. There arenít 100s of thousands of Jews in Africa but millions and millions more in India and China etc. I have relatives and friends from the Lemba tribe and we have always known that not all Bantu are Israelite but many more than just the Lemba are Jews. The Lemba are just one major group of Jews that settled in southern Africa but like our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia it is not just one small tiny group of people but a much lager picture can be drawn of our entire inheritance. The Yorba Hausa Ashante Buganda and many other tribes in Africa have made it public and open their Hebrew roots but on deaf or can I say out right racist ears who find these claims outlandish.
I shall gather you from beyond / south of the rivers of Kush / Ethiopia Zephaniah 3:10. The country of Kush = descendants of Ham son of Noah. Beyond those rivers we can trace our bloodlines directly to those in Yisrael at the time of Aaron and before all the way to Yakov.
I like the web page and I hope your good work continues its long over due but we cannot allow for mistaken identity particularly now, as we are very sensitive of that as Iím sure you can appreciate. One must remember unity is that which made us so successful as a nation. We would love to stay in touch and keep open dialog with you because it is ultimately the only way to go "for how do sing the lords song in a strange land". In the name of The Most High, "may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart and mind be acceptable" to all.
By the way my surname is Nyathi / Buffalo but due to adoption as a child Mbolekwa is my legal surname. My fatherís side is Nyathi and the story goes we were caught up in Suthu wars many a year ago but in short the Buffalo an oxen is significant of oxen hamstrung by Shimon and Levi. On that little clue on behalf of the entire Bethel congregation I bid thee.
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