Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa

Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa

Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa (circa 1880-1928) was a member of the Thembu tribe of South Africa, and the chief of Mveso, a tiny village on the banks of the Mbashe River, known today as the Bashee River. He was the father of anti-apartheid activist and South African president Nelson Mandela. His father, named Mandela, was the son of Thembu King Ngubengcuka

As chief, Mphakanyiswa presided in an official capacity at marriages, funerals, and initiations. Though he had no formal education and could not read or write, he was described by Mandela as having a keen sense and appreciation for history. He had an argument with a British person and lost his position as a chief and his family had to move to other towns with Nelson his mothers and his three sisters moved to Qunu.

He had four wives and thirteen children: four sons and nine daughters. He died of tuberculosis when his most famous son was only nine

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