INkosi Isaih Shembe was born around 1870s at Ntabazwe area in the homestead known as Nontandabathakathi. His father Mayekisa was of the Ntungwa clan of the Zulu nation. Oral traditions tell how the coming of Shembe was communicated in visions to His great great grandfarther Mzazela , who lived during the reign of king Ndaba of the Zulu nation and His mother Sitheya Hadebe.

His mother Sitheya Hadebe of the Hlubi chieftancy had a vision of people dressed in white gowns and heared a voice which was told her, " You will give birth to the Lord who will save all nations"
From the early age Shembe heard a voice of God and His life was full of signs and wonders. Shembe submitted to the calling after severe suffering including the loss of His children. He did not embrace this call easilly and He was sometimes refered to as the, "Servent of sorrow"

Shembe became the greatest religious leader in South Africa in the early 20th century and much more a Messiah of black nations than had percieved. He strove to restore dignity of black Africans after difficult times of violent conflict and conquer by colonial settlers. His reference to iNkosi bears different meaning to a chief or a king.

In 1910 Shembe proceeded to Nhlangakazi Mountain as per the calling and continued to recieve a number of visions.. He began to create the community of iBandla lamaNazaretha and eventually the holy city of eKuphakameni. In 1914, after an intense process of prayer and fasting, a plot of land was given to Shembe upon which He established the holy city of eKuphakameni, His blood and sweat.

In His founding of eKuphakameni He had this to say on His followers, " My children, today I build you a heaven here on earth. Today you will walk in heaven in your flesh. Who so ever enters here enters the heaven and who so ever forsake this place, he abandons the heaven"

First and foremost Shembe taught about the ever living being of Shembe and the holy ghost we always refer to when calling the name Shembe. He taught people that this Shembe that we always call is embodied within the flesh "Shembe" and the "Shembe" flesh is the embodiment of "Shembe" the holy ghost and that the two are inseparable.

Some of His hymns narrate about how His super natural being is to be understood. In verse 8 of hymn 220 I quote,
"My flesh is exhausted it will rest in the mausoleum,
My flesh will resurrect and live in a new flesh,
Perpetually I was born and I will eternally exist"

Following that, in verse 10 of the same hymn,He tells the story of the eternality of uKuphakama. Also in His words I quote,
"Kuphakama you are a bedrock
Forever you will live"

In essence, in all his teachings , He made one affirmation about three inseparable things:-
1. The immortality of Shembe
2. The everlasting nature of uKuphakama, and
3. Keeping and observing the Sabath

He put these as the foundation series upon which Nazareth religion is based and as an injuction to all those folow His conviction to the Nazareth religion. He made it highly improbable for one to denounce any of above deposts of His acute commandments and still have relations Nazareth religion and or Shembe Himself.

After short "illness" ( which He had spoken about at length before) in April 1935, iNkosi passed on in May 2, 1935 at Mikhayideni home stead in Richrads bay and was laid to rest at eKuphakameni holy city as He had directed.

When we go to His Gibisila homestead to honour the life of iNkosi we honour iNkosi with great understanding of His profound teachings and many more others. It is also incumbent upon everyone who congregate everywhere in rememberance of iNkosi tomorrow to do so with same understanding and due diligence.

* The email will not be published on the website.