These are some quick facts about the Tsonga people. I hope you get to learn something you can take home with you.
The name “Tsonga” is the root of Xitsonga (culture, language or ways of the Tsonga). Someone from Tsonga is called Mutsonga. The indigenous people of Tsonga are generally referred to as Vatsonga.
In South Africa, Tsonga is an official language but not in Swaziland.
In Mozambique, all Tswa-Ronga languages are recognized but the Tsonga has not been made official in Zimbabwe.
The Tsonga tribe inhabits the Southern Mozambique coastal plain, parts of Zimbabwe and Swaziland, as well as the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
They have lived their serene insular lives in coordination with nature long before the widespread warfare and chaos that characterized the early 1800s, during which the nations of southern Africa spread out to new regions to escape the growing Zulu might.
During the Apartheid era, the Shangaan and Tsonga people were concentrated in the ‘homeland’ of Gazankulu, to the west of the Kruger National Park. Since the first democratic elections in 1994 however, Gazankulu has been integrated into the Limpopo province. And their population has boomed over the years.
Their present count is around 4.6 million as per the records which were prepared in the year 2000.
The Tsonga people are also known for their poems and story telling, which helps in preserving their history.