Baloyi Clan Names History and Origin

Available literature suggests that the Valoyi are genealogically linked with Changamire society through an alliance between Gwambe or Gutse, the founder of Valoyi, and one of their early 17th century rulers called Gulukhulu – also referred to by variations such as Goro Gole and Goremukuru.

Gwambe’s sons form part of the Valoyi ruling lineages found both in Limpopo and Zimbabwe.

Baloyi Clan Names

  1. Baloyi
  2. Matlejoane
  3. Xihundla
  4. Mpfamadi
  5. Xiloyiyana
  6. Madonsi
  7. Nkanyani
  8. Phenyane
  9. Hlungwane
  10. N’wamitwa

Baloyi Clan Origin

Valoyi/Baloyi is a large Southern African family found across various Southern African nations such as South Africa (Vanhlavi, VhaVenda and Balobedu), Zimbabwe (Kalanga), Botswana (Banyayi), Namibia (Ukuthebula) and Zambia. This clan speaks various languages but are best known for their bow and arrow tactics of fighting which caused much Nguni destruction, and their dance of turning people into zombies through witchcraft called Ukuthebula.

Valoyi are difficult to pin down precisely, yet existing literature indicates they moved from their homeland of Changamire in what is now Zimbabwe, through Mozambique, and then onward to South Africa’s Limpopo Province.

Oral accounts do not agree on what caused different groups to form during migration, although generally speaking it appears that they traveled in caravans of wagons, leaving an overworn road behind them. Some theories speculate that Gwambe’s successor Xivodze failed to succeed due to marrying or impregnating his paternal aunt which resulted in him being disqualified and banished from royal residence.

However, other oral accounts indicate that Xivodze was disqualified from succession because he chose Lowani instead of his mother as his successor – this resulted in her ‘disqualification’ and subsequent banishment from the royal residence.

Baloyi Clan Meaning

The Valoyi had a firm conviction that they had created their homeland and its natural features, including names for places and individuals; some refer to themselves as Limpopo; whereas, oral accounts suggest they originated in Vukalanga which may refer to Changamire territory.

Literature suggests that Nelombe founded both the Changamire country and society. According to this theory, Gulukhulu succeeded him and reigned from 1494-1547 (Jacques 1938:126; Mathebula 2018:97).

Valoyi oral history reports that Xivodze was meant to inherit Gwambe’s throne; however, his actions either married or impregnated his aunt and disqualified him as successor; Lowani became Gwambe’s rightful heir as most senior son (which meant being considered a head of household).

Of the Limpopo Valley’s ruling lineages, 20 were descendants of Gwambe while one descended from Xirimbi and his aunt; additional rulers came from Mpondwana and Xifun’wana lineages with three representing Lowani lineage.

Baloyi Clan Variations

Baloyi may take on several variations depending on your language and region; examples include Baloi, Baloy, Baloey and Ballooyi. It has long been passed down through generations as part of Tsonga culture and heritage.

Oral histories related to Valoyi history indicate that its clan was formed through an ancestral link between Gwambe or Gutse and a Changamire ruler known as Gulukhulu from the 17th century Changamire kingdom of Changamire known as Gulukhulu – this link can be seen today through many places with these names such as Makaringe, Xilowa, Lowani etc.; these locations exist today throughout Limpopo Province including Makaringe Xilowa clan originally from ancestral Mozambique which are all linked with Baloyi clan via shared ancestry links between all three clans.

One legend suggests the origins of Mongwe ancestry and community were established through N’warimbale, granddaughter of Gwambe or Gutse who had an offspring not related to her husbands; after having this child she was disqualified or even banished from royal house (Jacques 1938:77-78; Mathebula 2018:97).

N’warimbale then married someone from another community and established what is now known as Mongwe. There are various variations of this tale and it remains unclear exactly when and why Valoyi migrated into modern day Mozambique.

Baloyi Clan Etymology

An ancestral name like Baloyi holds immense symbolic and historical weight, so understanding its root reveals more about who bears it and their ancestry as well as indicating which countries the clan may be more prevalent.

Oral histories and available literature indicate that the Valoyi are related genealogically to the Changamire society located in modern-day Zimbabwe. This link can be traced to a relationship between Gwambe, founder of the Valoyi, and one of early 17th century rulers of Changamire kingdom called Gutse – one of whom founded Gwambe’s own tribe, The Changamire Kingdom of Zambia based today – Gutse.

It is believed that the Valoyi people migrated from their traditional homeland, which encompasses parts of both Mozambique and South Africa today, towards the Limpopo River, just north of its confluence with Olifants River. On arrival they established themselves at an area known as ‘Gulukhulu”.

Oral accounts suggest that the first migration was led by four sons of Gwambe and descendants of Xirimbi; these lineages are known as Lowani, Xifun’wana, Xivodze and Mpondwana and all resided near Limpopo Province allowing them to easily make the switch when required (Mathebula 2018:123-133) Moreover, these lineages do not comprise one community but instead individual chiefdoms which shared common origin with Xirimbi.

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