Gcaleka Clan Names History and Origin

The Gcaleka name can be traced back to battles between Thembu and Gcaleka tribes. Additionally, Hinsa’s subjects were known as Gcalekas who held this surname.

Phalo’s marriage of two royal-ranked women caused dissension between his two factions; it was seen as an insulting move towards those whose daughter had been reduced to subordinate wife status.

Gcaleka Clan Names

  • Gcaleka
  • Cirha
  • Rhudulu
  • Zizi
  • Ntinde
  • Mkhawuli
  • Dlukulu
  • Mhlawuli
  • Gando
  • Jola


Gcaleka is one of the three royal clans within Xhosa culture. Established in the 15th century by King Tshawe KaNkosiyamntu who established the Xhosa Kingdom in southern Africa spanning from Mbhashe River to Gamtoos and beyond the Kei River, its territory extended from Mbhashe River to Gamtoos as far south as Kei River in South Africa and included three primary ruling houses: Ngqika and Rharhabe Houses respectively.

In the late 1700s, Gcaleka house was under the rule of King Phalo and his son Gcaleka was elected leader of their people. Rharhabe, his eldest brother attempted to overthrow and seize power but failed in doing so; later settling with his family near Great Kei River.

In 1835, Cape Colony established and claimed large tracts of Xhosa land east of the Great Kei River. By 1877, amaNgqika and amaGcaleka of AmaThembu rose up against colonial government but were crushed by British forces; those groups who did not flee had to give up their land for European colonization.

Today, Gcalekas reside in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region and are an ethnic and multiracial community comprised mostly of members from the Xhosa tribe, an African people group speaking nguni.


Prince Jonguxolo Vululwandle Sandile’s elevation to AmaRharhabe King marks an important moment in its history and symbolizes deep ties between AmaRharhabe royal house and Zulu nation. King Jonguxolo took over after Queen regent Noloyiso Sandile passed away due to Covid-19 related illness in July 2020.

The Rharhabe House (AmaRharhabe) is the second senior house (Right Hand House) of Xhosa kingdom, after Gcaleka House. Founded by Prince Rharhabe Ka Phalo – one of four sons of King Phalo who reigned during 1700s- it has its origins from this prince himself.

Prince Rharhabe displayed leadership skills from an early age, quickly establishing his own homestead near amaNdungwana clan at Hohita near Hohita River. Due to his great wisdom and warlike spirit, Rharhabe quickly became popular among Phalo’s sons, leading Gcaleka to fear he might usurp his throne one day.

President Cyril Ramaphosa officially recognised AmaRharhabe as the Xhosa kingdom kingly house in 2021. Based at Mngqesha Great Place near Qonce (previously King William’s Town) in Eastern Cape, its seat of power is Mngqesha Great Place near Mngqesha Great Place near Mnquma Municipality with three traditional councils (Tamarha at King William’s Town; Ncerha in East London; Centane in Mnquma Municipality).


Historical records offer an incredible window into your family history, providing insights into their professions and residences. Genealogy databases also contain many records regarding your ancestors that provide additional details like birth dates, addresses and occupations.

Nqoko is an accomplished musician who has spent much of his career writing songs for other musicians. Working alongside different artists has given him invaluable experience; now it is time for him to launch himself into the music industry independently.

Born into the Ntamonde clan and son of a traditional chief from AmaNtinde, his ancestors used their wealth and strength to conquer and settle new territories. A prolific composer and songwriter himself, he has collaborated with many African musicians.

He had two known sons: Prince Gcaleka and Rharhabe, each from different royal houses: Gcaleka was from the Great House while Rharhabe belonged to the Right Hand House; these rivalries led to a split within Xhosa nation and set off one of Southern Africa’s greatest dramas; kingdom extended from Mbhashe River upstream past Kei River with both houses having equal size and power yet divided by rivalries between themselves.


Ngqika stands as an outstanding example of how colonialism worked at an intimate level through manipulation of Xhosa political relations. Scholars frequently overlook these subtler strategies which were deployed beyond overt violence to facilitate colonial expansion.

Ngqika was born into an Xhosa nation that had been split along the Kei River into two dominating tribes, Gcaleka and Sandile’s Rharhabe dominating western side while smaller chiefs governed eastern side; both houses competed for power and prestige while remaining friendly; sometimes old scores needed settling and Phalo set his Great House up west of Kei to establish his descendants’ rule over this part of land.

In 1796, Ngqika’s nephew Rarabe challenged his authority as leader of the Xhosa nation. Ngqika supported his uncle during this struggle but demonstrated clearly he lacked enough military might to become its real ruler.

Somerset, the British commander of Kaffraria, decided to engage directly with Ngqika and Ndlambe as a way of ending cross-border raids into British Kaffraria. A meeting was convened on a mountain ridge with both chiefs present. Somerset held this theatrical encounter unarmed. His intention was intended to intimidate them both.

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