Historically Important Zulu Shield, South Africa, formerly belonging to Chief Mqhawe
length 30 1/4in (76.8cm)
Wood, hide, leather
Chief Mqhawe (spelled Mquhwe on the label on the shield where he is described as chief of the Inanda mission) was the local Zulu chief of Inanda, some thirty miles northwest of Durban, or Port Natal as it was then named.
The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent missionaries Daniel and Lucy Lindley to South Africa in the late 1830s to establish a presence "in the land of the Zulu kings". Due to the social upheavals at the time associated with the rise of the Zulu State under King Shaka they were unsuccessful, but in the 1840s things were more peaceful and they took up mission work again in Inanda.
Chief Mqhawe encouraged the Lindleys, partly because of ploughs, horses and education that they brought with them, and partly because among the converts at the missionary station were the chief's grandmother, uncle and cousin. His uncle James Dube was the first ordained African minister in Natal and James' son John L. Dube, Mqhawe's cousin, was the founding president of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1912. (Daymond, Margaret, "Women Writing Africa: the southern region", p. 120) by
The ANC was of course the organization that eventually led to the downfall of the Apartheid system in South Africa.
John L. Dube was born in the Inanda mission station in 1871 "of a royal Zulu lineage" and raised as a Christian. His father James Dube was "the first native minister of the Zulu Mission (in Inanda) of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions".