Bulawayo Culture and History
The city was founded by the Ndebele king, Lobengula the son of King Mzilikazi kaMatshobana who settled in modern-day Zimbabwe around the 1840s after the Ndebele people's great trek from Zululand. The name Bulawayo comes from the isiNdebele word KoBulawayo meaning 'a place where he is being killed.' It is thought that at the time of the formation of the city, there was a civil war and a group of Ndebeles not aligned to Prince Lobengula were fighting him as they felt he was not the heir to the throne, hence he gave his capital the name 'where he (the prince) is being killed'.
It is said that when King Lobengula named the place "KoBulawayo" his generals asked "who is being killed mtanenkosi (prince)?" and he replied "Yimi umntwanenkosi engibulawayo", meaning "its me the prince who is being killed". At the time Lobengula was just a prince fighting to ascend his father's (Mzilikazi) throne. It was common at the time for people to refer to Bulawayo as "KoBulawayo UmntwaneNkosi" "a place where they are fighting or rising against the prince". The name Bulawayo is imported from Nguniland which is a place once occupied by the Khumalo people. The place still exists and it is next to Richards Bay.