The Zulu have settled in Tsonga land in Natal long before the arrival of settlers. The Tsonga of Sala can be traced as far as 200AD and relatively occupied a large part of Transvaal and Natal. The Tsonga of that era are in majority assimilated to Nguni due to Conquest, it is only the House of Tembe in Manguzi that still has the traces of Tsonga. The Khosa, Cele, Mthethwa, Mazivuko, and others have since become Zulus. The Hlubi, and Mbo are old Tsonga (Amathonga) groups that have assimilated into Zulu, Xhosa and Swati. The dialectical variations of Amaphondo and Mpondomise with Xinyadromu( A Tsonga dialect of Rhonga of Maputsu) and similarity in words is proves the integral relations of these old groups. The Tsonga had occupied a very large part of Southern Africa, the lower Save, in Zimbabwe and Mozambique and the some parts of Malawi and Zambia.
It is for this reason that during the reins of Jama, a Tsonga woman was later married to him with a purpose of that woman giving birth to a son. Jama was desperate for a Son and that Tsonga woman gave birth to son historically known as Sojiyisa. In the old nguni Language Sojiyisa meant an adopted son. Later on Mkabayi the elder’s son to Jama organized Mthaniya the mother to Sezangakhona. Mthaniya gave birth to Sezangakhona and it was only then, when Jama changed his mind about Sojiyisa.
The Historic Claims are that the woman was pregnant when she married Jama, and his was elerted about her pregnancy. Jama said whatever come out of her womb will be his.
Jama died and Mkabayi became a regent, during the reign of Mkabayi as regent she instructed the army to go and kill Sojiyisa. Sojiyisa son Maphitha survived and ran away with some of his family members. Maphitha created his own Kingdom. The Kingdom reign for a very long time and Zibhebhu took over from his father as the King of Sojiyisa Kingdom. The Zulus Kingdom and Sojiyisa Kindom fought and during this time Cetshwayo was the leader of the army. The Zulu Kingdom was defeated and Cetshwayo was wounded and died from the wounds sustained from this battle. The Sojiyisa Kingdom was attacked by Dinizulu and moved to the north. The people of sojiyisa Kingdom are presumed to be settled in Malawi and Zambia.
The intermarriage and relationships between the Zulu Kingdom and Tsonga Kingdoms has happen for many years before Shaka. It is historic fact that Sojiyisa was the heir to the throne before the arrival of Mthaniya who gave birth to Senzangakhona. The animosity, between Tsonga and Zulu dates back; to these battles of the Zulu Kingship between the house of Sojiyisa and other Zulu houses.
The House of Sojiyisa is the direct house to the throne. They become direct because Jama had accepted that what will come out of the Tsonga woman’s womb will be his. Tribal wars that were fought at the time still have the dripping of the wounds, because Xenophobia and all hatred amongst the Tsonga and Zulu are a direct influence of battles that relate to the throne. When Soshangane attacked Vatsonga and conquer some few of them, it was born out of this hatred. We can only conclude that historically the land of Kwazulu Natal belong to the Tsonga and there were displaced due to conquest and some assimilated.
A Tsonga Historian and a Researcher.
Pic cred: Wikipedia