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Ntsikana Gaga

NTSIKANA Gaga. b. c. 1780; d. 1821. The hymns of the prophet Ntsikana are the prototype of church music in a traditional Xhosa style. David Dargie* (1982) describes the prophet as an attractively mysterious figure in Xhosa history. A Cirha, and son of a councillor of the famous chief Ngqika, he was the first Xhosa Christian. It was probably as a herd-boy that he heard the preaching of the first missionary among the Xhosa, Dr. J. T. van der Kemp of the London Missionary Society, who worked in Ciskei from 1799 to 1801. The missionary, however, made no Xhosa converts; it was only years later, about 1815, that Ntsikana underwent a conversion experience without the presence of any missionary or...

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