The Northern Ndebele people are a Bantu nation and ethnic group in Southern Africa, who share a common Ndebele culture and Ndebele language. The Northern Ndebele were historically referred to as the Matabele which was a European corruption of ‘Ndebele’. Their history began when a Zulu chiefdom split from King Shaka in the early 18th century under the leadership of Mzilikazi, a former chief in his kingdom and ally. Under his command the disgruntled Zulus went on to conquer and rule the chiefdoms of the Southern Ndebele. This was where the name and identity of the eventual kingdom was adopted.