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Smith, Kennebrew, Mills, Jenkins, Eckers: AL, SC, NY, GA, AR, Angola, Ghana, South Africa
Smith, Kennebrew, Mills, Jenkins, Eckers: AL, SC, NY, GA, AR, Angola, South Africa
Submitted by Bosia KaShaka Zulu

I am an artist born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1946 the son of Lawrence *Smith of Gaffney, South Carolina 1916, Mary Alice *Kennebrew of Shorter, Alabama 1926. Her parents were Julius *Kennebrew and Rosa *Mills, both of Tuskegee. Rosa was the daughter of John *Mills and Lisa *Jenkins, Tuskegee. Julius was the son of Phillip *Kennebrew and Rena *Eckers who would eventually marry John *Mills. My parents were married in Brooklyn, N.Y. 1944.

The family lore my maternal line was that our Gr. Gr. Grandmother, Winny was born on the coast of Ghana circa 1800 and brought to the states around the age of puberty. She had three brothers who were captured with her, one died on the slave ship the other two were sold to the same family in Georgia that enslaved her and taken to Arkansas, Grandma Winny was taken to Alabama before statehood. My grandmotherís grandmother was Mbundu from Angola.

On my paternal line was Virgin Mary *Smith from Gaffney South Carolina b. 1896 daughter of Susan *Smith and married to a *Littlejohn. My grandfather called David (kaNtonga) who worked for Southern Railway. David was son of Ntonga kaShaka sent to Britain to learn technology but was later sent Virginia circa 1827. Ntonga (meaning staff) was born to king Shaka kaSenzangakhona and Mbipho kaThohoyandou of Venda, South Africa. The fact that Zuluís were taken to Britain is known in KwaZulu and was first related to me by king Zwelithini kaBhekuZulu when I met with him in 1972. I since learned upon going back home that it is known that they were in Virginia and people have been waiting for the return of their descendants to teach the skills back home.

I was told that my surname should reflect my paternal line and was given the name kaShaka Zulu by the uncle of the king, Nyanga Isizwe Patric KaSolomon Zulu, president of the royal family organization Ubumbano Lwabantwana. I am told that I am one who has returned (Sengibuye unomphela). I am accepted as pure Zulu and will continue to live in Africa to do the work that I was destined to do.

I have lived in Philadelphia, New York and Orlando, but I find that my greatest work will be done in my homeland. Asterisks denote surnames derived from slavery.

Copyright 2008 The University of South Florida and The Africana Heritage Project. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. For more information, contact the Africana Heritage Project via e-mail.