The eldest child of Thovhele Stefanus Tshikonelo Mphaphuli, who passed away in 1993, he was born on October 14, 1944, in Hatshikan. He started his education at Mukula Primary School before enrolling in Marble Hall’s Arabie School for Royalties. He stayed at the Dzanani palace and continued his education at Mphephu High School.
Thovhele Nngwedzeni Mphaphuli was referred to as one of the most diligent senior traditional leaders who had committed himself to advancing his region by Vhamusanda Sam, the spokesperson for the Hatshikonelo-based Morphophos royal council. He had a significant influence on the lives of his communities during his tenure. According to Vhamusanda Mphaphuli, he was a leader who embodied love, generosity, and fairness.
Mphaphuli was appointed Thovhele ( senior traditional leader ) of the Tshikonelo communities after working for the Department of Agriculture until his retirement in 1994. Under the Tshikonelo Traditional Council, he oversaw 13 villages. He leased his people 104 hectares of his own farming plot to support agricultural activities after realizing the difficulties his impoverished villages in remote rural areas faced.
The late senior traditional leader was honored by Mr. Basikopo Makamu, the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements, and Traditional Affairs, who also expressed his condolences to the royal family and the Tshikonelo communities. The loss of several senior traditional leaders over the past few weeks has been extremely sad for the department and Limpopo Province as a whole. We pledge to support the families during these trying times, he said.
Throughout his tenure, Thovhele Nngwedzeni Mphaphuli was praised as an excellent leader who never behaved in a way that disgraced the royal leadership by the Office of the Vhavenda Kingship.
On Friday, November 17, the late traditional leader will be laid to rest in Hatshikonelo’s zwiendelu ( sacred place ).