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  • The Xhosa people are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa living in south-east South Africa, and in the last two centuries throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. The Xhosa people are divided into several tribes with related yet distinct heritages. The main tribes are the Mpondo, Mpondomise, Bomvana, Xesibe, and Thembu. In addition, the Bhaca and Mfengu have adopted the Xhosa language. The name "Xhosa" comes from that of a legendary leader called uXhosa. There is also a theory that, prior to that, the name xhosa came from a word meaning "fierce" or "angry" in some San language. The Xhosa refer to themselves as the amaXhosa, and to their language as isiXhosa. Presently approximately 8 million Xhosa are distributed across the country, and the Xhosa language is South Africa's second-most-populous home language, after Zulu, to which Xhosa is closely related. The pre-1994 apartheid system of Bantustans denied Xhosas South African citizenship, but enabled them to have self-governing "homelands" namely; Transkei and Ciskei, now both a part of the Eastern Cape Province where most Xhosa remain. Many Xhosa live in Cape Town, East London, and Port Elizabeth.

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