AmaNdebele originate from the group of bantu speaking people known as Ngunis. The name Ndebele is often confused with the Matebele of Mzilikazi in Zimbabwe. The name itself is often denied by others as the adopted name from the Sotho speaking people. However, this name came from the first notable ruler of amaNdebele, King Ndebele, the son of Nguni.
This Nguni are set to have come from the great lakes of Africa in countries such as Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville. It is recorded by historians that many nations were living in this part of the continent before the great movement by different nations or tribes to various destinations.
The Ngunis who assumed the name Nguni from their founding father uNguni left the area too. However, it is not known when did this great movement occur or why, it is estimated that is during the late 1000 to the beginning of 1100. The Nguni went down to the south of the continent moving along the eastern part of the coast of Indian ocean to the areas around the Drakensberg [Khahlamba] mountains in the present KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho.