His story exhibits the power of God in a "heathen" context. His followers called themselves the poll-headed ones. Their horns cut off, they "studied war no more." A profile of the Xhosa leader Ntsikana, by Charles E. Bradford, President, Retired, Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.
Ntsikana was brought up to be a warrior and a counselor to the king. Ntsikana grew up in completely pagan surroundings, without the benefit of education at a mission school. But he had talent—innate ability.
Born in 1780, Ntsikana in 1815 experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity in the manner of many African Christians who followed him. Plunging into the Ggorha River, he washed from his body every trace of red ochre, the red clay that the Xhosa used to identify themselves as proud pagans. Then he called his two wives and said to them, "The thing that has come into me tells me that I must send one of you away." And he did, giving the one that he sent away a liberal portion of his goods. He gave up traditional dancing and told his followers, "There are two Gods, Father and Son."
Ntsikana immediately began to write magnificent hymns. One of them has a beauty about it that appeals across racial and cultural lines:
"He is the one who brings together herds which oppose each other, He is the leader who has led us, He is the great blanket which we put on."