Many Xhosa live in Cape Town (i Kapa), East London (i Monti), and Port Elizabeth (i Bhayi).They can be found in lesser numbers in most of South Africa's major metropolitan areas.Only after the Xhosa population had been traumatized by European invasion, drought, and disease did Xhosa convert to Christianity in substantial numbers.

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Over time, Xhosa people became increasingly impoverished. In the late 1990s, Xhosa make up a large percentage of the workers in South Africa's gold mines.

Under apartheid (a government policy requiring the separation of races), the South African government created separate regions that were described as (homelands) for black people of African descent.

As the years passed, they sought to expand their territory.

This expansion was first at the expense of the Khoi and San, but later Xhosa land was taken as well.

Another tradition stresses the essential unity of the Xhosa-speaking people by proclaiming that all the Xhosa subgroups are descendants of one ancestor, Tshawe.

Historians have suggested that Xhosa and Tshawe were probably the first Xhosa kings or paramount (supreme) chiefs.

They directed the armies that were to vanquish the Xhosa.

Christian missionaries established their first outposts among the Xhosa in the 1820s, but met with little success.

Folktales relate the adventures of both animal protagonists and human characters.