The ancestors of the Sotho people (Basotho or Basuto) have lived in southern Africa since around the fifth century. The Sotho nation emerged from the accomplished diplomacy of Moshoeshoe I who gathered together disparate clans of Sotho_Tswana origin that had dispersed across southern Africa in the early 19th century. Most Sotho today live in South Africa, as the area of the Orange Free State was originally part of Moshoeshoe's nation (modern-day Lesotho). Pastoralist Bantu speaking people settled in South Africa in about 200_500 CE. Originating in the vicinity of West and Central Africa, waves of Iron Age immigrants spread across the broad Southern African peninsula, easily displacing the aboriginal Stone Age inhabitants of South Africa. By the 19th century, stable patterns of settlement had emerged.
Contributions by Zyxoas, Eccohomo, and Dwo.