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Phalo was the second son of Tshiwo but his older brother Gwali was from a junior wife and Phalo was in line for the throne. Tshiwo died the same year of Phalo's birth so his uncle Mdange took over the reins as regent. Gwali joined forces with Ntinde, chief of the AmaNtinde clan, to overthrow Phalo but was not successful.
Phalo had five sons Langa ka Phalo (1705), Rarabe ka Phalo (1722), Gcaleka ka Phalo (whose mother, Thandela, was the daughter of the Mpondomise monarch Phahlo and sister to Queen Mamani kaPhahlo.), Lutshaba ka Phalo (1730) and Nukwa ka Phalo.