Nongqawuse (IPA: [noŋ̈͡ǃawuːse]) (c. 1840s – 1898) was the Xhosa prophetess whose prophecies led to a millennialist movement that culminated in the Xhosa cattle-killing crisis of 1856–1857, in what is now the Eastern Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa.
In April or May 1856, the teenaged Nongqawuse and her friend Nombanda went to fetch water from a pool near the mouth of the Gxarha River. When she returned, Nongqawuse told her uncle and guardian Mhlakaza, a Xhosa spiritualist, that she had met the spirits of three of her ancestors.
She claimed that the spirits had told her that the Xhosa people should destroy their crops and kill their cattle, the source of their wealth as well as food. In return the spirits would sweep the British settlers into the sea. The Xhosa would be able to replenish the granaries, and fill the kraals with more beautiful and healthier cattle. During this time many Xhosa herds were plagued with "lung sickness", possibly introduced by European cattle. Many cattle had died.