Manjunath has disagreed with me on bantu > bant′ derivation. I wrote an explanation to him on the comment box but due to my distraction with a phone call, I could not properly save it in time in the blog. Instead of rewriting the whole response again, on second thoughts, I decided to post additional explanation on the aspect.
Bant′ (Tulu), banta (Kannada) and bantu (Telugu) all these words basically imply the same meaning that is a reliable assistant and/or bodyguard. The Telugu meaning of Bantu, a suicide squad, is only expansion of the basic meaning. In early days, Bantu meant a professional bodyguard who can be relied upon. Possibly, this profession was practiced by some Bantu persons who migrated from their original homeland due to adverse living conditions. Subsequently, the word Bantu meant any reliable bodyguard. Thus the word Bantu became an indicator of a profession.(This is something like our practice to call any Jeep- like rugged field vehicle as jeep , often forgetting that Jeep is a specific brand name and not a type of vehicle.)
Manjunath feels that the Tulu/Kannada word banta came through Prakrit from the Sanskrit term bhata. We have tacitly assumed since school days that many of our words are derived from Sanskrit, the tatbhavas. However, my inferences suggest that Prakrit was one of the languages of the people of Pirak during early Vedic times of ca. 1700 BC. The words Prak and Prakrit appear to have been derived from the place name Pirak (cf. my posting 3.Pirak). Pirak was a multicultural, polylingual society where proto-Tulu, proto-Dravida and early Vedic societies coexisted. The term Sanskrit itself means refined and cultured language; it was refined from the preexisting prakrit and related languages.
So the Sanskrit word bhata could have been derived from the word bantu/ bant. The Sanskrit bhata means a soldier or guard; without connotation of any of the reliability, bodyguard tags implied in the said South Indian languages.
Presence of random African tribes in
It is said that the Nadava are mentioned in a 13th century inscription for the first time in Tulunad area. It was the period when Tulunad was under the suzerainty of Vijayanagar kingdom. Possibly, Vijayanagar administrators referred to local cultivating community as as nadava to distinguish from the soldiers brought along with them from Vijayanagar mainland. Presently, Nadava are a Kannada speaking community widespread in Uttara Kannada. According to the Nadava sources, about five centuries ago, five Nadava families migrated from Kundapur area and settled around Ankola and Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district. This probably serves as an example for the number of population/tribes that migrated in the history.