It referred to o… He lived in an area of South-East Africa, between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean, a region populated by many independent Nguni chiefdoms. The female amabutho. Initial Zulu success rested on fast-moving surprise attacks and ambushes, but the Voortrekkers recovered and dealt the Zulu a severe defeat from their fortified wagon laager at the Battle of Blood River. As his kingdom grew, he built a far bigger KwaBulawayo, a royal household of about 1,400 huts, in the Mhlathuze valley, some 27 km from the present town of Eshowe. Using different informants and genealogical charts, A.T. Bryant arrived at similar conclusions. The British-Zulu War begins as British troops under Lieutenant General Frederic Augustus invade Zululand from the southern African republic of Natal. They also argue that Shaka's line was relatively short-lived and receives undue attention, compared to other, longer established lines and rulers in the region. A group of warriors who held on to their assegais instead of hurling them, and who moved right up to the enemy behind the shelter of a barrier of shields would have its opponents at its mercy and would be able to accomplish complete victory. Shaka Zulu, London's largest South African restaurant, opened its doors in August 2010 with a special royal blessing from the Zulu King, HRH Goodwill Zwelithini. H F Fynn, who knew him well, found him intelligent and often amiable, and mentioned occasions that leave no doubt that Shaka was capable of generosity. The Zulu people got tired of his cruelty, and Shaka’s own brothers assassinated him in 1828, bringing his reign to an abrupt end. [13], The first major clash after Shaka's death took place under his successor Dingane, against expanding European Voortrekkers from the Cape. Shaka, however, dreaded producing a legitimate heir. Thus, the sense of identity of these subject chiefdoms was not entirely lost, but remained an important element in the later politics of the Zulu kingdom. A standard general reference work in the field is Donald Morris's "The Washing of The Spears", which notes that the sources, as a whole, for this historical era are not the best. As you continue reading, you will at some point find yourself … He named his great place KwaBulawayo (`at the place of the murder'). His households were thus not dominated by wives but by stern senior women of the royal family. The Zulu Kings and people pay homage to King Shaka's throne to this day. Shaka kaSenzangakhona (1787 – 1828), also known as Shaka Zulu was the leader of the Zulu Kingdom from 1816 to 1828. "[26], Scholarship in recent years has revised views of the sources on Shaka's reign. [5] Thus Shaka became Chief of the Zulu clan, although he remained a vassal of the Mthethwa empire[6] until Dingiswayo's death in battle a year later at the hands of Zwide, powerful chief of the Ndwandwe (Nxumalo) nation. Who pursued the sun and the moon. A more credible account is that the relationship between Nandi and Senzangakhona was illicit, and that Shaka was born in Langeni territory at the Nguga homestead of Nandi's uncle. "[16] The throwing spear was not discarded but used as an initial missile weapon before close contact with the enemy, when the shorter stabbing spear was used in hand-to-hand combat. 1787-1828) was an African warrior leader and creator of the Zulu military monarchy. He had seen that the traditional type of spear, a long-handled assegai thrown from a distance, was no good for the regulated fighting in close formation he had in mind. Shaka kaSenzangakhona (c. July 1787 – 22 September 1828), also known as Shaka Zulu (Zulu pronunciation: [ˈʃaːɠa]), was the King of the Zulu Kingdom from 1816 to 1828. Sigidi kaSenzangakhona commonly knows as Shaka was a great Zulu king and conqueror. Loyalty was also maintained through fear, as anyone who was suspected of rivaling Dingane was killed. Shaka fought as a warrior under Jobe, and then under Jobe's successor, Dingiswayo, leader of … The white traders of Port Natal. He was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu Kingdom, responsible for re-organizing the Zulu military into a formidable force via a series of wide-reaching and influential reforms. One visitor, Nathaniel Isaacs, wrote to Henry Fynn, a white adventurer, trader and quasi-local chieftain: Fynn, according to Wylie, complied with the request, and Wylie notes that he had an additional motive to distort Shaka's image— he applied for a huge grant of land— an area allegedly depopulated by Shaka's savagery. Born c. 1787, Shaka Zulu had a difficult childhood and was discriminated. These numbers are, however, controversial. Then they were formally dissolved and allowed to marry. "[16], Laband also dismissed the idea of a 50 miles (80 km) march in a single day as ridiculous. Shaka was victorious in battle, although his forces sustained heavy casualties, which included his head military commander, Umgobhozi Ovela Entabeni. 1824 European artist's impression of Shaka with a long throwing, A muster and dance of Zulu regiments at Shaka's kraal, as recorded by European visitors to his kingdom, c. 1827, Expansion of power and conflict with Zwide, Shakan methods versus European technology, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFOmer-Cooper1966 (, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Newitt, Malyn D.D. [14], The figure of Shaka thus remains an ambiguous one in African oral tradition, defying simplistic depictions of the Zulu king as a heroic, protean nation builder on one hand, or a depraved monster on the other. [16] Several other historians of the Zulu, and the Zulu military system, however, affirm the mobility rate of up to 50 miles per day.[19][20]. By the time the first white traders arrived at Port … Discipline. The young men were taken away to be enrolled alongside others from all sections of the kingdom in an appropriate amabutho, or age-regiment. The current tendency appears to be to lionise him; popular film and other media have certainly contributed to his appeal. Each military settlement had a herd of royal cattle assigned to it, from which the young men were supplied with meat. Shaka Zulu first learned to fight when he was a child. Shaka Zulu established the Zulu Empire and revolutionized warfare in Southern Africa in the early 19th Century. By then, Shaka had no major rival in the area of present day KwaZulu/Natal. Born in 1787, Shaka was the son of Senzangakhona, ruler of a small chiefdom, the Zulu. The poem documents his exploits as a king of the Zulu people, produced considerable advances in State structure and military technologies of the Zulu. The military system thus helped develop a strong sense of identity in the kingdom as a whole. By 1819 the newly forged Zulu nation was the largest and most populous ever seen in southeastern Africa. Information about Shaka's early years is gleaned entirely from oral sources. In a two-day running battle, the Zulu inflicted a resounding defeat on their opponents. He was ultimately assassinated by his half brothers Dingane and Mhlangana. Shaka, however, suffered much from the bullying and teasing of the Mthethwa boys, too, who resented his claims to chiefly descent. Under Shaka's successors, Dingane, Mpande, and Cetshwayo the Zulu monarchy profoundly influenced the course of South African history. Confirmation of such accounts can also be seen in modern archaeology of the village of Lepalong, an entire settlement built underground to shelter remnants of the Kwena people from 1827 to 1836 against the tide of disruption that engulfed the region during Shakan times.[41]. Those seeking an explanation for Shaka’s brutality may begin with his childhood. He lived in an area of south-east Africa between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean, a region populated by many independent Nguni chiefdoms. Certain aspects of traditional Zulu culture still revere the dead monarch, as the typical praise song below attests. He was one of the most influential monarchs in the Zulu kingdom. Shaka's half-brother Dingane assumed power and embarked on an extensive purge of pro-Shaka elements and chieftains, running over several years, in order to secure his position. The epic follows the life of Shaka Zulu. Here, growing up as a fatherless child, Shaka seems to have been the victim of humiliation and cruel treatment by the Langeni boys. KwaBulawayo. Shaka's name is said to stem from Senzangakhona's claim that Nandi was not pregnant but was suffering from an intestinal condition caused by the iShaka beetle. Some had black shields, others used white shields with black spots, and some had white shields with brown spots, while others used pure brown or white shields.[16]. [42] Rubinstein also notes: One element in Shaka's destruction was to create a vast artificial desert around his domain... 'to make the destruction complete, organized bands of Zulu murderers regularly patrolled the waste, hunting for any stray men and running them down like wild pig'... An area 200 miles to the north of the center of the state, 300 miles to the west, and 500 miles to the south was ravaged and depopulated...[42]. Shaka’s birth was considered a sin because his parents were from different clans. He and his mother, Nandi, were exiled by Senzangakona, and found refuge with the Mthethwa. South Africa Encyclopaedia: Prehistory to the year 2000, unpublished papers with SA History Online.|Who is Shaka Zulu? [30], A 1998 study by historian Carolyn Hamilton summarizes much of the scholarship on Shaka towards the dawn of the 21st century in areas ranging from ideology, politics and culture, to the use of his name and image in a popular South African theme park, Shakaland. The climax came with the death of his mother Nandi in October 1827, huge numbers were put to death during the mourning ceremonies because they showed insufficient grief; and his armies were sent out to force the surrounding chiefdoms to grieve. [7], In the initial years, Shaka had neither the influence nor reputation to compel any but the smallest of groups to join him, and upon Dingiswayo's death, Shaka moved southwards across the Thukela River, establishing his capital Bulawayo in Qwabe territory; he never did move back into the traditional Zulu heartland. He is Shaka the unshakeable, Shaka’s life story is a fascinating tale in the telling. Officially, they were wards of the king. The Zulu tribe soon developed a warrior outlook, which Shaka turned to his advantage.[9]. He is the bird that preys on other birds, Zwide himself escaped with a handful of followers before falling foul of a chieftainess named Mjanji, ruler of a baBelu clan. It was not until around 1825 that the two military leaders met, near Phongola, in their final meeting. Shaka prohibited the wearing of sandals, toughened his warriors' feet by making them run barefoot over rough thorny ground and in so doing secured their greater mobility. Shaka was a son of Senzangakhona, ruler of an insignificant small chiefdom, the Zulu. Shaka then led a fresh reserve some 70 miles (110 km) to the royal kraal of Zwide, ruler of the Ndwandwe, and destroyed it. [8], As Shaka became more respected by his people, he was able to spread his ideas with greater ease. Although he preferred social and propagandistic political methods, he also engaged in a number of battles.[4]. The Mfecane produced Mzilikazi of the Khumalo, a general of Shaka's. But, as Dingiswayo's favourite, he seems to have been granted an unusual amount of freedom to carve out a bigger principality for himself by conquering and assimilating his neighbours, including the Buthelezi clan and the Langeni of his boyhood days. Napier", "The Zulu Military Organization and the Challenge of 1879", "Shaka Zulu's brutality was exaggerated, says new book", "Warfare, Political Leadership, and State Formation: The Case of the Zulu Kingdom, 1808-1879",, Wikipedia articles with style issues from September 2017, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2020, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from September 2014, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from September 2017, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from July 2015, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from January 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2019, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The main force, the "chest," closed with the enemy, While the enemy impi was pinned by the "chest," the "horns" would, The "loins," a large reserve, was hidden, seated, behind the "chest" with their backs to the battle, for the sake of them not losing any confidence. Taken aback by such candid talk, the Zulu king is supposed to have called off the destructive edicts, rewarding the blunt teller-of-truths with a gift of cattle. Her father also told Baleka that Shaka spoke as though "his tongue were too big for his mouth." Howcroft, P. (undated). Zwide later murdered Dingiswayo, and, when the leaderless Mthethwa state collapsed, Shaka immediately assumed leadership and began conquering surrounding chiefdoms himself, adding their forces to his own and building up a new kingdom. Shaka's hegemony was primarily based on military might, smashing rivals and incorporating scattered remnants into his own army. His life is the subject of numerous colourful and exaggerated stories, many of which are debated by historians. As an adult, Shaka was reputed for his driving ambition, his fierce determination, his iron will, and, in some accounts, for his outright cruelty. The exact location is unknown. [37][38][39], According to Julian Cobbing, the development of the view that Shaka was the monster responsible for the devastation is based on the need of apartheid era historians to justify the apartheid regime's racist policies. Shaka's reign coincided with the start of the Mfecane ("Upheaval" or "Crushing"), a period of devastating warfare and chaos in southern Africa between 1815 and about 1840 that depopulated the region. That so much youth was concentrated at the royal barracks resulted in a massive transfer of economic potential to a centralized state. Shaka Zulu, a contemporary engraving from Wiki commons When Shaka Zulu was born, around the year 1787, Senzangakhona was the nominal chief of the Zulu, a small band of about 1500 members. After a first expedition had been defeated by the superior control and strategies of the Zulu at Gqokoli Hill, Zwide, in April 1818, sent all his army into Zululand. Yet British fortune-seekers of the 1820s found Shaka's Zulus a dignified people whose martial qualities were tempered by generosity and hospitality. He set up his main residence at Mmungungundlovo and established his authority over the Zulu kingdom. [35] Normal estimates for the death toll range from 1 million to 2 million. Phongola is near the present day border of KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa. In that encounter, Zwide's mother Ntombazi, a Sangoma (Zulu seer or shaman), was killed by Shaka. He fled Shaka's employ, and in turn conquered an empire in Zimbabwe, after clashing with European groups like the Boers. They were organized in female equivalents of the male amabutho and took part in ceremonial dancing and displays. The traditional leaders of the subject chiefdoms still held local administrative authority, and on the dissolution of the amabutho the young men would return to live in their community of origin. After sifting through these sources and noting their strengths and weaknesses, Morris generally credits Shaka with a large number of military and social innovations, and this is the general consensus in the field. [10] In this way a greater sense of cohesion was created, though it never became complete, as subsequent civil wars attest. [16] Different coloured shields distinguished different amabutho within Shaka's army. Effects of Shaka's wars. The majority then submitted to Shaka. A great part of Shaka's life and rule has been referenced in Henry Rider Haggard's fiction novel, Nada the Lily. Both his adult personality and his childhood experiences were unusual. Microsoft Encarta Reference Library, 2005. Boys and girls aged six and over joined Shaka's force as apprentice warriors (udibi) and served as carriers of rations, supplies like cooking pots and sleeping mats, and extra weapons until they joined the main ranks. Indeed, the core Zulu had to retreat before several Ndwandwe incursions; the Ndwandwe was clearly the most aggressive grouping in the sub-region. One popular narrative is that Shakas conception was a mistake after his parents got carried away during uku-hlobonga, a ritual for unmarried couples involving sexual foreplay and no penetrative sex. These peoples were never defeated in battle by the Zulu; they did not have to be. At that time there were two strong rival Nguni groups, the Mthethwa led by the paramount chief Dingiswayo, and the Ndwandwe under the ferocious Zwide. Transgressions were punished by death. He is the long-strided pursuer, son of Ndaba, In 1843, When Shaka's mother Nandi died for example, the monarch ordered a massive outpouring of grief including mass executions, forbidding the planting of crops or the use of milk, and the killing of all pregnant women and their husbands. Shaka was born almost certainly in 1787. The story that sandals were discarded to toughen the feet of Zulu warriors has been noted in various military accounts such as The Washing of the Spears, Like Lions They Fought, and Anatomy of the Zulu Army. He was conceived out of wedlock somewhere between 1781 and 1787. Shaka was born in the lunar month of uNtulikazi (July) in the year of 1787 near present-day Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal Province. Supposedly if he killed Magaye, it would appear to be out of jealousy because Magaye was so handsome and "Shaka himself was ugly, with a protruding forehead". [15] Dingane ruled for some twelve years, during which time he fought, disastrously, against the Voortrekkers, and against another half-brother, Mpande, who, with Boer and British support, took over the Zulu leadership in 1840, ruling for some 30 years. Shaka was born in 1787. Most popular accounts are based on E.A. In 1825, when Lieutenant James King paid him a visit, Shaka sent a goodwill delegation to Major J Cloete, Cape government representative at Port Elizabeth. and he kept his impi on continuous military campaigns until he thought they had earned the right to wear the headring ( isicoco) of manhood. A number of historians[who?] Shaka accorded the white traders most favoured treatment, ceded them land, and permitted them to build a settlement at Port Natal. However, it is known that when Dingiswayo fought his last battle, Shaka did not arrive at the scene until after his overlord's capture. Some scholars contend that this theory must be treated with caution as it generally neglects several other factors such as the impact of European encroachment, slave trading and expansion in that area of Southern Africa around the same time. Probably when he was about twenty-three years old, he was drafted into one of the Mthethwa regiments where he found a satisfaction he had never known before. Spurned as an illegitimate son, Shaka spent his childhood in his mother's settlements, where he was initiated into an ibutho lempi (fighting unit), serving as a warrior under Dingiswayo. The settling of Mzilikazi's people, the AmaNdebele or Matabele, in the south of Zimbabwe with the concomitant driving of the AmaShona into the north caused a tribal conflict that still resonates today. Shaka's enemies described him as ugly in some respects. According to popular belief, Shaka was an illegitimate child of Senzangakhona kaJama, a minor Zulu chief, and Nandi. The founders of the states which Omer-Cooper called "Zulu-type states," including the Ndebele, the Gasa, the Ngoni, and the Swazi had all been closely associated with Zwide. History has portrayed Shaka, founder of the Zulu nation, as a pitiless and savage conqueror. [citation needed], Shaka granted permission to Europeans to enter Zulu territory on rare occasions. Until such time, however, sexual intercourse between members of the male and female age regiments was forbidden. Shaka chose a particularly gruesome revenge on her, locking her in a house and placing jackals or hyenas inside: they devoured her and, in the morning, Shaka burned the house to the ground. Shaka still recognised Dingiswayo and his larger Mthethwa clan as overlord after he returned to the Zulu but, some years later, Dingiswayo was ambushed by Zwide's amaNdwandwe and killed. Shaka observed several demonstrations of European technology and knowledge, but he held that the Zulu way was superior to that of the foreigners. He had a big nose, according to Baleka of the Qwabe, as told by her father. It argues that in many ways, the image of Shaka has been "invented" in the modern era according to whatever agenda persons hold. According to members of his family, Shaka's last words were: Hastily they buried his body in a grain-pit nearby. Nathaniel Isaacs published his Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa in 1836, creating a picture of Shaka as a degenerate and pathological monster, which survives in modified forms to this day. General histories of Southern Africa are also valuable including Noel Mostert's "Frontiers" and a detailed account of the results from the Zulu expansion, J.D. Shaka's wars between 1818 and 1828 contributed to a series of forced migrations known in various parts of southern Africa as the Mfecane, Difaqane, Lifaqane, or Fetcani. He never married and women found pregnant by him were put to death. He is credited with creating a fighting force that devastated the entire region. When one of the male amabutho was given permission to marry, a female amabutho would be broken up and the women given out as brides to the warriors. [16] He also had two prominent front teeth. The initial problem Dingane faced was maintaining the loyalty of the Zulu fighting regiments, or amabutho. [16] He was tall and his skin tone was dark brown. Assassination by rivals to the throne is a constant in monarchies throughout history and around the world. His reforms of local society built on existing structures. It is said that Shaka was conceived when the two engaged in uku-hlobonga, a form of sexual foreplay without penetrative sex that was allowed to unmarried couples. These and other sources such as A.T. Bryant gives us a more Zulu-centred picture. Having proved the advantages of the new tactics, Shaka armed his warriors with short-handled stabbing spears and trained them to move up to their opponents in close formation with their body-length cowhide shields forming an almost impenetrable barrier to anything thrown at them. Moreover, he was alert to the advantages that their trade might bring to him. The custom of releasing the build up of sexual tension among young unmarried people, was for a couple to partake in "uKuhlobonga". As the great King Shaka's life ebbed away, he called out to his brother Dingane: He meant the white people, because they made their houses of mud, like the swallows. Omer-Cooper's "The Zulu Aftermath", which advances the traditional Mfecane theory.[32]. Famine and chaos followed the wholesale extermination of populations and the destruction of herds and crops between the Limpopo and the Gariep River. Oral sources record that in this period of devastation, a singular Zulu, a man named Gala, eventually stood up to Shaka and objected to these measures, pointing out that Nandi was not the first person to die in Zululand. [clarification needed] To show his gratitude, Shaka permitted European settlers to enter and operate in the Zulu kingdom. Sigujana's reign was short, however, as Dingiswayo, anxious to confirm his authority, lent Shaka a regiment so that he was able to put Sigujana to death, launching a relatively bloodless coup that was substantially accepted by the Zulu. 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