Shaka Zulu

February 12, 2011 by staff 

Shaka Zulu, KaSenzangakhona Shaka (c. 1787 – c. September 22, 1828), also known as Shaka was the most influential leader of the Zulu kingdom. It is widely acknowledged meeting with many Northern Nguni, in particular the primacy Mtetwa Ndwandwe and the Zulu kingdom, the beginnings of a nation that ruled much of southern Africa, between the rivers and Phongolo Mzimkhulu, and his political acumen and force marked as one of the most Zulu chiefs. It was called a military genius for his reforms and innovations, and condemned for the brutality of his reign. Other historians note debate on the role of Shaka as a rallying against a usurper of power Zulu traditional prerogatives, and the notion of the Zulu state as a unique construction, separate from the local culture and previous systems built by his Dingiswayo predecessor. Research continues in the character, methods and influence of the Zulu warrior king, who continues to cast a shadow over the history of southern Africa.

Shaka is the first son of Chief Senzangakhona and Nandi, a daughter of Bhebhe, and the former head of Elangeni tribe, born near present-day Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal. It was conceived out of wedlock somewhere between 1781 and 1787. Some accounts state that he was disowned by his father (Tabile Raziya) and driven into exile. Others argue that his parents married normally. Shaka almost certainly spent his childhood in institutions of his mother. It is recorded as having been initiated there and inducted an ibutho Lempi (combat units). In its early days, Shaka was a warrior under the sway of local chieftain and Dingiswayo Mthethwa, to whom the Zulu were then honored.

Dingiswayo called Intang emDlatsheni (age group), which Shaka was part, and incorporated it in the regiment Izichwe. Shaka was a warrior Mthethwa for perhaps as long as ten years, and distinguished himself by his courage, but he did not, according to legend, a great position. Dingiswayo, having himself been exiled after a failed attempt to overthrow his father, had with a number of other groups in the region (including Mabhudu, Dlamini, Mkhize, Qwabe and Ndwandwe, many probably responding the pressures of enslavement of southern Mozambique) helped develop new ideas for social and military organization, especially ibutho, sometimes translated as “regiment” or “gang”, it was rather a gang of employment based on age which included activities to better military-refined, but not exclusively. Most battles before this date were to settle disputes, and while the appearance of ibutho Lempi (combat unit) dramatically changed warfare at a time, he remained essentially an instrument for raiding seasonal and political persuasion rather than outright slaughter. It is particularly important here and the relationship which Shaka had Dingiswayo.

Shaka granted Europeans to come into Zulu territory on rare occasions. Henry Francis Fynn provided medical care for the king, after an attempted assassination of a member of the rival tribe hidden in a crowd. (See the account of Nathaniel Isaacs). To show his gratitude, Shaka allowed European settlers to enter and operate in the Zulu kingdom. This would pave the way for future incursions into the Zulu Kingdom UK who are not so peaceful. Shaka has seen several demonstrations of European technology and knowledge, but found that the way Zulu was greater than that of foreigners.

As Shaka became more respected by his people, he was able to spread his ideas with greater ease. Because of his background as a soldier, Shaka Zulu was taught that the most effective way to become powerful was rapidly through conquest and control of other tribes. His teachings greatly influenced the social outlook of the Zulu people. The Zulu tribe soon developed a “warrior” mindframe, making it easier for Shaka built his armies.

Shaka’s hegemony was primarily based on military might, smashing rivals and incorporating scattered remnants into his own army. He complemented this with a mixture of diplomacy and patronage, incorporating friendly leaders, including the Zihlandlo Mkhize, Jobe of the Sithole and Mathubane the Thuli. The Zulus never defeated these peoples, they need not be. Shaka conquered by the subtle tactics of patronage and reward. Qwabe the decision, for example, began to reinvent their genealogies to give the impression that Qwabe and Zulu were closely linked in the past. [Citation needed] In this way, a greater sense of cohesion was created, but it was never complete, as subsequent civil wars attest. Sigujana was killed, the coup was bloodless and was relatively accepted by the Zulus. Shaka is still recognized and its largest Dingiswayo Mthethwa clan as overlord after he returned to the Zulu, but a few years later, Dingiswayo was ambushed and killed by amaNdwandwe Zwide. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Shaka betrayed Dingiswayo. Indeed, the Zulus base has had to retreat before several incursions Ndwandwe; the Ndwandwe was clearly the most aggressive group in the sub-region.

Shaka was able to form an alliance with the leaderless Mthethwa clan and has been established between Qwabe after Phakathwayo was overturned with relative ease. With Qwabe, Hlubi Mkhize and support, Shaka was finally able to summon a force capable of resisting Ndwandwe (Nxumalo clan). Historian Donald Morris states that Shaka first major battle against Zwide; the Ndwandwe was the battle of Gqokli Hill River Mfolozi. Shaka’s troops maintained a strong position on the crest of the hill. A frontal attack by their opponents did not dislodge Shaka and sealed the victory by sending elephants in a sweep around the hill to attack the enemy’s rear. Losses were high overall, but the effectiveness of innovations Shakan has been proven. It is likely that, over time, the Zulus were able to hone and improve their tactics of encirclement.

Another decisive fight eventually took place on the river Mhlatuze at the confluence with the brook Mvuzane. In a battle of two days running, the Zulus inflicted a resounding defeat on their opponents. Shaka then led a fresh reserve some seventy miles to the royal kraal of Zwide, Chief Ndwandwe, and destroyed it. Zwide himself escaped with a handful of disciples, before falling within the scope of a chieftain named Mjanji, head of the clan Bapedi (he died in mysterious circumstances shortly after). Shaka Soshangane General (of the Shangaan) northward to what is now Mozambique to inflict further damage on less resistant foes and take advantage of the possibilities of enslavement, forcing the Portuguese traders to pay tribute. Shaka later had to deal again with Sikhunyane Zwide son in 1826.

Produced by TOK Clarke Roshaun “Bay-C” on his pace Nyabinghi, Shaka Zulu Pickney takes listeners on a journey of Jamaican and African history. Launch Home Roots FM Miller Denise “Isis” underlined how the video is appropriate for Reggae and Black History Month celebrations.

A fashion show is no “Shades of Africa” heralded the appearance of Mutabaruka, who not only gave a history of “Shaka Zulu”, but also said how he is proud of the accomplishments of Riley and the conscious attitude. According Mutaburuka, Shaka Zulu tribe was one of the most influential leaders in the Zulu kingdom that revolted against the British. For Muta, Riley is the choice of making the image “Shaka Zulu” positive, when in the past, it had a negative connotation, is much needed in the music business.
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