Who is Shaka Zulu?

Shaka Zulu, also known as Shaka ka Senzangakhona, was born in July 1787, near the current Melmoth in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

  1. Death and inheritance

Shaka Zulu was murdered by her half-brothers Dingane and Mhlangana. These two had tried to assassinate Shaka at least twice before. With the help of some dissatisfied people from Mpondo and iziYendane. They finally succeeded in 1828 with the help of an iNduna called Mbopa.

Shaka Zulu was honored with a water park in Durban called uShaka Marine World which was built in 2004. The King Shaka International Airport of La Mercy Durban was also built in honor of the great Zulu chief.

  1. The challenges

Shaka Zulu was hated as much as he was loved. He faced a threat to his people and to the domains acquired due to his irregular behavior. He killed close to 7,000 people after his mother died because they were not considered to be suffering enough from pain. The cows were slaughtered and the food bans put in place for a year as a way to cry Nandi. It is believed that the antagonism of his people in this way contributed greatly to his assassination, which was carried out by his brothers. His life was also threatened by the European merchants he had authorized in his kingdom.


  1. More contributions

Shaka Zulu is remembered for his militaristic rule and subjugating his enemies. Several innovations in the way of fighting and acquiring followers have been attributed to him with many disagreements. Shaka Zulu was given a new type of weapon, the short lance (iklwa) and a large heavy shield. It is also said that he introduced rapid mobility without shoes for soldiers, logistical support for the army, “Bull Horn” battle formation and an organizational system in his own hands. His Shakan methods were also in competition with European technology, he sent messages verbally and showed that his spears were more efficient than weapons. They were fortunate to succeed during the first clash with the Voortrekkers.

  1. career

Shaka’s father, Senzangakhona, died in 1816 and was succeeded by his son Sigujana. However, he did not rule for long while Mthethwa’s Dingiswayo chief colluded with Shaka Zulu to kill Sigujana so that he (Shaka) could govern. This reversal was successful, and was accepted by the Zulu people. This was the beginning of Shaka’s rule. He was, however, a vassal of the Mthethwa empire for a year until Dingiswayo was killed by Zwide, head of Ndwande. Shaka filled the power void left by Dingiswayo and ruled the Mthethwa empire. This rule gave him power and influence, for example when he moved to Qwabe he helped his choice to govern as Chief Prosecutor of Zulu.

Shaka Zulu was determined to avenge the death of his mentor and so began his hunt for Zwide. In the process, he killed Zwide’s mother in a painful ordeal in which he locked her in a room with hyenas and jackals. Eventually, in 1985, the two opponents met in the war near Phongola. Shaka was victorious thus completing his quest to avenge his mentor.

First years of life

He was born in Nandi kaBhebhe of the Mhlongo people and Senzangakhona kaJama. It is said that Shaka was conceived during sexual foreplay that was allowed to unmarried partners. His parents got carried away leading to his being. Because of his illegitimacy, Shaka was raised by his mother, where he was initiated into a combat unit called ibutho lempi.


by Abdullah Sam
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