• patricia tonui

African history ( Zulu under Shaka)

Updated: Jun 28

Africa is well known to be rich in history, it existed several empires that were strong in the 15th century up to the 19th century. Zulu kingdom sometimes being referred to as the Zulu empire was one of the empires in present-day South Africa that were positioned along the coast of the Indian ocean. During the 18th century when the British were trying to colonize most of the African countries, they invaded this kingdom leading to what was known as the Anglo Zulu war. This empire with its able warriors was able to defeat the British at first despite the British being well-armed.

The rise of Zulu is attributed to a man named shaka who was born in 1787. He was the

illegitimate son of the then king of Zulu and due to this illegitimacy, he and his mother were

exiled and they found refuge with Mthethwa. He fought like a warrior in several battles. When the king of Zulus died Shaka become the chief with the help of Dingiswayo who was the leader of Mthethwa. Dingiswayo died and Shaka assumed leadership of the Mthethwa alliance.

Shaka made many reforms such as cultural, military, and political reforms. This resulted in well organized and centralized Zulu state. The most striking part of all was the army which was formed and was capable of everything, they had innovative tactics and weapons and also depended on spiritual leadership and witchdoctors.

Alliance under Zulu leadership was able to defeat Zwinde at the battle of Mhlatuze River (1820) and broken up the Ndwandwe alliance leading to mass migration, it is estimated that around 1 to 2 million people died, however, these are just estimates. Shaka managed to conquer many empires and extended the empire.

In 1828 Shaka was assassinated following a conspiracy between his half-brother Dingane and Mhlangana, and mbopa, and induna, following this murder Dingane also went ahead and murdered mhlangana and took over the throne. He jailed many past supporters of shaka to maintain his position

In October 1837 the Voortrekker leader paid a visit to the Zulu kingdom and met Dingane to negotiate a and deal and as a part of the treaty Dingane asked for the cattle that had been stolen by the chiefs to be retrieved back, the cattle were returned and the deal was done and signatory was made the party that had brought the cattle were invited for a celebration, they did not know what the plan was and they were asked to leave the weapons behind. In the middle of celebrations, they were arrested and executed, and massacred in the present-day Weenem.

The remaining Voortrekkers elected a new leader, Andries Pretorious, who led a dangerous attack on Zulu forces and Dingane at a Battle Blood of the River ON 16TH DEC 1838, Dingane and his army were defeated, as a result, Dingane set ablaze his royal house and fled north. Dingane was assassinated near the modern Swaziland border and mpande took over the leadership of Zulu

Mpande had two sons; Cetshwayo and mbuyazi and at his old age a succession battle broke up and mbuyazi was killed. Mpande died in 1872 and the only remaining son took over the leadership. In 1878 Sir Henry Bartle Frere of the British tried to instigate war by giving the Zulu a strict ultimatum which they were not willing to comply with and as a result war broke out and British heavily armed were defeated and over 1000 of the British were killed in this British Zulu war commonly known as Insandiwana war, they had to become organized and they started becoming victorious.

Gluckman, Max (1960). "The Rise of a Zulu Empire". Scientific American. 202 (4):

162. Bibcode:1960SciAm.202d.157G. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0460-157. ISSN 0036-

8733. JSTOR 24940454. Retrieved 7 July 2020. By 1822 he had made himself master over 80,000 square miles

1. ^ "Zululand | historical region, South Africa". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 May 2020.

2. ^ "South African History Online".

3. ^ "New History of South Africa". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2012.

4. ^ Wilkinson, Stephan (14 March 2017). "Shaka Zulu: Africa's Napoleon?". HistoryNet. Retrieved 27 May 2020.

5. ^ Walter, Eugene Victor (1969). Terror and Resistance: A Study of Political Violence, with Case Studies of Some Primitive African Communities. ISBN 9780195015621.

6. ^ Charters, R. A. (Major, Royal Artillery) (1839). "Notices of the Cape And Southern Africa, Since The Appointment, As Governor, Of Major-Gen. Sir Geo. Napier". United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine. London: Henry Colburn. 1839, Part III (September, October, November): 19–25, 171–179, 352–359.

7. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition

8. ^ Hanson, Victor Davis (2001). Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 313. ISBN 978-0-30742518-8.

9. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f "Zulu Kingdom".

10. ^ Martin Meredith, Diamonds Gold and War, (New York: Public Affairs, 2007):5

11. ^ Knight, Ian (2004). Zulu War. Osprey. p. 11.

12. ^ Conjectural flag of Zululand (1884–1897) by Roberto Breschi taken from The South African Flag Book by A.P.Burgers

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