Shaka Zulu

I was surfing through the terrible choice of TV channels looking for something anything that I could watch…..nothing jumped out to me until I came across a documentary on the South African king from the 18th century….Shaka Zulu……

I recall watching this documentary some 20-30 years ago and found it a fascinating look at the history of the British Empire and South Africa….

Shaka was a great Zulu king and conqueror. He lived in an area of south-east Africa between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean, a region populated by many independent Nguni chiefdoms. During his brief reign more than a hundred chiefdoms were brought together in a Zulu kingdom which survived not only the death of its founder but later military defeat and calculated attempts to break it up.

Shaka was a son of Senzangakhona, ruler of an insignificant small chiefdom, the Zulu. His mother was Nandi, the daughter of a Langeni chief. Information about Shaka’s early years is gleaned entirely from oral sources. It is claimed that Shaka was born into Senzangakhona’s household but that the couple were not yet married according to traditional custom. 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. 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. Despite his attempts to deny paternity, Senzangakhona eventually installed Nandi as his third wife. Shaka thus spent his earliest years at his father’s esiKlebeni homestead near present Babanango, in the hallowed locality known as the EmaKhosini or Burial-place of the Kings, where Senzangakhona’s forebears, the descendants of Zulu (Nkosinkulu), had been chiefs for generations. The relationship of Senzangakhona and Nandi seems to have been unhappy and ended in the chieftain driving Nandi from his court.

Source: Shaka Zulu | South African History Online

If one gets the chance to watch this documentary then I suggest you do so…..warning there is a lot of nudity but the historic content is just great.

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7 thoughts on “Shaka Zulu

      1. I was an early research assistant on terrorism at the University of Cincinnati for a prof who then used my work to become an “expert” on terrorism in the last 1970s and 1980s.

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