Few kings or dictators, before or since, have treated their subjects with such ruthlessness and ferocity. By means of much drilling and discipline, Shaka built up his forces, which soon became the terror of the land. The young men were taken away to be enrolled alongside others from all sections of the kingdom in an appropriate amabutho, or age-regiment. Shaka observed several demonstrations of European technology and knowledge, but held that the Zulu way was superior to that of the foreigners. It also must be stated that a state of continual tribal warfare existed in Southern Africa in the early 19th century.
Shaka, however, dreaded producing a legitimate heir. Throughout his reign, Shaka Zulu was inseparable from his mother. We leave for tour next week! History has it that they moved from place to place. There was no need to record messages, he held, since his messengers stood under penalty of death should they bear inaccurate tidings. The king rewarded Shaka with 10 head of cattle and promoted him to the command of 100 warriors.
Within five minutes they had killed or mortally wounded the entire first line of the Ndwandwes. Many of the modern surnames in the dictionary can be traced back to Britain and Ireland. It is probable that, over time, the Zulu were able to hone and improve their encirclement tactics. After subduing three more tribes, Dingiswayo headed home. Despite his attempts to deny paternity, Senzangakhona eventually installed Nandi as his third wife. Shaka next disengaged the wings that had been pinning those of his foe, keeping them out of spear range.
Until such time, however, sexual intercourse between members of the male and female age regiments was forbidden. In the late 18th century, the Zulus were an obscure Nguni tribe of some 1,500 people, ruled by a petty chief named Senzangakhona. Each of these amabutho had its own name and was lodged at one of the royal households, which became military communities as well as retaining their traditional functions. During the hot summers his people tilled the fields and armourers made spears and shields. Following orders, the Ndwandwes soon were fleeing downhill, their shields covering their backs. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family.
Then, his men who had slain the thirsty foe appeared in the rear of the attacking Ndwandwes. His father was the chief of the Zulus and his mother, Nandi, was the daughter of the chief of a nearby clan. As the horns curved inward around the enemy, the main body would advance killing all those who could not break through the encompassing lines. Shaka selected 500 warriors to make infiltrating attacks through the night and keep the Ndwandwes from sleeping. The Zulus led them on a 35-mile chase to the Tugela River, then crossed over, wheeled about and stood their ground.
Back at the military kraal, Shaka began shaping his 100-man command into an effective fighting machine. Wylie holds that, far from being a genocidal maniac, Shaka often ruled as a traditional Bantu monarch of his era. New York: Da Capo Press. Shaka then took them on 60-mile hikes, often at a fast trot, with any warrior failing to keep up being slain on the spot. It is difficult to seperate fact from fiction as most information is by oral representation or from the diary of Henry Francis Fynn which for the most part is a memoir. Wanting to be in at the final kill, Nomahlanjana and his four brothers joined the tail end of the column. That year, Henry Francis Fynn and Francis Farewell visited Shaka.
The exact location is unknown. Shaka and his Izi-cwe regiment raced to cut off the allied warriors, wheeled and struck them head-on with a furious attack. Their 600-strong army formed up in five lines about 200 yards long, with their leader seated comfortably in the shade of a tree on a hill far behind his warriors, as had long been the practice for most African chiefs. Shaka began to take over nearby clans and gain soldiers for the Zulu. The invaders carried only enough food for their three-day march to the border, fully expecting to feast upon captured grain and cattle. Thousands of people and cattle were killed and there was a enforced one year of mourning. By sheer strength of character and visionary ideas, Shaka molded a tiny band of loyal fighters into a conquering army that built the first Zulu nation.
In his absence the adminitrative authority was carried jointly by the female elder of the settlement and by the induna. This left the royal kraal critically lacking in security. Shaka then sent his warriors throughout the land to gather all the women, children and cattle, slay all the useless people and burn every hut. He found that taking off his sandals and fighting barefooted helped him maneuver better. Historian Donald Morris states that Shaka's first major battle against , of the , was the , on the Mfolozi 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. This ambiguity continues to lend the image of Shaka its continued power and influence, almost two centuries after his death.
Military History, June 2008, Vol. Shaka joined the military of the Mthethwa, led by chief Dingiswayo. Many respect him, some revere him while some others just plain wish he were still alive. Shaka and the Mfecane Main article: History and legacy The increased military efficiency led to more and more clans being incorporated into Shaka's Zulu empire, while other tribes moved away to be out of range of Shaka's. He killed his half-brother and installed himself as king.
At daybreak, Soshangane led his exhausted, starving army to the safety of the open plain and a speedy retreat homeward. After a march of 25 miles, his warriors surrounded the capital kraal under the cover of darkness and obtained a surrender without a fight. By the time of Shaka's assassination in 1828, it had made the Zulu kingdom the greatest power in southern Africa and a force to be reckoned with, even against Britain's modern army in 1879. One day Shaka survived an assassination attempt. The encircling horns, meanwhile, had closed in on the women spectators also, and soon even the last screaming woman had been dispatched.