The Zulu Empire Began Their Rise

Topics: Zulu / Pages: 4 (1278 words) / Published: Nov 26th, 2014
The Zulu Empire began their rise to power by Shaka Zulu. He was born in 1787, but was not accepted by his father, Senzangakona, so he and his mother were exiled. They lived with the Mthethwa people and Shaka fought for them as well. When Senzangakona died, Dingiswayo, leader of the Mthethwa, helped Shaka become the rightful leader of the Zulu. After the death of Dingiswayo, Shaka also became the ruler of the Mthethwa people as well. Shaka was a born leader and a brilliant general. He was the Napoleon of his time. During a conversation Shaka had with the masters of war before he was triumphant and still figuring out what ways they can conquer other nations, he said,

“I ask you to listen to me carefully: I have discovered an unbeatable plan against our enemies. I repeat the essence of success in war is speed. Speed is of the mind and all intricacies of wars. Speed is of those who meticulously examine the war’s arena, who combine their wisdom with the wisdom of the wiser men. Through this knowledge the enemy is surrounded. Speed is of the feet not encumbered by sandals. Speed is embedded in the shape of my spear. By this our heroes shall reap the enemy in close combat. As the enemy dissipates its power and throws all its missiles, we shall break through their lines, turning our clouds of shields into a forest of weapons. We shall rip their naked chests at close quarters. If we follow this strategy, no enemy shall defeat us, for all wars are the same, following only laws of battle.” (Mazisi pg. 54)

It is amazing to see Shaka’s ability to speak to the people and to come up with strategies in order to conquer surrounding empires. He was always in the process of some thought or some way of bettering his people, his empire. It is believed that the emergence of Shaka’s Zulu kingdom happened between 1816 and 1828. According to author James Gump, the formation of the Zulu was during, “a time of dispersal, famine and human suffering.” (Gump pg. 521) It is important to

Cited: 1. Kunene, Mazisi. Emperor Shaka the Great. 22 Bedford Square, London WC 1B3HH: William Heinemann Ltd., 1979. 2. Gump, James. Origins of the Zulu Kingdom. Historian, 1988.

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