Shaka Zulu

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by bgibson2016
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
Historical biographies

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Shaka Zulu

Military System and Developments


- King of Zulus- lived in an area in south-east Africa - father: Senzangakhona (ruler of the Zulu, a small chiefdom)- mother: Nandi (daughter of a Langeni chief)

- Once he was in power, he began reorganizing the forces of his people. - Assegai: short handled stabbing spear.- cow or ox hide shields: almost inpenetrable barrier- Crescent shaped army formation- Discipline: taught his soldiers tough discipline, and trained soldiers barefoot.- male ambutho: training regiment; trained alongside others from different regiments. - female ambutho: assembled at military settlements, wards of the kings- economic and social changes: military system caused these changes; the economic youth potential was concentrated in the military barraks.

Early Life

- His father drove his mother and him out of the court.- Nandi, his mother, and Shaka sought refuge with the Langeni people.- As a fatherless child, Shaka was a victim for cruel treatment and humiliation from the Langeni boys.- At the time of the Great Famine, Shaka was taken in with the Mthethwa people. - The court of Dingiswayo welcomed them, but Shaka still fell victim to bullying.

- Before his birth, a blind old witch woman foretold of a warrior king, that would be the leader of an army with shining black shields and blood stained spears. This leader would create a powerful Zulu nation causing some people to fear him. - His philosophy was, "We are a people who come from warrior stock. This philosophy was passed on to future Zulu leaders. - It is strength and courage in unity that flowed in the blood of Shaka Zulu and his warriors.

- Some historians describe Shaka as a tyrant and a monster. - His actions should be seen through context. Harsh lands called for harsh measures. He was quick to use them. - In many cases, he ruled with compassion. - He remains one of the greatest warriors and leaders of the time. - His legacy can still be seen today in the land between Eshowe and Melmoth with museums, beehives, and other Zulu specialties.

Shaka Zulu

Professional Life

Lasting Impact

-At 23, he was drafted into the Mthethwa regiments.- His outstanding deeds and courage attracted the attention of his overlord, becoming one of the foremost commanders.- He became engrossed in problems of strategy and battle tactics. Militarism was a way of life for him. - He later became the chief and began conquering surrounding chiefdoms, ruling for 10 years.

Personal Life


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