Zulu Kingdom

Zulu Kingdom

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Zulu Kingdom

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Description:
The Zulu Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or, rather imprecisely, Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north.

The small kingdom grew to dominate much of Southern Africa, but when it came into conflict with the British Empire in the 1870s during the Anglo-Zulu War, it was defeated despite early Zulu victories in the war. The area was subsequently absorbed into the Colony of Natal and later became part of the Union of South Africa.

History

The rise of the Zulu Kingdom under Shaka



Shaka Zulu was the illegitimate son of Senzangakona, chief of the Zulus. He was born circa 1787. He and his mother, Nandi, were exiled by Senzangakona, and found refuge with the Mthethwa. Shaka fought as a warrior under Dingiswayo, leader of the Mthethwa Paramountcy. When Senzangakona died, Dingiswayo helped Shaka claim his place as chief of the Zulu Kingdom. After Dingiswayo's death at the hands of Zwide, king of the Ndwandwe, around 1818, Shaka assumed leadership of the entire Mthethwa alliance.

Shaka initiated many military, social, cultural and political reforms, forming a well-organized and centralised Zulu state. The most important reforms involved the transformation of the army, thanks to innovative tactics and weapons he conceived; and a showdown with the spiritual leadership, clipping the wings, claws and fangs of the witchdoctor, effectively ensuring the...
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