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Shaka Zulu: a Military Genius or a Mass Murderer

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My motivation of this topic was to personally find out the famous debate on if Shaka Zulu was a military genius or a mass murderer. I was motivated by how I relate to Shaka Zulu as I am also Zulu. I was also motivated hat most of the event took place in my province.I have an interest in other people's points of views of Shaka Zulu. My motivation was to also show my point my point view of Shaka Zulu that I have learn't about him. I knew I would I would get more information of Shaka Zulu as I have been told stories of him. I was inspired by the school lessons about Shaka Zulu that entertained me. I want to learn more about the common Zulu surnames and their relations to the royals. I wanted to know more about Shaka's military tactics of war, and why he took the title of being one of the most stragetical war leaders in the world.

Shaka Zulu was the son of Princess Nandi from the Langeni kingdom and King Senzangakhona of the Zulu kingdom. The princess was pregnant with Shaka and the Zulu elders denied her pregnancy and told her that she has 'the bug' in her stomach. Shaka Zulu was rejected by by his father and spent his childhood in the Mthethwa kingdom when Chief Dingiswayo took Nandi and Shaka in. He adopted many concepts from Dingiswayo and when his father, Senzangakhona, had died, Shaka was sent by Dingiswayo to claim his throne as the chief of the Zulu empire.

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King Shaka is is said to be responsible for Mfecan. Mfecane which is the forced migration of tribes within southern Africa. The Zulu empire has many rulers such as Ageba, Ndaba, Jama, Senzangakhona then Shaka. When Shaka ruled he had many small chiefs serving him as he only have them a choice to either go in war with Shaka or rule them too. Shaka made his own rules and opinion for the kingdom. He only accepted the people that he had took over to rule their land but they had to eventually accept that they were now Zulu. The Mfecane caused many strong tribes to now rule over the smaller tribes.

The Mfecane caused a lot of change economically and many tribes had been poor at that time as they had not kept cattles nor has strong weaponry. Trade patterns changed as many different tribes had migrated and only the powerful tribes had a competition with each other. The Europeans had expaned within the southern Africa and many tribes were willing to trade in ivory and meat. As many tribes wanted goods from trading Shaka made his 'amabutho' who were trained to hunt elephants for ivory. The European traders then demanded cattles,this caused a lot of conflicts within tribes. As cattle-raiders were formed to also hunt for cattle from neighbouring poor tribes. Many drives were willing to control the trade routes and hunting grounds that were filed by other tribes. Trade made many tribes come into wat and caused a lot if death's.

People use to only stay with their own tribes and had a good relationship as they shared the same food and custom. This was an advantage as they had something in common. Many people treated their neighbours as family as they all had the same surname such as the Ngwane tribe. After the Mfecane some tribes lived in fear and did not adopt the customs of the other tribes that they were taken in as they were from different cultures.

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Shaka Zulu: a Military Genius or a Mass Murderer. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from
“Shaka Zulu: a Military Genius or a Mass Murderer.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
Shaka Zulu: a Military Genius or a Mass Murderer. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2023].
Shaka Zulu: a Military Genius or a Mass Murderer [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2023 Nov 29]. Available from:
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