Other notable figures to arise from the Mfecane include Soshangane , who expanded from the Zulu area into what is now Mozambique. In Shaka's time, these cowhide shields were supplied by the king, and they remained the king's property. A diversion was created by Mbopa, and Dingane and Mhlangana struck the fatal blows. There was no need to record messages, he held, since his messengers stood under penalty of death should they bear inaccurate tidings. They argue that attempts to distort his life and image have been systematic—beginning with the first European visitors to his kingdom. A frontal assault by their opponents failed to dislodge them, and Shaka sealed the victory by sending his reserve forces in a sweep around the hill to attack the enemy's rear.
When the Mthethwa forces were defeated and scattered temporarily, the power vacuum was filled by Shaka. Shaka observed several demonstrations of European technology and knowledge, but he held that the Zulu way was superior to that of the foreigners. His teachings greatly influenced the social outlook of the Zulu people. Initial Zulu success rested on fast-moving surprise attacks and ambushes, but the Voortrekkers recovered and dealt the Zulu a severe defeat from their fortified wagon laager at the Battle of Blood River. Nevertheless, the concept of "light" forces is questionable. These were grouped into corps that took their name from the military kraals where they were mustered, or sometimes the dominant regiment of that locality. Though Shaka probably did not invent the iklwa, according to Zulu scholar John Laband, the leader did insist that his warriors train with the weapon, which gave them a "terrifying advantage over opponents who clung to the traditional practice of throwing their spears and avoiding hand-to-hand conflict. Sigujana's reign was short however as Dingiswayo , anxious to confirm his authority, lent Shaka a regiment so that he was able to put Sigujana to death launching a relatively bloodless coup that was substantially accepted by the Zulu. He reformed the remnants of the Mthethwa and other regional tribes and later defeated Zwide in the Zulu Civil War of — From a military standpoint, historian John Keegan notes exaggerations and myths that surround Shaka, but nevertheless maintains: The massive killing sprees alleged are distorted—Shaka was not the only operator in the area. Shaka and the Mfecane[ edit ] Main article: Shaka's enemies described him as ugly in some respects. Furthermore, it is believed that he taught his warriors how to use the shield's left side to hook the enemy's shield to the right, exposing the enemy's ribs for a fatal spear stab. The figure of Shaka still sparks interest among not only the contemporary Zulu but many worldwide who have encountered the tribe and its history. He attacked some enemies, but he also left numerous tribes in place, and maintained a network of dependent states in peaceful tributary relations, or as allied client states. Bryant gives us a more Zulu-centred picture. At least 7, people who were deemed to be insufficiently grief-stricken were executed, although the killing was not restricted to humans: Zwide's general Soshangane of the Shangaan moved north towards what is now Mozambique to inflict further damage on less resistant foes and take advantage of slaving opportunities, obliging Portuguese traders to give tribute. Shaka was victorious in battle, although his forces sustained heavy casualties, which included his head military commander, Umgobhozi Ovela Entabeni. Shaka's half-brother Dingane assumed power and embarked on an extensive purge of pro-Shaka elements and chieftains, running over several years, in order to secure his position. Any grouping of men on a mission could collectively be called an impi, whether a raiding party of or a horde of 10, The fast-moving Zulu raiding party, or "ibutho lempi," on a mission invariably traveled light, driving cattle as provisions on the hoof, and were not weighed down with heavy weapons and supply packs. He had a big nose, according to Baleka of the Qwabe, as told by her father. As for the ruling Qwabe, they began re-inventing their genealogies to give the impression that Qwabe and Zulu were closely related in the past . This would open the door for future British incursions into the Zulu kingdom that were not so peaceful. This theory must be treated with caution, some scholars hold, as it generally neglects several other factors such as the impact of European encroachment, slave trading and expansion in that area of Southern Africa around the same time.
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