King Shaka Chapter 1 Summary

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This chapter discusses the course from the Zulu tribe to the Zulu nation. The formation of the Zulu nation has become so synonymous with the name of King Shaka who during his reign was able to amalgamate separated tribes and clans in South East Africa to pay allegiance to the Zulu empire. It also looks at what made Shaka a statesman and a nation builder in the early nineteenth century South Africa. Moreover, this chapter looks at the structure of tribes and clans and how these were amalgamated to form a unified Zulu nation under the leadership of King Shaka kaSenzangakhona. The Zulu nation has become synonymous with the name of King Shaka, the chapter also discusses the reason behind him being so synonymous with the nation. While the chapter …show more content…
The first African Historian, Magema Fuze, wrote: ‘Our forebears tell us that all we black people originally came from the north. When we make close enquiry as to where this north may be, they point in an upward direction; but because no written records were left by those who came before us, all they can do is to point in that northerly direction upward of the country [enhla nezwe]. Those who went westwards are known as the Ntungwa and those who skirted the sea and headed southwards as the …show more content…
Each tribe was politically independent and there were more than hundred of them in Zululand and Natal alone. There was a supreme head of the community in each tribe. He had the last word in all the matters of law or policy and he was also the chief religious figure. But he did not rule as a despot. The tribe was divided into districts, each under a sub-chief who was usually an important member of the royal family. In addition, the chief had a large number of officers called izinduna, one of whom acted as high deputy when the chief did not want to undertake anything personally. This post resembled that of the Prime minister. The izinduna were generally chosen from families with no claim to royalty so that they would have no temptation to usurp the throne.
What was notable in the most of the cases was that if a chief went against public opinion, there would be a civil war or simply a break away with their immediate followers and establish themselves as independent chiefs. Such sub-division of tribes into two or more independent sections was very frequent, for the land in South Africa was abundant for grazing and farming this meant relative freedom for famine, population increased by leaps and bounds. As tribes became too large for easy government, they would split up. This often happened

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