Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

Shaka - Early years, The major conflicts, Death and succession, Shaka's social and military revolution

south african zulu ruler

African ruler, born near Melmoth, KwaZulu Natal, E South Africa. He was a highly successful military ruler, who intensified the centralization of Zulu power, adapted the weapons and tactics of local warfare, and set about the incorporation of neighbouring peoples. The rise of the Zulu kingdom under Shaka was associated with a series of wars and population movements known as the difagane. He was killed by his half-brother Dingane. He remains an enigmatic and contentious figure, the subject of novels and films, and his career is a much debated issue in South African history.

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