Shaka Zulu, a powerful and intelligent warrior in the early 1800’s. Shaka joined Chief Diniswayo’s warrior force in his early years. Shaka gained military knowledge and organization while serving in Diniswayo’s army. Shaka’s Zulu leadership skills were not because of Shaka’s personality. They were due to the exceptional training he gave his warriors.
Shaka’s greatest achievement was to have destroyed a 100-mile-wide area of land south of Tugela with an army of 20,000. Shaka was able to rule 250,000 people in 1828 and create an army with 40,000 warriors. He also killed 2,000,000 during his reign. He remained in power through mass executions until his army became overworked and unrest from the forced celibacy caused him to lose control. Shaka was assassinated by his half-brothers on September 23, 1828. Shaka’s half brothers assassinated him on September 23, 1828. This illustration depicts Shaka’s warriors in a typical fight. Mary Evans painted the picture in 1847. This lithograph features thousands of Zulu soldiers, showing how Shaka created an army with only 500 men.
Shaka was made godlike by the assegai spear and shield. The wooden assegai spear is long and stabbing. The sharpened tips on both sides of Shaka’s weapon can easily penetrate any body. Shaka’s weapon has two sharp sides so he can kill enemies who attack him behind him as well as fight them in front. He used his shield as a second weapon. The front of his shield had sharp edges so that he could both block and stabbing people. Shaka trained 500 men to be a formidable army. He visited his other two military kraals almost every day and woe to those who defaulted. He could easily reach the borders of his kingdom, which was only ten miles wide by ten feet long, from his central location within an hour.
Shaka was meticulous and worked with a remarkable work ethic. Ritter states in E.A Riter’s best-selling novel Shaka Zulu – The Rise of the Zulu Empire – that Shaka was “always insistent on inspecting everything by himself”. Shaka insisted that, before every battle, he reconnoitered the battlefield and the positions of the enemies. Shaka Zulu’s bloodthirsty policy changed the Zulu Kingdom. He became illegitimate because of his greif. Shaka was devastated by the death of Nandi. He banned milk and farming. This brutal reaction claimed the lives of 7,000 people.
For Shaka to grasp the magnitude of his task, he needed to compare it with that of his predecessors. Shaka had 500 men in his ‘army.’ In 1879, sixty-three-years later, it took the British Army, consisting of 20,000 Imperial soldiers and cavalry with breechloading weapons, cannons or rocket batteries to conquer Zululand. The British Army also needed over 1000 ox drawn wagons, each capable of carrying 3 tons. Zulus attacked without fail, so the British Army didn’t even have to bother looking for them.