Find Content

Zulu State

ZUlu state

Tshaka's aims as a ruler

  • He wanted to be feared and be respected.
  • Total war.
  • To create a large standing army.
  • To create a disciplined army.
  • To unite all Nguni people.
  • To promote Zulu pride.
  • To create a rich state.
  • To be a dictator. To revenge.
  • Territorial expansion.
  • To gain personal glory. Revenge. 

Tshaka's rise to power

  • Tshaka was the son of Zulu chief Senzangakona.
  • His mother was Nandi, a Langeni woman.
  • Senzangakona disowned Tshaka and his mother.Nandi took Tshaka and lived with the Langeni.
  • Tshaka’s backgroung shaped his character.
  • His age mates laughed at him.Refused to give him milk-Tshaka had no friends.
  • Tshaka became a brave young boy , cold hearted and only loved Nandi his mother.
  • He joined Dingiswayo’s army part of Mtetwa army.
  • He showed bravery skills so he was promoted to lead his own regiment.
  • Dingiswayo’s reforms were important these reforms benefited Tshaka eg the idea of age regiment, the cowhorn formation.
  • Tshaka was a product of the Mfecane. Trained Tshaka
  • Promoted Tshaka to lead one of the regiments.
  • Dingiswayo helped Tshaka to kill Sigujana after the death of Senzangakona.Sigujana was Tshaka’s half brother.
  • Tshaka became the Zulu king after killing Sigujana.

Tshaka's military reforms

  • The army used the assegai. It was a short spear that was used to stab the enemy.
  • Assegai replaced the long spear.
  • Long shields were used for defence.
  • Cow horn formation-encircled the enemy.
  • Soldiers fought barefooted to increase speed.
  • Training was tough eg soldiers trained in thorny and rock areas.
  • Mock battles were used to prepare the army.
  • Tshaka banned circumcision and initiation ceremonies. Young men formed regiment called Fasimba.It stayed at Bulawayo(Tshaka’s headquaters)
  • He created a larg standing army.
  • No marriage of Zulu men till the age of 40 years.
  • Soldiers who lost the assegai were killed .
  • Soldiers were killed for having wounds at the back.
  • Spies were used to study the enemy.
  • Zulu soldiers used surprise attacks eg at dawn.
  • Tshaka appointed brave and loyal soldiers to be Indunas.
  • Soldiers were doctored by traditional doctors.
  • Army was fed on tender meat.

Tshaka's political system

  • He was a dictotor.
  • He was the army commander.
  • Promoted brave and loya soldiers. Highest judge.
  • Tshaka killed rain makers- he was a religios leaders.
  • Tshaka appointed and dismissed indunas.
  • He distributed land.
  • Groups which were defeated paid tribute
  • Spirit mediums solved succession disputes
  • Female relatives were sent to live in the provinces- They gave info to Tshaka.
  • Loan cattle brought followers.
  • The inxala ceremony brought unity.
    • People from all coners gathered.
    • Offers beer to ancestors.
    • A sign of loyalty.
    • The king displayed his millitary power of the state.
    • Showed the wealth of the King.
  • The inkatha was the symbol of the Zulu state.
  • The army was important in political system.
  • Kingship was hereditary.

By: T.Titus Nyakudyara
Twitter: @NyakudyaraTitus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *