The Birth Of Shaka

Shaka Zulu by Jerry Breen

Shaka Zulu by Jerry Breen

His baby cry was of a cub
tearing the neck of the lioness
because he was fatherless.

The gods boiled his blood
in a clay pot of passion
to course in his veins.

His heart was shaped
into an ox shield
to foil every foe.

Ancestors forged
his muscles into thongs
as tough as water bark
and nerves
as sharp as syringa thorns.

His eyes were lanterns that shone
from the dark valleys of Zululand
to see white swallows
coming across the sea.

His cry to two assassin brothers:
“Lo! you can kill me
but you’ll never rule this land!”

By: Oswald Mtshali

Shaka Zulu is said to be one of the greatest military leaders in African history, and perhaps all of history. There is controversy around the brutality of his methods, and the strictness with which he trained his troops, but in many ways, he improved warfare methods forever. Born in 1787 in what is now South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, he died in 1828. His legacy lived on in the Zulu warriors who fought the British in 1879. The military conflict helped immortalize the Zulu in the minds of Westerners, but Zulu history was far from over in 1879. The Zulus persevered through apartheid and remain the largest ethnic group in South Africa.

Read more about Shaka Zulu here.
For a different perspective, click here.


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