Origin of the Name, Zulu

If you look up the word ‘Zulu’ in the dictionary, it can refer to a variety of things: it can be a reference to the Zulu people (amaZulu); to the language spoken by the Zulus (isiZulu); or, completely arbitrarily, it can refer to the letter ‘Z’, as used in the international phonetic alphabet (i.e. Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu)! More … Read more

The Mfecane Wars

In Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom, the former South African president talks about the AmaMfengu, people that was formed from groupings that were broken up and dispersed by King Shaka and his armies during the Mfecane wars. The name ‘Mfengu‘ translates to ‘wanderers’ and is a reference to how the AmaMfengu came to be; although today the group have largely … Read more

Emperor Shaka the Great

First published in 1979 Emperor Shaka the Great details the exploits of King Shaka, and the considerable advances in state structure and military technology made during his reign. It is a book that has been much debated over the years, with the author, the late Professor Mazisi Kunene, often criticised for glamourising the life of King Shaka, who is … Read more

KwaDukuza, Jewel of Zulu nation

The town of KwaDukuza, about 70 kilometres north of Durban, is an area steeped in history. Originally given its name by King Shaka when the town was formed in 1825, it later became known as Stanger, in honour of William Stanger, the first surveyor-general of Natal.  In 2006 its official name was changed back to KwaDukuza in recognition of the history … Read more

The Zulu Kingdom

Last Saturday marked 200 years since King Shaka kaSenzangakhona brought together the different African clans to form the Zulu kingdom. Shaka presided as king for twelve years before being assassinated by his half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana, with Dingane taking the throne in Shaka’s absence. Since the rule of Shaka, there have been another six Zulu kings, with the current … Read more