Shaka kaSenzangakhona Zulu (Shaka Zulu) was born to a high-ranking chieftain named Senzangakona. Shaka Zulu was born out of wedlock so they were forced into exile to village of Langeni. Shaka was summoned for military duty and quickly proved himself to be a capable soldier. When Shaka’s father died, he replaced him as chief of the Zulu. Shaka implemented new tactical maneuvers that outsmarted enemies.
Shaka Zulu invented a new short dagger called the iklwa which forced his men to approach the enemy face to face before stabbing them to death. Shaka also introduced a larger shield made of cowhide. The shield’s left side hooked onto the enemy’s shield exposing his ribs for a fatal spear stab. Shaka was also credited fot the development of the famous “Buffalo Horns” formation. He demanded absolute obedience of his soldiers and did not tolerate any weakness and cowardice. Disobedience was punished by death. Shaka never hesitated to kill.
The first villages he attacked with his Zulu army were those of the Langeni (for the cruel treatment of him and his mother). Shaka killed all woman and children before burning the villages to the ground. Shaka Zulu’s tribe became the most powerful kingdom in all of 19th century southern Africa.
When Shaka’s mother Nandi died he ordered mass executions, forbid the planting of crops or the use of milk, and ordered the killing of all pregnant women and their husbands. Cows were also slaughtered so that their calves would know what losing a mother felt like. Shaka kaSenzangakhona Zulu was killed by his 2 half-brothers. Dingane and Mhlangana made at least 2 attempts to assassinate him before they succeeded.