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edit Shaka Zulu
Shaka Zulu was an emperor and military leader in Southern Africa. Shaka is known for three things:
- kicking the asses of the British
- making a spear that actually worked
- making soldiers actually fight
- making a big kingdom.
- impaling people
That is actually five things, which is appropriate because Shaka always exceeded what was expected of him.
Shaka was a thorn in the side of the King and Queen of England, if you can call a spear a "thorn."
edit Ancestry and Birth
Shaka Zulu's father was Prince Senzangakona of the Zulus. Back then, being King of the Zulus meant next to nothing, it was kind of like being Mayor of Wallingford, Kentucky. No, I've never heard of Wallingford, Kentucky, either. Anyhow, Senzangakona was heir to the throne of the Zulus who were a tribe of hicks in the sticks in a place called Natal.
One day Senzangakona was out a-philandering which he liked to do, just like any good young hillbilly does, he went out looking for something young and female with pretty tits and a fine ass. Nandi of the Elangeni was there with the other women of her tribe, washing stuff in the river. Senzangakona danced around saying, "look at me, look at me, I'm prince of the hicks and I have a spear." Nandi was fascinated by the young heir and agreed to go into the trees for a good time.
Although Senzangakona had promised to use a condom, like any good hick he was lying, and soon poor Nandi was knocked up. Her father, enraged, said, "damn you Nandi, you got knocked up." Nandi said, "no, it's the I-Shaka." Her father said, "What? who in the hell is Shaka?" Nandi said, "No, the I-Shaka, the parasite worm that makes people's belly get big."
Her father snorted and laughed, not believing a word of it, but when the infant was indeed born he named it "Shaka" to remind Nandi that she was a damn liar.
edit Early Life
Nandi had no husband, even though Gendeyana of another tribe had offered to buy her from her father for 12 cattle, so she lived in general shame. This pissed her father off so eventually the Elangeni started pressing the Zulus to have Senzangakona acknowledge the child and make Nandi one of his wives. Senzangakona's father, Jama, allowed Nandi to live with the Zulus for a while, but soon Nandi with her bad personality was pissing off all the Zulus so they sent her back to the Elangeni. Since Nandi was officially considered a Zulu the Elangeni were not able to allow her back into the tribe, so they lived on the outskirts like wretched wild dogs.
Because of their disgrace, the boys of the tribe would taunt Shaka, sometimes they would gather around him and make fun of his little dick. This would come back to haunt them. Shaka learned the ways of violence and vengeance, and nearly killed one of the boys of the village, who then burned down Nandi's hut. Eventually the elders decided Nandi had to go before everyone's hut got burned down.
Nandi had nowhere else to go then but to the man who had proposed before, Gendeyana. Gendeyana had offered a good price for her, when she had refused 12 cattle, he even offered to throw in two goats and a pig, and still she would not budge. But even so Gendeyana was gracious and accepted Nandi into his village, and there Shaka was raised to manhood.
edit The Prophecy
As anyone who has heard of the year 2012 knows, there is always a damn prophecy. Even the Zulus had a prophecy. Until recently it was considered a strictly oral tale, now it is known to have existed since ancient times on the walls of caves (see picture). The prophecy said somebody would rise up and revolutionize everything and get everybody killed, and then there would be a great nation. Most of the people didn't see this as a good thing, because of the "everybody killed" part. But when rumors started going around that Shaka had something to do with the prophecy, the Zulus had to take notice. Senzangakona, now king, was constantly badgered by his stuck-up sister Mgabae and by his father's trusted advisor. Mgabae convinced Senzangakona that it would be safer to make Shaka part of the tribe again, and thus keep an eye on him.
Thus Shaka was invited back with full honors as eldest son and heir to the Zulu throne. But his welcome was to be short-lived, as he quickly insulted Senzangakona during a manhood ritual. When Senzangakona handed him his spear and royal headdress, Shaka said, "I'll take the spear, but this headdress I will take by force."
Then he said "Fuck you Senzangakona" and said a bunch of other dirty words to the king in front of everybody. Senzangakona was too enraged to speak, so his adviser to Shaka to leave and that warriors would pursue him at sundown.
If he had sent the warriors to pursue Shaka immediately instead, many thousands of people would have been much better off. As it was, the pursuers nearly did catch Shaka. But he managed to excape into a forest and hide out.
While he was there he heard the sounds of battle and warriors departing. Soon he found the wounded King Dingiswayo and restored him to health. Then he went back to Gendeyana's village.
Senzangakona was not happy about Shaka's excape. Mgabae constantly urged him to press the issue, and within a couple years the Zulus marched to war on Gendeyana's village. Shaka and Nandi fled and parted ways. Gendeyana was stabbed through the gut. The Zulus continued pursuing Shaka, and this time they finally caught him, but they were quickly surrounded by a superior force. This force belonged to the great King Dingiswayo of the Mtetwas, whose life Shaka had previously saved. He told the Zulus to go to hell, and so they had no choice but to go home.
edit Soldier Life
Dingiswayo was nice to Shaka and gave him a job in his big kingdom. The best job for a young tough guy like Shaka was soldier, so Shaka was inducted into Dingiswayo's army.
Before long, trouble erupted around Shaka again. Shaka had a bad attitude, he seemed to expect weapons to actually work and war to be about fighting. Military convention at the time held that the best spear was a poorly balanced throwing spear with no chance of hitting its target; this minimized casualties on both sides. Shaka repeatedly insulted his commanding officers, asking to practice throwing spears from closer up, and to not wear clumsy Birkenstock hippie sandals while fighting. The commander, Mbopa, patiently explained that if the Mtetwa soldiers actually tried to kill the enemy, then the enemy would try to kill them too. "You want to get killed or something? Are you stupid?" he would say to the great amusement of onlookers.
Shaka ignored him and tried to kill an enemy in his first battle, but his sandals fell off and his spear broke. Disgusted, he was guided by the Nameless One to the camp of a magic metalsmith. "Make me a spear that can actually kill somebody," he said. "What will you give me?" said the metalsmith. "I will give you two pigs, and a goat." "That is fair" said the metalsmith. Shaka drew his ingenious design of the spear-that-wouldn't-break-and-would-actually-kill-people, and the metalsmith set to work. Then the Nameless One gave the blade a soul.
Shaka returned to the army with his new spear. Soon he ran into General Mbopa. As usual Mbopa ridiculed Shaka. "What's that you've got, a broken spear?" "No," Shaka replied, "it's a spear that can really kill people." Mbopa laughed. "Ha ha, ok then, let's see you kill me with that puny spear." And so Shaka stabbed Mbopa and killed him. He was not punished on the grounds that he was only following orders. King Dingiswayo was also impressed because no Mtetwa spear had actually managed to kill anybody in decades, and he decided to promote Shaka.
Shaka was given command of 100 warriors to train with his new spear and Cow formation. At the next battle, Shaka's warriors surrounded and slaughtered an entire enemy unit. The enemy king protested the unfair tactic of actually killing his soldiers, but was forced to flee the battlefield. Shaka was victorious, and his prestige increased greatly. Eventually he became Dingiswayo's top general.
edit The Death of Dingiswayo and Shaka's Accession
Not all the kings in the land were afraid of Shaka's new military technologies. King Zwide of the Ndwandwes, in particular, saw the effectiveness of actually killing enemies, and decided to adopt the Shaka spear and Cow formation into his army, which greatly outnumbered the Mtetwa's. Zwide had his own military advantage as well: magic. His mother was an ugly, nasty witch. When it became clear to Zwide that he would not be able to defeat his enemy Dingiswayo by conventional means, his mother said "leave it to me" and after a night of prancing witchery she produced Dingiswayo's head on a silver platter.
The Mtetwa people were very frightened by the sudden disappearance of their king's head. Many of them wanted to surrender to Zwide to avoid having their heads served up for dinner too. But Shaka was not frightened, and he ordered that anyone who was frightened was to be impaled. Soon hundreds of Mtetwas on sticks decorated Kwa Bulawayo, and the people could see there were worse things than having your head eaten. Now that Shaka had the people's attention, he rounded up all the warriors and marched off to fight Zwide, and defeated him. The Mtetwas rejoiced and Shaka was made king!
edit King Shaka
Shaka's first act as king was to go back to the village of his youth. After conquering the village, he rounded up all the men who as boys had made fun of his dick. After hearing them all beg for mercy, he had them all impaled.
Then Shaka went around and conquered most of Natal. He went home and rounded up some girls and fucked them. Then he thought about what else to do, but couldn't think of much else to do but fight. So he rounded up the army again and went back to war.
edit The White People
Around this time the Zulu kingdom started coming into contact with the white settlers at Cape Town. These settlers used the military methods Shaka had abandoned: namely, they threw their spears from far away. However their spears were little and made of metal and were fired at huge speed from guns, and were very accurate. So unlike throwing spears, they actually killed well from a distance.
Shaka became aware of the muskets and rifles of the Cape Town settlers, and decided he must conquer it. But before he could get around to it, his mother Nandi died. Shaka made his only real mistake of rulership in giving a rip about his damn mother. He should have simply forgotten her, but instead he ordered a year of mourning, and decreed that everybody should starve to death and those who didn't starve should be impaled. Most of his warriors died, and when he led the survivors to attack Cape Town, the attack failed. Shaka returned to Kwa Bulawayo and was assassinated by Mgabae and his officials.
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