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Shaka Zulu
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World Leader
    (1787-September 23, 1828)
    Born an illegitimate heir of a Zulu chief and a woman of the lower class (1787)
    Joined the Zulu military and began innovating the tactics of African warfare (1803)
    Marched into Zulu territory and assumed the throne after his fathers death (1816)
    Expanded the Zulu Empire from a small realm of influence in the area which is now Zimbabwe, all the way to the Cape Colony in the south and to modern Tanzania in the north
    Leading figure in South African history
    The name Shaka itself translates to 'intestinal parasite' or 'bastard.'
    He was ruthlessly ambitious in his bid for power, murdering his half brother during his crowning ceremony and taking over the crown for himself.
    He used English ivory traders as his subjects, even forcing them into battle, feeling he was superior to them.
    He enforced chastity within his soldiers.
    He was a mama's boy, and after his mother (Nandi) died, he went into a killing rampage.
    He was known to execute people for 'smelling like a witch' and committed mass executions of entire villages, creating terror within his subjects.
    He killed anyone who he felt was not appropriately saddened by his mother's death, and had most mothers within his empire executed. He even went as far as to execute the mothers of baby cows, so they would know how it felt to lose their mother.
    He ordered all milk and food to be dumped on the ground during this period of mourning, practically starving his people.
    The critically acclaimed 1983 miniseries, 'Shaka Zulu' was based on his life and death.
    He was highly intelligent.
    He grew up detached from most of his tribe, other than his immediate family, due to his illegitimate birth.
    He was teased and treated cruelly by most of the tribe.
    He reformed an insignificant and largely unknown tribe in Southern Africa into the largest and most influential tribe in African history.
    His military strategy was unprecedented.
    In the peak of his military power, he was even feared by Great Britain and considered one of the most powerful military forces in the world during that time period.
    He largely denied the practice of religion, basically telling his people not to be afraid of nonsense witchcraft.
    His Zulu nation lasted well over 50 years after his death, but it was never as powerful as when he was in control.
    He was murdered violently by his half brother and half sister, being stabbed in the back (literally) and buried in an unmarked grave.
    He ranks with Julius Caesar and Napoleon as one of the greatest leaders in history.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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