Shaka Zulu
by E. A. Ritter

A sympathetic biography of the military genius and tyrant who built the Zulu Empire. Shaka was a contemporary of Napoleon. The name Shaka comes from a beetle that causes women to miss their periods and falsely conclude they are pregnant.

For the most part, Shaka administered the customary law of the Zulus and related tribes, which was already brutal. Most crimes were punished by death. Crimes included fornication, treason, and dereliction of military duty. For some crimes, such as witchcraft, the guilty one and everyone in his kraal were executed. It was also traditional to bury servants with the Chief. Shaka added more arbitrary capital offenses, especially after his mother died.

The author blames other chiefs for the dispossession of thousands of people, who, in turn, disposed thousands more who began to encroach on the English settlements. Shaka's Empire was the safest and most stable place in South Africa during his reign, except for the year of morning after his mother's death.

He was assassinated by his half-brothers just as he was beginning to become less tyrannical.

The Zulus, like all native Africans, were retarded technologically. They didn't even invent the wheel. But the Zulus were more advanced, on average, than Europeans in their knowledge of sex. Their language was sophisticated and the average Zulu had a larger vocabulary than the average European, although they knew nothing about reading and writing. Perhaps because they had no written language they developed good memories and became good story tellers. The all knew the laws and traditions and history of the tribes through oral repetition.

Year Read: 1998


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