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- Strike an enemy once and for all. Let him cease to exist as a tribe or he will live to fly in your throat again.
- Up! children of Zulu, your day has come. Up! And destroy them all.
- While battling the Ndwandwe, reported in Shaka Zulu : The Rise of the Zulu Empire (1955) by E. A. Ritter, p. 179
- I need no bodyguard at all, for even the bravest men who approach me get weak at the knees and their hearts turn to water, whilst their heads become giddy and incapable of thinking as the sweat of fear paralyzes them. They know no other will except that of their King, who is something above, and below, this earth.
- Following his mother's death, as reported in Shaka Zulu : The Rise of the Zulu Empire (1955) by E. A. Ritter, p. 319
- Women that bear children must exist in Zululand only.
- Statement advocating genocidal policies against tribes which opposed his conquests, as reported in Lessons on Leadership by Terror : Finding Shaka Zulu in the Attic (2005) by Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, p. 40
Quotes about Shaka
- The Shaka story … has a Faustian quality. A tale of temptation, it asks what price a person is willing to pay, how far he is willing to go, to obtain power. In revealing Shaka's heart of darkness, it reveals the dangerous consequences of closing a pact with the devil: hubris, violence, death. And it warns of the presence of these destructive forces in all of us. Shaka is himself in this story, but he also represents the darker, shadow side of humankind generally. We see ourselves when we watch him become so obsessed by power that he sacrifices human relationships for what the devil (in the person of malevolent diviners and witchdoctors) can offer him, and when he loses the ability to distinguish between killing for a just cause and wanton killing for killing's sake. The ending is predictable, surely: loneliness and despair. Shaka ends up on a throne of blood, isolated from his fellow human beings, struggling with depression and despondency.
- Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, in Lessons on Leadership by Terror : Finding Shaka Zulu in the Attic (2005), p. 59
- Shaka was the founder-conqueror of the Zulu empire and the creator of the Zulu nation. A military genius of astonishing energy, he was also a vicious, paranoid, vindictive, cruel and self-destructive tyrant.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Monsters: History's Most Evil Men and Women (2009), p. 191
- At time of his death, Shaka governed over 250,000 people and could raise an army of 50,000. He had built a huge kingdom out of almost nothing, but the price paid by ordinary Africans was vast. Millions had died as a consequence of Shaka’s unbridled ambition.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Monsters: History's Most Evil Men and Women (2009), p. 194
- (Tell us about your ideal adaptation of any book.) Someone needs to make a movie about Shaka, the legendary Zulu king who warred across South Africa forging the modern Zulu nation. There’s battle, conquest, siblings turning on each other and murdering each other — it’s better than “Game of Thrones,” and it’s all true.
- One biographer (a European) had this to say of Shaka
Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Charlemagne . . . such men as these have arisen periodically throughout the history of the world to blaze a trail of glory that has raised them high above the common level. Such a man was Shaka, perhaps the greatest of them all.
- The above praise-song appeared on the back cover of the biography in question; and, since capitalist publishers treat books just like boxes of soap powder, one has admittedly to be suspicious of any advertisement designed to sell the book.
- But what is relevant here is to understand why a Shaka was possible in Africa in the nineteenth century, before the coming of colonial rule. Had Shaka been a slave to some cotton planter in Mississippi or some sugar planter in Jamaica, he might have had an ear or a hand chopped off for being a “recalcitrant nigger,” or at best he might have distinguished himself in leading a slave revolt. For the only great men among the unfree and the oppressed are those who struggle to destroy the oppressor. On a slave plantation, Shaka would not have built a Zulu army and a Zulu state—that much is certain. Nor could any African build anything during the colonial period, however much a genius he may have been. As it was, Shaka was a herdsman and a warrior. As a youth, he tended cattle on the open plains—free to develop his own potential and apply it to his environment.
- Shaka was able to invest his talents and creative energies in a worthwhile endeavor of construction. He was not concerned with fighting for or against slave traders; he was not concerned with the problem of how to resell goods made in Sweden and France. He was concerned with how to develop the Zulu area within the limits imposed by his people’s resources. It must be recognized that things such as military techniques were responses to real needs, that the work of the individual originates in and is backed by the action of society as a whole, and that whatever was achieved by any one leader must have been bounded by historical circumstances and the level of development, which determine the extent to which an individual can first discover, then augment, and then display his potential.
- It can be noted that Shaka was challenged to create the heavy stabbing assegai when he realized that the throwing spear broke when used as a stabbing weapon. More important still, what Shaka came up with depended upon the collective effort of the Ama-Zulu. Shaka could ask that a better assegai be forged, because the Ama-Ngoni had been working iron for a long time, and specialist black-smiths had arisen within certain clans. It was a tribute to the organizational and agricultural capacity of the society as a whole that it could feed and maintain a standing army of thirty thousand men, re-equip them with iron weapons, and issue each soldier with the full-length Zulu shield made from cattle hide. Because the scientific basis and experimental preconditions were lacking in Zulu society, Shaka could not have devised a firearm—no matter how much genius he possessed. But, he could get his people to forge better weapons, as explained above; and he found them receptive to better selective breeding practices when he set up special royal herds, because the people already had a vast fund of empirical knowledge about cattle and a love of the cattle-herding profession.
- Shaka took up many of the military and political techniques of Dingizwayo and greatly improved them. That is development. It is a matter of building upon what is inherited and advancing slowly, provided that no one comes to “civilize” you.
- The South African Military History Society - The Zulu Military Organization and the Challenge of 1879
- Shaka: Zulu chieftain
- The History of Shaka
- Statue proposal
- "Shaka Zulu," Carpe Noctem
- "Shaka Zulu's brutality was exaggerated, says new book" by Rory Carroll in The Guardian (22 May 2006).