Mfecane debates

It represents the end of the beginning of a new stage in historical research and writing. How large a responsibility do Shaka and the Zulu people bear for the social turbulence in South-central and South-east Africa in the early decades of the 19th century? These are some of the issues explored in this collection, which is designed as a response to the radical critique of Dr Cobbing and other scholars.

Mfecane debates

Causes[ edit ] Theories vary as to the causes of the catastrophic warfare and migration of many ethnic groups in the area.

Populations had increased greatly in Zululand following the Portuguese introduction of maize in from the Americas in the late 17th century, reaching the inland around The agricultural surpluses and increased population enabled Shaka to raise a standing army of Zulus.

By the end of the 18th century, the Zulus occupied much of their arable land. Declining rainfall and a ten-year drought in the early 19th century set off a competition for land and water resources among the peoples of the area.

Other possible causes were the Zulus' adoption of new tactics and weapons during this period. Instead of using throwing spears, the Zulus used broad-bladed, stabbing spears known as iklwawhich were deadly in close combat.

The Zulus also instituted a form of conscription, in which every man had to serve the king as soldier in special age regiments, known in English as impis. Many of the Nguni peoples adopted the same practice, putting most of their men under arms.

This greatly expanded the scale of regional warfare. It is worth noting that there were three major ethnic groups which occupied the areas now known as NquthuBabanangoEmpangeniMtubatubaHlabisaNongomaPongolaVryheidMelmoth and Mahlabathini — those ethnic groups were the Ngwanethe Ndwandwe and the Mthethwa.

They were respectively led by kings Sobhuza of NgwaneZwideand Dingiswayo and were the most powerful ethnic groups. The language now known as Zulu was spoken by the Ndwandwes. At that time the Zulus were a very weak ethnic group under the leadership of Senzangakhona. They spoke a thsefuya language in which "l" is pronounced as "y", so that 'suka lapha', meaning 'go from here', would be expressed as 'suya yapha'.

These three ethnic groups are to this day found in the same areas. The Zulus were a weak minority occupying a small piece of land in the area now known as Makhosini near Babanango. The Ikhoshlo side of Buthelezi led by Mvulane became instrumental in the defeat of Phungashe by Shaka.

Mvulane's son Ngqengelele became Shaka's induna and chief advisor. Ngqengele's son, Mbangambi led his section of Buthelezis against Hhamu of Ngenetsheni.

Most of the members of the Buthelezi ethnic group had left with Khoboyela and Ngqengelele. When Shaka attacked the Ngwane, Sobhuza's men were outnumbered by the combination of the Mthethwasthe Buthelezis under Ngqengelele and the Zulus.

In summary, the causes of mfecane are; the need for land, population growth in Natal, the Boer trek, Shaka's military and expansionist strategy. In addition, the profitable slave trade through Delagoa Bay modern day Maputo Bay is another cause.

The Mfecane Aftermath

Rise of the Zulu[ edit ] In aboutChief Dingiswayo of the Mthethwa group in the south near the Tugela Riverentered into an alliance with the Tsongaswho controlled the trade routes to Delagoa Bay now Maputo. This alliance encroached on the routes used by the Ndwandwe alliance, who occupied the region in the north, near the Pongola River.

Battles between the allied forces of Chief Dingiswayo and of Chief Zwideand the Ndwandwe probably mark the start of what became the Mfecane. Zwide defeated the Mthethwa and executed Chief Dingiswayo.

Dingiswayo was a mentor to King Shaka.

Mfecane debates

He took him in together with his mother Queen Nandi and gave them refuge. Many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka. The Zulus conquered and assimilated smaller clans in the area. The Zulu practice was to absorb only the women and young men of a clan or village.

They killed the elderly and men of fighting age; the lucky ones escaped.Book Categories: South Africa, Bafokeng, Lobedu, Zulu, Shaka Zulu, Dingane, Mfecane, Mandela, Fiction, DVD, Children's Books, Africa. South Africa.

John Wright: iMfecane? | Dr. Ben Khumalo-Seegelken

A History of South Africa by Leonard Monteath Thompson. Covers the region's history from the earliest known . Others recognise the need to move away from Zulu-centricity, but still want to retain the term mfecane as a generic label for the upheavals of the s and s.

The diversity of opinion, the multiplicity of different positions in the debates, is well illustrated in the various contributions to Hamilton’s The Mfecane Aftermath.

The Mfecane Aftermath: Reconstructive Debates in Southern African History - Google Books

Information about the history of Shaka Zulu Nation, KZN, including information about the rise of the Zulu Nation in South Africa, King Shaka, Dingane, Mpande,Cetshwayo.

The history of the Nguni people in KwaZulu Natal and early Natal, the British settlement in Natal and general history about KwaZulu Natal. The book also demonstrates how the Ndebele cherished their cultural and political independence to the extent of responding violently to equally violent imperialist forces which were intolerant of their sovereignty and cultural autonomy.

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Mfecane debates

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