The most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom. He is widely credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni people, into the Zulu Kingdom, the beginnings of a nation that held sway over the large portion of southern Africa . His statesmanship and vigour marked him as one of the greatest Zulu chieftains. He has been called a military genius for his reforms and innovations, and condemned for the brutality of his reign.
At 6 feet, 3 inches, with a body that seemed to be all muscle, sinew and bone. Throughout his life Shaka demonstrated intelligence, drive and a unconquerable spirit. Once as a young man he even stood his ground and single-handedly killed a leopard attacking the his herd, earning praise and a cow from the king. With his sheer strength of character and visionary ideas, Shaka molded a tiny band of loyal fighters into a conquering army that built the first Zulu nation. During his time on the throne he repeatedly strove to instil a sense of special Zulu pride in his people. Not only did he introduce new tactics that proved devastating on the battlefield, but he also pursued total warfare on a scale just short of genocide, depopulating vast regions in the process. At his the time of his death, Shaka ruled over 250,000 people and could muster more than 50,000 warriors, whose iron discipline equalled that of the Roman legions in their prime. His 10-year-long kingship had resulted in more than 2 million deaths by warfare alone, not counting the deaths during mass tribal migrations to escape his armies. His military exploits, established Shaka, king of the Zulus, among the great military commanders of all time.
His talents fundamentally lead him to become Zulu king. Transforming a tribe that once numbered 1,500 to 250,000. His legacy produced a formidable army that defeated the technologically advanced English on numerous occasions.
Read up on him and be inspired.
Historynet (2006) Shaka: Zulu Chieftain (Historynet Military History) [Online] available from: http://www.historynet.com/shaka-zulu-chieftain.htm