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Shaka (1787 - 1828) was a military genius who led the Zulus in what would roughly approximate to modern day South Africa. Born of low birth, he changed that through his military innovations. He banded together the Zulu tribes through conquest and was considered to be a harsh man, but one who overhauled the spear and shields of those fighting for him and also added in tactics and formations for fighting, changes that until that time had been unknown in that part of the world.

His cruelty reached new heights when his mother died, and he was eventually assassinated by those closest to him. Nevertheless, his military changes and banding together of the Zulu tribes would continue for 50 years after his death.


The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989

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