KwaZulu-Natal - King Shaka kaSenzangakhona remains one of history’s greatest military strategists, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said at a Shaka Day commemoration held in honour of the Zulu king on Sunday.
“The regiments he created were able to systematically conquer opponents. But rather than destroy those whom he had defeated, King Shaka employed the strategy of integrating them into one social structure, drawing together a fragmented people to forge a unified and powerful nation,” he said at the gathering at the Stanger High sports grounds.
Buthelezi said King Shaka designed a society in which every individual has value and everyone has a contribution to make.
“The Zulu social structure was designed to crate stability, unity and security for every member. Thus our traditions and values reflect that design.
“It can be seen when we honour our young maidens through the Reed Dance, in the way we care for our elders in our courtship ceremonies and even in the beadwork of our crafts.”
His own identity, said Buthelezi, was forged in the history of the Zulu nation.
“I understand that I am part of something much bigger, and that I am one link in a chain of individuals who are united outside of time," he said.
“I feel connected to my great-great-grandfather Nqengelelo Buthelezi who served in the Royal Court of King Senzangakhona. He tutored the royal children, among whom was the young Prince Shaka. There are of course many roles he played even when it came to warfare strategies.”
Shaka Day was somewhat marred by the loss of two princes, Prince Mthokozisi and Prince Sipho, who were killed in a car accident on their way to KwaDukuza to honour the founder of the Zulu nation.
Prince Mthokozisi often directed the programmes at functions and Prince Sipho – from the Ntembeni royal family - had “always honoured our King”, Buthelezi said.