The Moral Force of King Shaka in Anti-Zuma Marches

2017-04-10 19:20

Like it or not the country is now fully at war. The four marches planned against the president has the equivalence of war. And the tactics applied resembles that of Shaka, the mighty King of the Zulus who reshaped and colored southern Africa. A lot of African settlements today from Cape to Zimbabwe, some parts of Kenya and Tanzania were shaped by Shaka, the King of the Zulus.

Let us look at how King Shaka stacked up against a variety of powerful opponents over some time and always won.

King Shaka Zulu created a long standing disciplined and professional war machine. Shaka Zulu's soldiers (the impis) traveled in several small groups.  Each group was given 2 non-combatant support staff. The job of  the support staff was to do the logistics; carry a variety of supplies, including dried meat, fruits, spare weapons, water in water skins, and so on. There was also a trumpet blower who was to blow the trumpet as a form of alert of potential dangers. The trumpet blower will also blow the trumpet to get soldiers in marching lines.

The small groups were characterized by flexibility in tactics and methods, a strong sense of discipline, and a ruthless persistence that sought comprehensive victory in whatever war they engage in.

Shaka Zulu evolved from a small tribal host seeking local hegemony, to gigantic massive operations that would go on to colour, affect and shape southern Africa.

So how were Shaka Zulu's recruits trained? Before the recruited fighter could see and touch the weapons, he was first taught to obey commands and learn marching skills. After learning to obey commands and marching skills, he was then commanded to run and cover an area about 10 km, running in full speed. The purpose of this running was to build strength.

At the end of the training the new recruits were then commanded to swear an oath of loyalty. Each fighter would be asked four times whether he is fully prepared; the new soldier was expected to shout, yes I am fully prepared!

To cut the story short let us look at Shaka Zulus 's approach to war. First and foremost some few days might be spent in a location studying the terrain of the enemy. There were inspirational and motivational talks that builds courage and faith that victory is certain, also prayers were made to the gods before advancing on a full scale war. Shaka Zulu understood the power of faith and prayer in human affairs. In fact it was known that he could not approach the enemy if he did not feel in rapport with the Spirits. He has to first tap into the super natural realm before he could take on the enemy.

Shaka Zulu's field army was divided into four major groups.

The First group was called the Chest (isifuba). The Second group of fighters was on the left, the Third was on the right. Both these left and right groups were called izimpondo (horns). The Fourth group of fighters were called Loins (umuva).

In taking the war to the enemy the following will happen…

The Chest, isifuba (the First group) would engage the enemy head on with the purpose of causing confusion, panic and frustration in the enemy camp. The Chest represent strength that confront the enemy head on and strike terror with brute force.

As the Chest was causing havoc pinning down the enemy, the left and the right fighters izimpondo (horns) will emerge. But before emerging all along thy have been studying the enemies movements, focusing on its strengths and weaknesses as they wrestle out with the Chest (isifuba). This fighting force (left and right) was usually made up of the younger fighters, they moved quickly, fast and furious to get behind the enemy. They war formation took the character of sharp horns attacking by stabbing with sharp pointed spears. The purpose of the izimpondo (horns) is to finish off the war. The speed and the intelligence of izimpondo was staggering. If the area of potential battle was near, movement of the izimpondo was more careful, more cunning and more calculating. It was a battle of the mind.

Most of the time the enemy when attacked by izimpondo will usually drop the weapons and surrender to avoid getting killed. That is what Shaka Zulu needed anyway. Shaka Zulu did not want to kill people, his grand design was extended rule. He wanted to take on all the kingdoms and put them under his rule for the greater good. Is not true that King Shaka was a ruthless murderer. The grand design of King Shaka was not to kill but create lasting peace in Africa. He realized that as long as Africa was disjointed into smaller formations there is unnecessary squabbles and fighting among the chiefs. What King Shaka wanted was to unify and create alliances. All the death that happened along the way was collateral damage to the grand design, lasting peace. I totally and completely reject all the attempts to portray King Shaka as a cold heartless ruthless African murderer. The vision was one African people. If you are in doubt just note that today one of the most recognized African ethnic group in the world is the Zulu. It was that way because of the fame and moral vision of King Shaka Zulu and his grand design.

The last and fourth group, the Loins (umuva), were usually older impis. They  were really the reserve. To use the football term the Loins were on the bench, watching the game and if there is a need they get into the battle as substitution. But generally the Loins remained idle, out of sight of the battle or even facing away from the action so they did not get tempted to join the fighting.

How does all this apply to the Anti-Zuma marches?

We have seen the First march that took place this past Friday where South Africans from all backgrounds first made a foray head on with a massive show of strength and force. The purpose of the Friday march was like King Shaka Zulu’s Chest (isifuba). It was to confront the enemy, shake the ground, cause terror and confusion.

The next two marches, one this Wednesday in Pretoria (The National Day of Action) and the third march taking place on the 8th of April in Cape Town during the Parliament's motion of no confidence vote have EFF heavily involved. These Second and Third marches represent Shaka Zulu’s left and right fighting force (izimpondo), highly agile young smart fighting force with sharp pointed short stabbing spears. The izimpondo young fighters moved with speed direct to the enemy, not to cause confusion, but to conduct a siege with the purpose of causing the enemy to totally surrender and fully submit. After the surrender the enemy will be allowed to live in peace forming and alliance with King Shaka.

Definitely this Wednesday march in Pretoria will be furious, and so is the Parliament march in Cape Town during the motion of no confidence vote. Both the two marches are King Shaka Zulu’s izimpondo. But the big question is after the siege: will the enemy surrender this time? Shaka's enemies when under siege of izimpondo (to avoid getting killed) mostly dropped their weapons and surrendered. But this time it does not show that the enemy will surrender.

The Fourth march that is planned for Freedom Day, 27 April resembles the last part of King Shaka Zulus' war group. This is the Loins (umuva).  It is just held in reserve really, and will not amount to much. If the enemy refused to surrender (and all signs show he will refuse to surrender) during the Second and Third march (under siege from izimpondo), he will not surrender this time during the Freedom Day march.

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