Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Shaka The Great: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest African King

Shaka The Great
The rise and fall of the greatest African king.
 - By EKENYERENGOZI Michael Chima

lowo lapho ehlezi wenza ukuba kudume umhlaba!

(Nodumehleli means the one who when seated causes the earth to rumble.)

This is a historical fiction film project based on the melodramatic life of King Sigidi kaSenzangakhona, popularly known as Shaka Zulu, Monarch of the Zulu Kingdom. The name Shaka was a nickname given to him from his father, Senzangakhona's claim that  Shaka's beloved mother, Nandi was not pregnant but was suffering from an intestinal condition caused by the iShaka beetle. Because he wanted to cover up the truth that she was pregnant for him. 
Senzangakhona was a crown prince and Nandi was an orphaned princess and they were forbidden to marry. So,  Shaka was born as an  illegitimate child from an illicit affair. . 

The best depiction of Shaka in motion picture is the TV series, "Shaka Zulu" of 1986 directed by William C. (Bill) Faure (17 July 1949 – 18 October 1994) and with the unforgettable role of Shaka played by Henry Cele, (20 June 1941 – 2 December 2007).
A new film on the legendary phenomenon of Shaka Zulu is long overdue.
I have read the most authentic documents on his life history and I believe there should be a more comprehensive analytical feature film on his military genius and prowess as a coldblooded conquering warrior. But who idolised his beloved mother, the only woman he ever loved and whose death made him insane and quickened his untimely death by assassination in the hands of his stepbrothers. Shaka himself ascended the throne by killing his elder stepbrother, the rightful successor of their father, King Senzangakhona kaJama (c. 1762 – 1816).

The great Baba Ohlakaniphileyo watched as the golden eagle, Ukhozi olusegolide soared from the Tugela Falls to the  uKhahlamba Dragon's Mountains in iKwaZulu-Natali .
"UNkulunkulu uSomandla mkhulu kakhulu!" He exclaimed and clicked his tongue as he shook his Iwisa, long Knobkerrie in his right hand. 

Then he heard footsteps behind him.
He could tell the footsteps of the brave Prince Shaka kaSenzangakhona with his eyes closed. 
The bravest son of King Senzangakhona kaJama  always came unannounced to learn at his feet. 
Prince Shaka bowed his head as he greeted the tall old man.
"I greet you Baba Ohlakaniphileyo."
"Ngiyakwemukela! Welcome brave son of King Senzangakhona, he who acts with a good reason."
Shaka's inquiring black eyes were the same eyes of his grandfather, King Jama kaNdaba. 

They sat down on two small boulders and he put his Iwisa on the ground while Shaka still held on to his Isijula spear. They quietly viewed the Tugela.

"How's your father now?"
"We pray for his recovery," replied Shaka.

The old man sighed and looked at the sky.
"The sun is going down," he said.

Shaka looked and nodded.

"And you will be the new King."
Shaka swallowed saliva silently.
"Are you ready?"

Shaka gazed at him without blinking.
"Teach me the art of war. As you taught my grandfather and great grandfather to become great warriors."
He looked at Shaka and stood up. He faced the Tugela and said:.
"Only the Almighty makes great warriors as He made the great Ukhozi olusegolide to soar higher than other eagles."
"Baba Ohlakaniphileyo, teach me the art of war."
"My son, I will not teach you the art of war. I will teach you the art of victory."

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