SHAKA RE DEGLI ZULU

BIOGRAFIE

Shaka Zulu

La vita di Shaka re dei Zulu è giunta a noi con racconti e leggende spesso discordanti tra loro.

Nato indicativamente nel 1787, nei pressi di Melmoth (provincia del KwaZulu-Natal), si presume fosse il figlio di un capo del popolo Ngoni Senzangakona e di Nandi, figlia di un capo dei Langeni.
A sei anni fu cacciato dal padre a causa della morte di una pecora del gregge che stava accudendo. Anche Nandi, che ne prese le difese, fu scacciata con lui e gli anni seguenti furono un susseguirsi di vagabondaggi fra i kraal (poderi) di altri proprietari terrieri.

Shaka serberà il ricordo di questi anni che lo segneranno e lo porteranno in seguito a vendicarsi ferocemente.

Il lungo vagabondare terminò intorno al 1803, quando madre e figlio trovarono ospitalità presso una zia appartenente al clan emDletsheni del re Jobe, alleato del potente Mthethwa.

Danza Zulu
Danza Zulu

Shaka, valoroso guerriero già a sedici anni, a ventitre passò dall’iNtanga (gruppo di coetanei) all’iziCwe (reggimento).

Si distinse per il coraggio e l’abilità nel combattimento, arrivando ad essere nominato generale. Il suo nome era già una leggenda e suoi plotoni “Beinahmen” erano soprannominati “vincitori dei mille”. Alla morte del padre, nel 1816, Shaka aiutato da Dingiswayo (capo degli Mthethwa), eliminò il fratello ed istituì un regime simile a quello di Dingiswayo.

Shaka modificò il tipo di combattimento degli Zulu.

Si fece costruire una lancia corta con una lunga punta (iklwa) e un pesante scudo di cuoio. Con la parte sinistra agganciava il nemico per poi pugnalarlo con la destra alle costole
L’addestramento degli uomini di Shaka era molto duro, Combattimenti a piedi nudi e cinquanta miglia di corsa su terreni caldi e rocciosi in meno di ventiquattr’ore. La disciplina ferrea e il combattimento corpo a corpo sono stati, da molti studiosi, paragonati a quelli usati dall’esercito spartano.

Anche le tattiche di battaglia cambiarono.

Divise gli impi in quattro gruppi che durante la battaglia si disponevano a forma di testa di toro. Il primo reparto formava il “torace”, a contatto con il nemico, il secondo e il terzo formavano “le corna” che avrebbero circondato il nemico, impedendogli così la ritirata. Il quarto gruppo era formato da riserve. Shaka osserva lo schieramento dall’alto, impartendo ordini tramite veloci messaggeri.



Il re vittorioso, offriva ai superstiti la possibilità di unirsi al suo esercito, i nuovi arruolati venivano in seguito considerati zulu a tutti gli effetti. Fu proprio grazie a Shaka che cambiò il modo di guerreggiare in Africa e quasi due secoli dopo la sua morte (22 settembre 1828) , gli zulu usano ancora le sue tattiche per sconfiggere i nemici.

Versione inglese

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