zulu kingdom

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March 29th 1879: Battle of Kambula

On this day in 1879, the Battle of Kambula occurred, marking a decisive moment in the Anglo-Zulu War. The war in South Africa began in 1878 after the murder of several British citizens by Zulus and the Zulu king’s refusal to hand over the perpetrators for trial. However, authorities in Britain had long been seeking pretense to launch an assault on the Zulu Kingdom to consolidate British rule in the area. The indigenous Zulu warriors had some initial success against the European invaders, including at the battle of Isandlwana in January 1879, though this victory was offset by defeat at Rourke’s Drift. Wary of the enemy, British forces in the Zulu Kingdom led by Evelyn Wood fortified an area near Kambula. On March 29th the Zulu army launched an attack on the British position, but their advance was halted by a British mounted force. The Zulu forces continued their attack, and 11,000 fighters charged head-on into a hail of British fire. They sustained heavy losses, but the Zulu army successfully exerted pressure on the British stronghold and forced the defenders to retreat. Despite putting up a considerable attack, the Zulu forces were eventually forced to retreat under British fire. The battle was a decisive British victory, with the defenders losing 29 soldiers and the Zulu up to 3,000. Kambula also severely weakened the Zulu forces, allowing the British to ultimately defeat the Zulu and imprison their king in July. British victory spelled the end of the independence of the Zulu nation in South Africa.

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Lost Kingdom of Africa

Four-part series in which British art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores the pre-colonial history of some of Africa’s most important kingdoms. The African continent is home to nearly a billion people. It has an incredible diversity of communities and cultures, yet we know less of its history than almost anywhere else on earth.

But that is beginning to change. In the last few decades, researchers and archaeologists have begun to uncover a range of histories as impressive and extraordinary as anywhere else in the world.

The series reveals that Africa’s stories are preserved for us in its treasures, statues and ancient buildings - in the culture, art and legends of the people.

The first episode looks at Nubia, in what is now northern Sudan, a kingdom that dominated a vast area of the eastern Sahara for thousands of years. Its people were described as barbarians and mercenaries, and yet Nubia has left us with some of the most spectacular monuments in the world.

Casely-Hayford traces the origins of this fascinating kingdom back to 10,000 BC. He explores how it developed and what happened to it and its people, discovering that its kings once ruled Ancient Egypt and that it was defeated not by its rivals but by its environment.

Season 2

So I was going through this post made by @f-f-f-fight and I got an idea for a drabble. I penned it down and that was that. Hopefully I succeeded somewhat in telling it in as compelling a manner as it came to me because I’m still a bit unsure if I did.

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The door handle turned easily underneath his hand. Alec removed the key back out and pocketed it, his fingers closing around the metal. A brief smile flashed across his face as memories assailed him. Him leaning against the fire escape, mind foggy with sleep, and Magnus’s fingers brushing against his face, waking him up gently. He could still picture that furrowed brow as Magnus asked why he hadn’t let himself in. He could still hear Magnus’ chuckle when he’d replied that it didn’t feel right to just let himself in. The chuckles had dissolved into a smile and Magnus had pulled a key out of the air, leaned forward, the rasp of his goatee brushing against the side of Alec’s mouth as Magnus had whispered, “Next time, just let yourself in.”

He ran his thumb over the bow of the key, now, his fingers as familiar with the key as he was with the string of his bow. The act grounded him and brought him back to the present as he realized that he couldn’t hear music playing, or the low tones of Magnus talking with the downworlders he’s always welcomed into his loft. The loft was quiet. Like it was taking a deep breath and hadn’t quite let it out yet.

He moved through the loft, eyes roving, seeking for any sign that Magnus was home, the rugged carpeting muffling his steps.

Just as he accepted that Magnus was probably not home, he noticed it. Warm light spilling out from barely closed door of the study.

Of course. He should have checked there first.

He pushed open the door, trying to be as quiet as possible.

Magnus was stretched out on the chaise longue, his maroon red jacket folded neatly over the chair’s head, the top buttons of his shirt unbuttoned with his sleeves rolled up. The warm lighting of the study played across his face, turning it ethereal in a way that made Alec’s breath catch. He held a glass of wine in one hand, index finger running lazy circles over the rim whilst another black painted finger slowly flipped the page of the book he was reading.

Alec leaned against the wall, ankles crossed over each other and let his eyes rake over Magnus.

“Are you going to just stand there Alexander?” The words came out teasingly and Magnus looked up, eyes light with humour as his lips curved in a smile.

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January 22nd 1879: Battle of Isandlwana and defence of Rorke’s Drift

On this day in 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War, British forces were defeated by Zulu warriors at the Battle of Isandlwana. On the same day, a small contingent of British soldiers successfully repelled a Zulu attack at Rorke’s Drift. The war in South Africa began in 1878 after the murder of several British citizens by Zulus, and Zulu king Cetshwayo’s refused to accept an ultimatum which required the Zulu to disband their army. However, British authorities had been seeking pretense to launch an assault on the Zulu Kingdom to subordinate the indepednent nations into a Confederation of South Africa. The indigenous Zulu warriors had some initial success against the European invaders, whose self-confidence made them unable to understand the Zulus’ fighting prowess. One of the major Zulu victories was at the battle of Isandlwana on January 22nd 1879, where, despite British technological superority, they captured the British camp and killed over 1,300 soldiers. The defeat was a humiliation for the British forces, who considered themselves far superior to the Zulu ‘savages’, as they called them. As authorities sought to cover up the scale of the defeat, they seized on the defense of Rorke’s Drift. The small garrison had come under attack on the same day as the battle, and was successfully defended against thousands of Zulu by 140 British soldiers over the course of 12 hours. They extolled Rorke’s Drift as a heroic display and a lesson in British fortitude, exaggerating its importance to diminish the impact of Isandlwana; 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders. Their attempt was successful, and the defence was celebrated by the public, becoming one of the most famous stories in British military history. The Anglo-Zulu War ended in July 1879 when the British captured the Zulu king and burned their capital. British victory spelled the end of an independent Zulu nation in South Africa, and resulted in the division of Zululand.

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July 4th 1879: End of Anglo-Zulu War

On this day in 1879, the Zulu capital of Ulundi was captured by the British, thus ending the Anglo-Zulu War. The war in South Africa began in 1878 after the murder of several British citizens by Zulus and Zulu king Cetshwayo’s refusal to accept an ultimatum which required the Zulu to surrender parts of their sovereignty. However, authorities in Britain had long been seeking pretense to launch an assault on the Zulu Kingdom to consolidate British rule in the area. The indigenous Zulu warriors had some initial success against the European invaders, including at the battle of Isandlwana in January 1879, though this victory was offset by defeat at Rourke’s Drift. The Zulu forces were decisively defeated in March 1879 at the Battle of Kambula, which paved the way for British victory in the war. On July 4th 1879, British forces attacked the royal villages of King Cetshwayo at Ulundi, where they defeated the last of the Zulu soldiers and burned the capital; this defeat essentially marked the end of the Anlgo-Zulu war. Over 1,000 Zulu died in the fighting, and Cetshwayo fled, eventually being captured in the Ngome forest in August and exiled. British victory spelled the end of independence of the Zulu nation in South Africa, and resulted in the division of Zululand.

The #Zulu Kingdom


The Zulu Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire (or rather imprecisely as Zululand) was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north.

The small kingdom grew to dominate much of what is today KwaZulu-Natal in Southern Africa, but when it came into conflict with the British Empire in the 1870s during the Anglo-Zulu War, it was defeated despite an early Zulu victory in the war. The area was subsequently absorbed into the Colony of Natal and later became part of the Union of South Africa.

The area is currently part of the Republic of South Africa as KwaZulu-Natal, one of the country’s nine provinces, and a large portion of the territory is made up of wildlife reserves and a major contributing source of income is derived from tourism – the area is known for its beautiful savanna covered hills and stunning views. It is home to a WWF Black Rhinoceros reintroduction project known as “The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project” within the Zululand Rhino Reserve (ZRR). The ZRR is a 20,000 hectare reserve consisting of 15 individually owned farms that have lowered their fences in order to further conservation.

Shaka Zulu was the illegitimate son of Senzangakona, king of the Zulus at the time. He was born circa 1787. He and his mother, Nandi, were exiled by Senzangakona, and found refuge with the Mthethwa. Shaka fought as a warrior under Dingiswayo, leader of the Mthethwa Paramountcy. When Senzangakona died, Dingiswayo helped Shaka claim his place as chief of the Zulu Kingdom. After Dingiswayo’s death at the hands of Zwide, king of the Ndwandwe, around 1818, Shaka assumed leadership of the entire Mthethwa alliance.

Shaka initiated many military, social, cultural and political reforms, forming a well-organized and centralised Zulu state. The most important reforms involved the transformation of the army, thanks to innovative tactics and weapons he conceived; and a showdown with the spiritual leadership, doctors, effectively ensuring the subservience of the “Zulu church” to the state.

Another important reform integrated defeated clans into the Zulu, on a basis of full equality, with promotions in the army and civil service becoming a matter of merit rather than due to circumstances of birth.

The alliance under his leadership survived Zwide’s first assault at the Battle of Gqokli Hill (1818). Within two years, Shaka had defeated Zwide at the Battle of Mhlatuze River (1820) and broken up the Ndwandwe alliance, some of whom in turn began a murderous campaign against other Nguni tribes and clans, setting in motion what became known as Defecane or Mfecane, a mass-migration of tribes fleeing the remnants of the Ndwandwe fleeing the Zulu. By 1825, Shaka had conquered a huge empire covering an area of around 11,500 square miles (30,000 km2) from the sea in the east to the Ginsberg mountains in the west, and from the Pongola River in the north to the Banshee River in the south, not far from the modern-day city of East London.

An offshoot of the Zulu, the amaNdebele, better known to history as the Matabele created an even larger empire under their king Mzilikazi, including large parts of the highveld and modern-day Zimbabwe.

The legacy of the Zulus is one of pride in a highly organized people who were able, at least initially, to resist the Scramble for Africa. As the European powers divided Africa up among themselves, they took possession of whatever territory they wanted, either without consulting Africans who occupied the land or by imposing treaties of protection backed by superior military force. Those who refused to sign these treaties, such as the Sultan of Sokoto and the Obo of Benin were quickly conquered. Only Ethiopia successfully resisted colonial occupation in the nineteenth century, although it was briefly ruled by Fascist Italy in the twentieth century. Zulus are the largest ethnic group in South Africa where, despite the oppression of the Apartheid years, they sustain pride in their heritage, history and culture.
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Today in Black History- February 8th, 2014

  • On this day in 1990, Andy Rooney suspended for racist comments. Andy Rooney, a CBS “60 Minutes” commentator, received a 90-day suspension from work because of racist remarks about African Americans attributed to him by Chris Bull, a New York-based reporter for “The Advocate,” a bi-weekly national gay & lesbian newsmagazine published in Los Angeles. Bull quoted Rooney as having said during an interview: “I’ve believed all along that most people are born with equal intelligence, but Blacks have watered down their genes because the less intelligent ones are the ones that have the children. They drop out of school early, do drugs, and get pregnant.”

  • On this day in 1996, Figure skater Debi Thomas wins the Women’s Singles. Debra Janine “Debi” Thomas ( is an American figure skater and physician. She is the 1986 World champion, two-time U.S. national champion and 1988 Olympic bronze medalist, having taken part in the Battle of the Carmens at those games.Thomas became the first African American to win the Women’s Singles of the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship competition, was a pre-med student at Stanford University.

  • On this day in 1986, Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show.Oprah Gail Winfrey  is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her multi-award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. She has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history,and is currently North America’s only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard.

  • On this day in 1985, Brenda Renee Pearson an official court reporter for the House of Representatives was the first black female to record the State of the Union message delivered by the president in the House chambers.

  • On this day in 1978, Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for heavyweight boxing championship. Ali regained the title on September 15 and became the person to win the title three times. Spinks is an American former boxer, who had an overall record of 26 wins, 17 losses and three draws as a professional, with 14 of those wins by knockout. In only his eighth professional bout, Spinks won the undisputed world heavyweight championship when he beat Muhammad Ali on February 15, 1978, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. However, he was stripped of the WBC title for fighting Ali in an unapproved rematch seven months later, which he lost by a 15-round unanimous decision. Besides being heavyweight champion and his characteristic gap-toothed grin (due to losing two and later all four of his front teeth), Spinks gained notoriety for the disaster which befell his career following the loss to Ali.

  • On this day in 1974, Lieutenant-Colonel Aboubakar Sangoulé Lamizana, president of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), ousted the prime minister, dissolved the parliament and suspended the 1970 constitution. Major General Aboubakar Sangoulé Lamizana was the second president of Upper Volta (since 1984 renamed Burkina Faso), in power from January 3, 1966 to November 25, 1980. He held the additional position of Prime Minister from February 8, 1974 to July 7, 1978.
  • On this day in 1968, Gary Coleman was born in Zion, Illinois. Gary Wayne Coleman was an American actor, known for his childhood role as Arnold Jackson in the American sitcom Diff’rent Strokes (1978–1986) and for his small stature as an adult. He was described in the 1980s as “one of television’s most promising stars”. After a successful childhood acting career, Coleman struggled financially later in life. In 1989, he successfully sued his parents and business advisor over misappropriation of his assets, only to declare bankruptcy a decade later. in 2003, he was a candidate for the California recall election and later on placed 8th out of 135 candidates, receiving 14,242 votes. 

  • On this day in 1968, Officers killed three students during demonstration on the campus of South Carolina State in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Students were protesting segregation at an Orangeburg bowling alley. The Orangeburg massacre is the most common name given to an incident in which nine South Carolina Highway Patrol officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina, fired into a crowd of protesters demonstrating against segregation at a bowling alley near the campus of South Carolina State College, a historically black college. Three men were killed and twenty-eight persons were injured; most victims were shot in the back. One of the injured was a pregnant woman. She had a miscarriage a week later due to her beating by the police. It was the first unrest on a university campus resulting in deaths of protesters in the U.S.The event pre-dated the 1970 Kent State shootings and Jackson State killings, in which the National Guard at Kent State, and police and state highway patrol at Jackson State killed student protesters demonstrating against the United States invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

  • On this day in 1964, Malcolm X founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz] (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎), was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. The Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) was a Pan-Africanist organization founded by Malcolm X in 1964. The OAAU was modeled on the Organisation of African Unity, which had impressed Malcolm X during his visit to Africa in April and May 1964. The purpose of the OAAU was to fight for the human rights of African Americans and promote cooperation among Africans and people of African descent in the Americas.

  • On this date in 1944, Harry S. McAlpin was the first African American journalist admitted to a white house press conference.McAlpin covered Presidents Roosevelt and Truman for fifty-one black newspapers. He was also a Navy war correspondent and spokesman for the Department of Agriculture. Later McAlpin practiced law in Louisville, Kentucky, and was president of the local chapter of the NAACP. He died in 1985.

  • On this day in 1925, Marcus Garvey was taken to Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and incarcerated for his conviction of mail fraud. Students staged a strike at Fisk University to protest the policies of the white administration. He was later on deported back to Jamaica from New Orleans after Coolidge commuted his sentence.Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He founded the Black Star Line, part of the Back-to-Africa movement, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.Prior to the twentieth century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs. Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement (which proclaims Garvey as a prophet).Garveyism intended persons of African ancestry in the diaspora to “redeem” the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the continent. His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in the Negro World entitled “African Fundamentalism”, where he wrote: “Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country”

  • On this day in 1894, Congress repeals the Enforcement Act which makes it easier for some states to disenfranchise African American voters.The Enforcement Acts were three bills passed by the United States Congress between 1870 and 1871. They were criminal codes which protected blacks’ right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. The laws also allowed the federal government to intervene when states did not act. These acts were passed following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave full citizenship to anyone born in the United States or freed slaves, and the Fifteenth Amendment, which banned racial discrimination in voting. At the time, the lives of all newly freed slaves, and their political and economic rights were being threatened. This threat led to the creation of the Enforcement Acts.

  • On this day in 1884, Cetshwayo, king of the Zulus, died. Cetshwayo kaMpande was the King of the Zulu Kingdom from 1872 to 1879 and their leader during the Anglo-Zulu War (1879). His name has been transliterated as Cetawayo, Cetewayo, Cetywajo and Ketchwayo. He famously led the Zulu nation to victory against the British in the Battle of Isandlwana.

  • On this day in 1734, Intendant Gilles Hocquart issued an ordinance to curb slave escapes, directing the militia to recover a runaway and imposing fines on those who aided him in New France (now called Quebec). Hocquart was born in 1694, in Sainte-Croix, Mortagne-au-Perche to Jean-Hyacinthe Hocquart. From September, 1729 to August, 1748, Hocquart served as Intendant of New France, this being the longest lasting intendancy contract in the colony’s history. Hocquart put his faith in the Canadian bourgeoisie as the main player in the development of a profitable economy for the colony. Although his ideas were grand, he did not recognize the flaws that were already impeding the economy at a smaller scale. After a few rentable years, New France’s fragile economy began to crumble, and by the end of his contract, Hocquart was held responsible for too many extraodinary expenses. He was called home and replaced by Francois Bigot. Nonetheless, the years between 1737 and 1741 were among the most prosperous in the history of New France.