Friday, July 13, 2007

Zulu traditions!

You know that famous quote from Caesar; “You too, Brutus my son?”, as he gets assassinated in Rome! The Romans thought they were smart when they invented the republic. The republic could never save Caesar though. It actually became his certain death! He should have killed the whole senate to stay safe... much like the zulu's!

The Zulu history is very interesting in that respect. They seemed to have found a solution to this problem. As a Zulu chief died, it was usually a big havoc and fighting amongst his legitimate and illegitimate children to take over the throne. The way to do it was of course to kill all your brothers. Nobody else could then inherit the throne, and nobody would dare question you. This worked remarkably well!

Shaka Zulu is considered the great Zulu Warrior King of all times. He was not very consistent with the Zulu traditions though. Out of his own choice it’s said that he never had children, as they could turn against you at any time. He had a point there, looking at what happened to Caesar. Historians claim this was rather a cover up of the fact that he was either gay or impotent (or both). He did kill his brother Sugujana to claim the throne in line with the tradition… just not his half brothers Dingaan and Mhlangana. The two brothers eventually stabbed Shaka Zulu to death, and Dingaan became the new king! Dingaan was very consistent with the Zulu tradition though. He killed not only his half brother, but anyone whose loyalties were in question!

At present, Goodwill Zwelithini is king of the Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal. Apparently he has not wiped out all disloyal underlings in his kingdom in line with the tradition. Recently no less than 11 family members and chiefs have personally attacked Zwelithini (verbally only yet) and applied to be declared kings like Zwelithini. These 11 new candidates are loyal to Mangosuthu Buthelezi which is in opposition to the king. Buthelezi is also the king’s cousin, or “uncle” in Zulu kinship reckoning. How can this be possible in Zululand?! Where are all the assegais and knobkerries?! Can’t they just settle the matter in the old fashioned ways on some open field? Without strong Zulu traditions… what’s left really?!

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