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c. July 1787
22 September 1828 (age 41)
1816 – 1828
Shaka kaSenzangakhona, Sigidi kaSenzangakhona
Shaka was born in the lunar month of uNtulikazi (July) in the year of 1787 near Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal Province. Shaka was the son of Senzangakona, chieftain of the Zulu, and Nandi, an orphaned princess of the neighbouring Langeni clan. When he was 23, Dingiswayo called up Shaka’s Dletsheni age group for military service.
Senzangakona died in 1816, and Shaka was sent to take over the Zulu. He was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu. His first act was to reorganize the army. His reign coincided with the start of the Mfecane/Difaqane, a period of devastating warfare southern Africa between 1815 and 1840.
Shaka's half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana, together with an induna named Mbopa, murdered him in September 1828.