Shaka Zulu TV series is television program which was developed in 1986 for the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation. The series is a creation based on the ancient story of Shaka Zulu; a South African warrior king of the Zulu people who was famous for his ability to unite the Zulu against the colonial reign of the British administration. The series development was also facilitated by the availability of the writings of the British traders who were believed to have had a direct contact with the leader and is made up of ten episodes based on a corresponding novel of the same storyline.
In this article, we will share the seven greatest moments of the Shaka Zulu TV Series which led to the attraction of audience from all over the global divide.
1. The Nationalism of the Zulus
This is depicted in the scene where Shaka wears the royal garments and addresses gathered masses who were his subjects. These masses are viewed to equal the military uprisings that occurred as a result of the British invasion. This episode outlines clearly how the Afrikaners fought for their self-governance after they were formerly defeated by the Colonial Masters by the use of dialogue and guerilla where arbitration failed to take precedence.
2. The Ceremonies and Rituals
Shaka Zulu TV series illustrates the traditional ceremonies like marriages and funerals which incorporates to some extent the white traditions where a complete interaction of two distinct traditions of different origins blend. The scenes do not fully portray the white rituals such as public hangings, marriages, entertainment and funerals despite being produced by British characters. These activities lead to the establishment of a legitimate Zulu national identity which occurred during the apartheid period giving the Zulu people an identity as an ethnic group
3. The Religious Beliefs
The episodes bring out a contest between the traditional religion and the Christianity and their corresponding social systems. Traditional religious activities are characterized by the presence of witch doctors and indigenous healers and spiritual dark forces. Christianity, on the other hand, tries to discredit the traditional religion as a system of dark forces full of barbaric acts which became a major source of conflict between the two divides. Most of the British activities are shown to be rational with the exception of King George utterances which referred to Blacks as jungle rabbits which could be understood as a seeming act of racism.
4. The Origin of Shaka
The Shaka Zulu TV series is magical in all parameters as it brings out fascinating information about the main character with a good history of his birth end early childhood. As portrayed, Shaka was born by a woman known as princess Nandi and was illegitimately fathered by a King called Senzangakhona who cast the boy and his mother away from his kingdom. He spent his entire early life pursuing revenge on anybody who came against him as a result of his ill-fated childhood and hence developed himself as a warrior.
Upon arrival, the British tried to weaken the legend as he appeared to them as a threat to their conquest. Upon his maturity, he is seen as a military leader who took the initiative of training young men on tactics and strategies of warfare. This enabled him to conquer all the small groups and unite them into one kingdom. His reign as a king is short-lived only for 12 years from 1816 to 1828 when he was assassinated by his brothers. However, his death seemed to establish a strong united Zulu people.
6. The Apartheid Regime
Shaka Zulu TV series was released at a time when the country was divided into geographical areas as homelands for the whites and blacks respectively. The series was aired in English for the White channel and in the Zulu language for the urban dwelling blacks. The series, however, did try to sideline some of the racist activities of the apartheid since it was produced during the apartheid reign and there was also the need to protect the image of the British administration at that time.
7. The Anglo- Zulu Wars
Shaka Zulu TV series brings out the ruthless warfare that involved the Zulu people on their first contact with the British. The war brings out two distinct ideologies of the two groups with the Zulu people known to rely on traditional magic to win the wars while science was heavily relied on by the British fighters.
The TV Series has been able to break down complex long historical events into fifty minutes episodes. It blends a controversial situation of the indigenous and exotic ideologies into well-developed episodes.