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The brutal and powerful leader of the Zulu Kingdom, Shaka Zulu was born Shaka kaSenzangakhona (1787-1828), the son of the chieftain Senzangakhona. Shaka most likely was either disowned or exiled at some point and he became a follower of another local chieftain, Dingiswayo of the Mthethwa, who were allied to the Zulu. Shaka became a respected warrior under Dingiswayo. When Senzangakona died, Dingiswayo helped Shaka assume leadership of the Mthethwa, and Shaka allied himself with other local tribes. After Dingiswayo was murdered, Shaka took control of the Mthethwa and moved his base southward, outside the traditional Zulu heartland. Shaka eventually incorporated other tribal groups into his own, including the Qwabe, Hlubi and Mkhize. Shaka won a major victory at the Battle of Gqokl Hill and, after another major victory, forced the surviving members of the defeated tribes into joining him.
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