Life's Hard Knocks
One of the most fascinating leaders of early Africa was Shaka, born in 1786 and died in 1828. Some people have called him a conqueror and despot. His story was that of being brought-up the hard way. His mother Nandi, who was seduced by a chieftain called Senzangakhona, was broiled in scandal about their love affair. When the chief of Elangeni, closely related to the Zulu clan, died, he left one his children, a strong-willed Nandi orphaned, caught the eye of Senzangakhona. They could not get married because Senzangakhona's mother was from the Elangani people, and he already had two wives. Nonetheless, as a chieftain, he had no qualms flirting and flaunting the rule of exogamy respected among the clans. Shaka's father and mother were blood relatives, and their relationship was frowned-upon by both clans. When Nandi became pregnant, the clan was feeling humiliated because they had expected that the chief would show better judgement. When Shaka's mother asked the chief Senzangakhona to send for her, the elders sent back a word that this was not a case of pregnancy but that her child was an 'ishaka' (a convenient intestinal beetle on whom menstrual irregularities were usually blamed) The chief sent fro her and made her his third wife around 1787. The presence of Nandi created a lot of friction around the kraal.