Author; Noel Mostert
Reviewed by; Kin Bentley, December 2016
For far too long the Zulus have been held up as the great warrior nation among South Africa’s indigenous tribes.
This is largely due to the scale of Shaka’s vision in uniting disparate tribes under his despotic rule exactly 200 years ago and his subsequent use of his military power to crush all those whose path he crossed during the mfecane.
The Zulus’ reputation as the great warrior race is also largely a product of the great battles they fought against the British in the second half of the 19th century in which numerous Victoria Crosses were awarded (23 in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War alone).
But as this book makes abundantly clear, those relatively brief battles between Zulu and Brit pale in comparison with the 100 years of struggle, including nine designated wars, between the British forces (supported by conscripted Boer and British colonists, Khoikhoi and Mfengu) and the Xhosa tribes on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony.