‘He did not take their land’ - Ayanda Borotho defends Shaka Zulu’s legacy

25 September 2020 - 13:00
Actress Ayanda Borotho has shared her thoughts on Zulu King Shaka Zulu.
Actress Ayanda Borotho has shared her thoughts on Zulu King Shaka Zulu.
Image: Instagram/Ayanda Borotho

Isibaya actress and author Ayanda Borotho has weighed in on the debate surrounding the legacy of Zulu King Shaka Zulu, saying  he was far from the “blood thirsty monster” history has often portrayed him to be.

As the nation celebrated Heritage Day on Thursday, Ayanda took to Instagram to reflect on how the day was also still referred to by some as Shaka Day, in honour of the great king. It had previously been a holiday in KwaZulu-Natal but was changed in the 1990s to Heritage Day to reflect all of the nation's diverse cultures and heritage.

Ayanda said history had misrepresented Shaka and painted him as a “blood thirsty monster” 

“He was actually far from it. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Shaka created by the west. The conquering of smaller tribes to form a Zulu Kingdom was not driven by  pursuit of his own power but was rather to stop the wars between smaller tribes and unify them as a nation under one power. Precisely because he understood we were stronger together.”

She also rubbished the idea that Shaka stole the land of those he defeated, and said he allowed those he conquered to practice their own traditions.

He did not take away their land. People were allowed to practice their own traditions. He did not strip them of their identity and heritage. He was no saint, but he was a pioneer, an innovator, a courageous leader who led from the front.”

She said we have a duty to teach our children our true history of unity and ubuntu.

“Kings and queens understood the mandate and responsibility that came with leadership, that it was to serve and to unite Africans, because if you really understand the migration of our people, you will know we are either all foreigners or there are no African foreigners in Africa. You pick.”

She ended her post by taking shots at leaders who allowed the day to be reduced to braaiing and forgetting where you come from.

Read her full post below:

View this post on Instagram

UBUNTU....Humanity. The beginning, centre and end of our Heritage. Who was is that said " I see humans but no humanity." Celebrating all tribes of Azania in their diversity today. Named Shaka Day in honour of one of our greatest Kings to have lived. Though history will have us believe he was a blood thirtsy monster, he was actually far from it. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Shaka created by the west. The conquering of smaller tribes to form a Zulu Kingdom was not driven by a pursuit of his own power but rather it was to stop the wars between smaller tribes and unify them as a NATION under one POWER, precisely because he understood we were stronger together. He also did not take away their land. People were allowed to practice their own traditions. He did not strip them of their identity and heritage. He was no saint, but he was a pioneer, an innovator, a courageous leader who led from the front. We have a duty to teach our children our true history, whether about King Moshoeshoe or Queen Modjaji...our true heritage has always been UBUNTU. Our kings and queens understood the manadate and responsibility that came with leadership....that it was to serve and to unite AFRICANS because if you really understand the migration of our people, you will will know that we are either ALL foreigners or there are NO African foreigners in Africa. You pick. Sometimes I wonder...when iSilo uShaka in his dying moments said ' angeke nilibuse'... was he really talking about "abelumbe" the colonizers or was he cursing us for turning on each other? Either way, we are here now, commemorating god knows what the hell braai day is🤷🏿‍♀️ And our "leaders" are ok with that. UDlungwane kaNdaba Ilembe eleq’ amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha UNodum’ehlezi kaMenzi uSishak’ asishayeki - umtakaSengakhona Bath’ uShaka kayikubusa akaykuba Nkosi kanti kulaph’ ezakunethezeka khona.  Wena we Ndlovu! Bayede! Usuka leNkosi iSilo uShaka kaSenzangakhona leli. Asijiki.

A post shared by Ayanda "MaNgubane" Borotho (@ayandaborotho) on


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