As a young man, Shaka, a son of King Senzangakona, displayed leadership skills and military strategy that was to make him one of the greatest military leaders in history. Shaka spent his youth with the Mthetwa clan under Inkosi Dingiswayo, and it was here that his military skills were honed. Following the death of his father, he returned to take on the leadership of the small Zulu clan. With the backing of the Mthetwa, the Zulu soon became a powerful regional force. After the death of Dingiswayo King Shaka extended the boundaries of the Zulu Kingdom even further, incorporating numerous clans into the Zulu nation.
He developed and built up his army and introduced new weaponry such as the short stabbing spear as well as effective new fighting tactics, known as the ‘bull’s head’ attacking formation. For a decade his army set about conquering vast areas, throughout what is now KwaZulu Natal, Swaziland, Mozambique and Mpumalanga.
King Shaka built his capital, Dukuza, in the Stanger area and it is here, on 22 September 1828, that he was killed by two of his brothers Mhlangana and Dingane, who became King.
His body was buried in a grain pit at Dukuza and a monument erected by the Zulu nation in 1934 marks the site. The spelling "Tshaka" reflects the spelling of the time.