For the next three weeks (due to certain DStv payment reasons) I’m stuck watching Government TV, also known as SABC 1, 2 and 3. On the bright side, I get to catch up on all my favourite local programmes that I’ve missed over the past few months. Recently, SABC 3 started rerunning the hit series Shaka Zulu that ran from the late 80s to the early 90s, which more or less tells the story of the great king of the Zulus.
Now if there’s one thing my people love, is seeing reruns of shows we grew up watching, especially ones that depict the stories of black South Africans. No matter how many times we watch them, they still resonate strongly with us and they even trend on Twitter every time they play and Shaka Zulu still goes down as a favourite with us.
These are some of the best or most memorable moments from the Shaka Zulu series, in no particular order:
The theme song:
Nothing says “Zulu/African” swagger like the series’ theme song sung by the late Margaret Singana. It’s simple and unforgettable.
Shaka takes over the Zulu throne:
After the death of his father Senzangakhona, Shaka takes over the throne to become the most memorable king of the Zulu nation.
Shaka introducing new war tactics:
One of the most important things Shaka was known for was the war tactics he introduced into the Zulu army. He picked up that the old tactics weren’t working in their favour and so came up with new ways that ultimately led him and his army to victory many times. Here he teaches his warriors thes tactics.
The death of Nandi, Shaka’s mother:
Nandi was the dearest person to Shaka’s heart, she was his pillar of strength and inspiration behind his rise to the throne, so naturally when she passed away, he was devastated. Her funeral is still a hotly debated topic among historians. In the series, Shaka has a group of young virgins killed and put into one grave with Nandi, so as to act as companions for her as she crosses over into the world of the ancestors. Some however say this is untrue.
The death of Shaka Zulu:
The strange thing about watching the series is that as much as you know that Shaka was a cruel dictator who ruled with an iron fist and had no qualms about having anyone, even his own relatives, killed at his command, you still feel a sense of sadness about his murder. The way he dies in the series is very different to what history books tell us. In reality, Shaka was murdered by his brother Dingane, who then took over the throne.
You can catch the Shaka Zulu rerun every Wednesday at 20:30 on SABC 3.
[Image – YouTube]