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Shaka Zulu
Shaka Zulu
Weapons Zulu Axe, Iklwa & Ishlangu, Iwisa, Spit of Poison
Origin Africa
Activities Warlord
Service 1787-1828
Battle Status Lost vs. William Wallace
Experts Earl White (Zulu Stick Fighting Master)
Jason Bartley (Zulu Combat Expert)

"His political policy was murder."
- Jason Bartley, Zulu combat expert

"A man chosen to wield life and death on the battlefield must be an artist. If he isn't, he is simply a murderer."
-Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu, the fierce African warlord, who built a Zulu army that killed 2 million enemies, and transformed a continent.

vs. William Wallace, the legendary Scottish rebel, who lead a bloodthirsty army of Highlanders against the mighty English empire.


  • c. 1787 - 1828
  • South-East Africa
  • Height - 5'9"(175 cm)
  • Weight - 161 Lbs
  • Gear - 7 - 10 lbs
  • Armor - Ox-Hide Shield
  • Symbol - Ishlangu shield with crossed Iklwa spear and Iwisa throwing club (Shaka Zulu's weapons)
    Shaka Zulu Icon

    Shaka Zulu's Symbol


Shaka (c.1787-c. 22 September 1828) was the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom. He has been called a military genius for his reforms and innovations, but was condemned for the brutality of his reign.

Prior to Shaka, warfare in Southern Africa consisted mainly of tribes throwing spears at one another and ritually challenging warriors from other tribes. The Zulu Kingdom itself had an estimated population of a mere 1500 people within a territory of only 10 squared miles.

Shaka developed the iklwa spear and ishlangu shield and created the Buffalo formation: two flanks known as the horns tried to surround the enemy, while the main body of warriors, or chest, confronted the opposing tribe head on, and a reserve called the loins, remained behind unless the enemy threatened to escape. The Zulu sought to kill their enemy to the last man, taking no prisoners. Shaka also forged his troops into the greatest warriors in Southern Africa. Every Zulu male was expected to be a warrior, with those unable or unwilling to meet Shaka's specific physical requirements killed outright. This, combined with their constant drilling and training, has led some historians to dub the Zulu the "Spartans of Africa".

While Zulu is known for his conquests his military influence began a period of chaos, war and genocide known as the Mfecane (The Crushing) from 1815-1840s. The Zulu Kingdom, along with similar militaristic tribes inspired by the empire or nomadic tribes that escaped from the Zulu and adopted their military tactics, led campaigns of slaughter against other tribes. An estimated 1,000,000 people were killed in the Mfecane. Also the final years of Shaka's reign over his own people was met with chaos as Shaka became mad over the loss of his mother. In his madness Shaka demanded farming and dairy production to be reduced and for pregnant women to be executed along with their family. In one massacre, 7000 Zulu were killed just for not grieving during a ceremony.

In September 1828 Shaka's half-brothers Dingane and Mhlangana led an assassination on him. On Shaka's death bed, it is rumored that Shaka mentioned a vision of the future British conquest of South Africa. The power of the Europeans was first shown when Dingane lost 3000 Zulu warriors against Voortrekkers (Descendants of Dutch Colonists who migrated inland to escape British Rule in the Cape) at the Battle of Blood River while the Europeans had only 3 wounded. Dingane lost his political leadership shortly afterwards, as his army was crushed so effortlessly.

The Anglo-Zulu War ended on 4 July 1879; with the British annexing Zululand into the Colony of Natal. On 31 May 1910: Natal was combined into the Union of South Africa. The British Empire began losing its African colonies shortly after WWII: South Africa became independent in 1934 as a Dominion in the Commonwealth and became a republic on 31 May 1961. The Zulu Monarchy still exists today; maintaining some political authority as a non-sovereign kingdom.


Weapon Shaka Zulu Kills
Close Range: Zulu Axe 70
Mid Range: Iklwa
Long Range: Iwisa 2
Special Weapons: Spit of Poison 0

Note: Zulus later learned how to use muskets and gained these weapons from traders.

Deadliest Warrior: Legends weapons[]

  • Short Range: Imbemba, Knobkierrie
  • Medium Range: Iklwa, Assegai
  • Long Range: Iwisa, Umkhonto
  • Armor: Traditional Hunting Gear, Royal War Gear
  • Joke Weapon: Tribal Flute
  • Finisher: Shaka spits poison into his opponents eyes, causing them to recoil in pain. Shaka pulls out his iklwa and stabs them through the neck.


The battle begins in a valley with William Wallace armed with his Targe and Ball & Chain. He sees Shaka Zulu running at him and readies his Ball & Chain. He swings it around and throws it at Shaka Zulu, but Shaka rolls right under it. Shaka Zulu throws his Iwisa at Wallace- who blocks it with his Targe- and then pulls out another. William Wallace pulls out his War Hammer and begins to swings at Shaka Zulu. Shaka tries to counter with his Iwisa, and the two lock weapons. William Wallace thrusts the Targe and pierces into Shaka's leg. He pulls out the Targe and tries to finish him with the War Hammer, but Shaka rolls out of the way. Shaka tries to strike William Wallace with his Iwisa, but Wallace blocks again with the Targe and knocks the Iwisa out of Shaka's hands.

Shaka Zulu readies his Zulu Axe and starts jumping around. William Wallace runs at Shaka, who tries to hit him with his Axe. Wallace ducks under the Axe and blocks with his Targe. He swings his War Hammer, but Shaka Zulu blocks with his shield and kicks Wallace away. He pulls out his Iklwa and thrusts at William Wallace, but Wallace dodges and swings the War Hammer at Shaka's legs. Shaka falls over and rolls out of the way of Wallace's Targe. Shaka swings at the Targe, preventing William Wallace from picking it up. Wallace swings the War Hammer, but it gets stuck in Shaka Zulu's shield. Wallace pulls the shield from Shaka's hands and throws it and the Hammer away. Shaka Zulu rolls away and waits with his Ilkwa and Zulu Axe in hand for Wallace, who draws his Claymore. Wallace swings at Shaka's legs, but Shaka jumps over it. He screws up the landing, however, and falls to the floor. William Wallace tries to swing at Shaka, but is blocked by the Axe. Shaka slashes Wallace's leg with his Iklwa, forcing Wallace back. He tries to hit Shaka with the Claymore, but Shaka rolls away and dodges.

Shaka Zulu turns around and tries to run away. William Wallace throws his Dirk at Shaka, but Shaka deflects it with his Iklwa. He starts to climb a hill, but stops to chew on some poisonous herbs. He sees Wallace running after him and continues to run up the hill. Shaka Zulu tries to spit the poison at Wallace as he approaches, but Wallace manages to turn his head away and prevent the poison from getting into his eyes. Wallace swings his Claymore at Shaka's Zulu Axe and knocks it out of his hands. Shaka then swings his Iklwa and slashes across Wallace's stomach. Wallace swings back in retaliation and slashes Shaka's back. Shaka manages to stab Wallace in his waist, forcing him to stumble back. Shaka Zulu charges at William Wallace, but Wallace regains his balance at the last second and points his Claymore upward. Shaka Zulu jumps at Wallace, but accidentally impales himself on the sword. William Wallace pulls the sword and throws Shaka's dead body aside before giving a loud victory cry.

Expert's Opinion[]

What handed Wallace victory was that the majority of his weapons were one hit- one kill especially the Scottish claymore (which could lop off three heads in a single stroke during the testing and which Shaka Zulu's ishlangu shield offered no protection against) which earned him 319 kills alone.



Shaka Zulu

  • The Zulu people were once relatively peaceful nation known as the Mthethwa Empire. They saw war as a ritual involving throwing spears instead of intense or realistic fighting. European demand for ivory and the luxuries and technology from Europe made the Zulu hunt elephants more frequently, forcing the tribe to adopt a more warrior mentality.
    • Part of the reason Zulu warfare before Shaka was ritualistic was because, if casualties did occur, both sides would have to cease hostilities and conduct ceremonies to pacify the deceased's spirit and prevent it from seeking revenge. Shaka made warfare more efficient by introducing a new, simpler custom: once a warrior made a kill, they would cut or tear open the chest cavity of their adversary in order to release the spirit into the afterlife, preventing it from being trapped on Earth.
  • While there are exceptions; most tribal African warriors have a history of using leather or wicker shields and iron spears; although the sizes, shapes and designs vary depending on the tribe. The Zande have tall rectangular shields and barbed spearpoints. The Maasai tribe has small shields and a leaf shaped spearpoint (akin to the Greek Dory.)
  • Shaka never married or had legitimate children as he feared being overthrown by his would be heirs. He also forbade his warriors from marrying as he feared it would let them grow soft, a ban lifted by his successors.
  • Discipline in the Zulu army was very strict, with minor offences often being punishable by death. One of the methods of execution used by Shaka and his successors was impalement, similar to Vlad the Impaler.
  • Zulu Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi portrayed his great-grandfather Zulu King Cetshwayo kaMpande in the 1964 film named Zulu.
  • Zulu and other African tribesmen were so skilled at running that the British officers classified these warriors as cavalry instead of infantry.
  • The Zulu Army were one of the first African tribes to use actual warfare tactics.
  • The Zulu Army peaked at 50,000 soldiers during the Anglo-Zulu War.
  • The beginning verses of The Circle of Life from The Lion King are in Zulu.
  • The expansion of early 19th century Boer Republics were indirectly a result of Shaka Zulu's wars and genocides depopulating the region, allowing the Boers to settle farms.
  • As of 2021, 23% of the South African population is Zulu.

  • Shaka Zulu is the first African warrior.
  • He is also the first African warrior to lose a match. (Hannibal was the second.)
  • William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu match was the shortest match in all of S1 (less than 2 minutes long).