Grade 10 - Transformations in southern Africa after 1750


Shaka Zulu became the leader of the Zulu nation and was one of the driving forces behind the mfecane. Source:

Southern Africa experienced transformation in the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the period that became known as the ‘mfecane’. This topic includes research that helps us to better understand how and why transformation occurred at this time. Shaka was regarded as being the major cause of conflict during this period. However, historians are moving away from the idea of the mfecane, which is linked to outdated, colonial-era ideas of the centrality of the ‘wars of Shaka’. Wars and disruptions took place, but most of them were not caused by Shaka and the Zulu. This unit investigates the recent research and explores the ways in which historical myths are constructed.

Last updated : 27-Feb-2018

This article was produced for South African History Online on 24-Nov-2011