The Zulu Army modern reenactment. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Crisis in Nguniland: The Mfecane

  • It means a time of crushing
  • It was also given a Sesotho name called Difaqane or Lifaqane
  • It was a time of widespread warfare and disorder indigenous groups in Southern Africa from about 1815 to 1840
  • When Shaka created his militaristic Zulu State, his army was involved in many battles in order to get more territories
  • This marked the beginning of Mfecane and its spread
  • Mfecane can be used to refer to a period when Mzilikazi was the ruler of the Matebele and dominated the Traansval
  • Mzilikazi ordered the widespread massacres and destruction of all those opposing his rule to create a new Ndebele order
  • Deaths caused by Mfecane are estimated to be around 1 million to 2 million

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.