Prince Africa Zulu

Biography of His Royal Highness, Prince Shingana kaMpande Zulu

Biography of His Royal Highness, Prince Shingana kaMpande Zulu

HRH Prince Shingana Zulu, son of King Mpande Zulu from Queen Jinji Shwabede. Queen Jinji was born at Indulinde from Kwamfemfe.

His Royal Highness, Prince Shingana kaMpande Zulu

Biography of Prince Shingana kaMpande Zulu

King Mpande ka Senzangakhona Zulu ruled the Zulu nation from 1840 to 1872, making him the longest reigning Zulu king. He was a half-brother of Shaka and Dingane, who both preceded him as kings of the Zulu Nation.

HRH Prince Shingana Zulu, was the son of King Mpande Zulu and Queen Jinji Shwabede. He was appointed the first Prince of Onkweni by his father and was the Head of the Onkweni Dynasty of the Zulu Royal House. Prince Shingana was named by his father, his name means "Fearless and Victorious One"

He grew up like other young Zulu Nation boys, herding goats and royal cattle, swimming in the local rivers and hunting for rabbits. When the boys were together while herding their father’s cattle they would want to test each other's strength and skills with traditional stick fighting. Prince Shingana would prove himself to be skilled at fending off his challenges from his peer age group by paring off their blows and countering their attacks. Stick fighting would help him strong, capable of defending himself against animal or foe.

Prince Shingan was famous among King Mpande’s sons as a composer of songs that extolled the king praises.

Prince Shingana was a friend and confidante of his brother King Cetshwayo kaMpande who became a king after the death of their father, King Mpande kaSenzangakhona Zulu. Prince Shingana fought alongside his brother Cetshwayo against their half-brother Prince Mbuyazi over succession during the Battle of Ndondakusuka.

King Cetshwayo was the monarch when war broke out between the Zulu Nation and the British colonialist in January 1879. King Cetshwayo formed a military cabinet to address the war caused by the ultimatums from the British colonial administers in Natal. The royal council advised the King on how to respond to the ultimatum, which included the request for 10,000 all- white cattle (Inyoni kayiphumuli) from the Royal Kraal. The Royal Family was represented in the war cabinet by various members, including Prince Shingana.

During the Battle at iSandlwana, Prince Shingana led the imli who were armed with guns and they formed the breast and main thrust of the army. Later during the battle at Hlophekhulu (south-east of the present day town of Ulundi), Prince Shingana again lead an imli as a warrior and military general. Prince Shingana also valiantly participated in the unsuccessful defence of Ulundi in July 1879.

After the defeat in Ulundi, King Cetshwayo was arrested at Ngome Forest and was sent to Ou de Mollen castle prison in Cape Town but was released three years later. When King Cestshwayo returned in 1883 he was attacked by rebels Prince Zibhebhu ka Maphitha Zulu and Prince Hamu kaMpande Zulu. The King Cetshwao died in 1884 while in hiding at Nkandla Forest at the age of 57 and is lying there interred.

King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo assumed the throne when he was approximately 16 years old. Prince Shingana was present to lend support and advice to his nephew, the young king.

In 1888 the King’s followers attacked a force of Prince Zibhebhu followers, and although no violence had threatened the colonialists, the British officials tried King Dinuzulu, Prince Ndabuko and Prince Shingana in Eshowe for high treason. Prince Shingana was sentenced to 12-years in exile on St. Helena Island.

While on St. Helena, the missionaries persuaded Prince Shingana to soften his stance on politics and accept the new order of the many so called “chiefs” imposed on the Zulu Nation by English colonialist after the defeat of the Zulu army in 1879. As well as the missionaries attempt to convert him to Christianity without success.

To Prince Shingana the King remained the sacred centre of Zulu community, religion, and spirituality, which was incompatible with Christian beliefs.

Later, he was persuaded to pretend to accept the white man's religion and he was baptised in the Catholic Church as Prince Wilbard Shingana kaMpande Zulu.

Prince Shingana passed away in March 1911. He remained a staunch royalist and loyal to the Zulu monarchy until his death. He was a hero and general of the Zulu Nation who has been largely forgotten by history.

Descendants of Prince Shingana.

HRH Prince Shingana Zulu fathered Prince Basekele Zulu who in turn fathered Prince Ntokozo Zulu.

His Royal Highness Prince Ntokozo Zulu married Princess Bonita Zulu and fathered eight children including: Prince Africa Zulu, the late Prince Sifiso Zulu, Prince Thomas Zulu, Prince Kwenzokuhle Goodman Zulu, Princess Nonhlanhla, the late Princess Sylvestra Zulu, Princess Zinhle Zulu and Princess Fikile Zulu. Prince Ntokozo Zulu passed away in 1994.