This paper illustrates Mfecane as one of the facts of the South Africans that were able to illustrate several social and political upheavals that were experienced by the African societies. The main cause of Mfecane was Shaka’s leadership and interest in war with other communities…
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It is evidently clear from the discussion that Mfecane took place as a result of nation-building that was aggressively done by the Zulu lead by Shaka and the Ndebele of Mzilikazi. Mfecane is sometimes referred to as the war of wondering and it accompanied the rise of the Zulu people. The war was highly concentrated at Drakensberg Mountains, along the river Limpopo, and between the Kalahari Desert. This paper illustrates that there were geographical barriers that made people unable to expand towards the west-eastern part, contributing to a rise in population hence people engaged in war in order to secure land. Indian Ocean waters and the Drakensberg Mountains were the key geographical features that complicated the lives of people living in this region. Mfecane was caused by the war between the tribes of Mthethwa and Ndwandwe who were expanding their territories at the expenses of their neighbors who were weak. These led to warfare that became frequent and severe as people fought for land. The increased inequality that was witnessed between communities and environmental crisis led to competition for natural resources and trade on South Africa leading to violent struggles for survival. There was a shortage of land and many people at that time migrated to that area because it was fertile and convenient for farming activities. The high population growth caused a lot of population pressure lead to various tribal expansions, which led to the emergence of unity amongst the Bantus that occupied that place. During the 18th century, there was the presence of the Portuguese at the east coast of Delagoa who participated in long-distance trade. There was a rise in the desire to control the trade amongst people who were in the region and as a result, the Nguni tribe launched attacks to other communities with an aim of controlling the trade. The Portuguese, on the other hand, wanted to carry out the trade with groups that were organized and had powerful leaders. The creation of Zulu state displaced hundreds of people who fled in different directions in order to establish themselves. The Zulu nation was rapidly rising during that time, and its effect was the presence of the intensification of Mfecane war by the Shaka even though Mfecane war began way before Shaka was officially inaugurated as the chief of the Zulu. Shaka’s leadership later intensified the war because of his zealous interest in wars, and he was able to defeat other tribes. The idea of having a growing domain of terror was touted by speculators who wanted imperial military backing in order to secure future land. Cape Whites were expanded at the end of the 1st century because the whites wanted more land at the eastern side, and their expansion created a shortage of land while the population was increasing hence worsening the land issue. The three powerful groups that emerged and rose up at that time fighting each other; Zwide group was responsible for sparking the war with its rivals Sobhuza, and later Ndwandwe joined the war. Most communities had at that time spread at the countryside and moved across the frontier, dividing themselves to settle in concentrated places. Americans introduced corn through the Portuguese in Mozambique, and this significantly contributed to the communities’ settlement in the region. This is because corn ensured there was plenty of food as compared to indigenous grasses thus it was able to sustain a larger population. At the end of 18th century, the possibility of people moving from the region became limited, and the shortage of land was experienced. Most Bantu farmers in the region had reached the margins of arable land that was at the edge of Kalahari Desert; it was also difficult to access water from this region.
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