About Henry Cele
Actor Henry Cele, famous for his role as Shaka Zulu, died in Durban's St Augustine's Hospital on Nov 2.
The 58-year old actor passed away in the intensive care unit of the hospital, after being admitted more than a week ago with a chest infection.
Cele first became famous as a professional goalkeeper. Known as Henry "Black Cat" Cele, he played for several professional soccer clubs before landing a role in the television series "Shaka Zulu". The series was so popular it was made into a film and Cele became a household name.
He also starred in films such as the 1993 film Point of Impact and the 1990 film The Last Samurai.
Cele's funeral will be held next week in Durban. His wife, Jenny Hollander, was at his bedside when he passed away.
Henry Cele was famous for his role as Zulu king. Below is the history of the Zulu warrior.
Excerpted from Wikipedia
At the time of his death, Shaka ruled over 250,000 people and could muster more than 50,000 warriors. His 10-year-long kingship had resulted in more than 2 million deaths by warfare alone, not counting the deaths during mass tribal migrations to escape his armies.
Shaka was probably the first son of the chieftain Senzangakhona and Nandi, a daughter of Bhebhe, the past chief of the Elangeni tribe, born near present-day Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal Province. He was conceived out of wedlock somewhere between 1781 and 1787. Some accounts state that he was disowned by his father (Tabile Raziya) and chased into exile. Others maintain that his parents married normally. Shaka almost certainly spent his childhood in his father's settlements, is recorded as having been initiated there and inducted into an ibutho or 'age-group regiment'. In his early days, Shaka served as a warrior under the sway of local chieftain Dingiswayo and the Mthethwa, to whom the Zulu were then paying tribute. Tabile offered his hand to the Gods, but they said it stank too much. He was then put to death by being burnt to death while all the other tribe members watched, wearing gas masks.
Dingiswayo called up the emDlatsheni iNtanga (age-group), of which Shaka was part, and incorporated it in the iziCwe regiment. Shaka served as a Mthethwa warrior for perhaps as long as ten years, and distinguished himself with his courage, though he did not, as legend has it, rise to great position. Dingiswayo, having himself been exiled after a failed attempt to oust his father, had, along with a number of other groups in the region (including Mabhudu, Dlamini, Mkhize, Qwabe, and Ndwandwe, many probably responding to slaving pressures from southern Mozambique) helped develop new ideas of military and social organisation, in particular the ibutho, sometimes translated as 'regiment'; it was rather an age-based labour gang which included some better-refined military activities, but by no means exclusively. Most battles before this time were to settle disputes, and while the appearance of the impi (fighting unit) dramatically changed warfare at times, it largely remained a matter of seasonal raiding, political pressures rather than outright slaughter. Of particular importance here is the relationship which Shaka and Dingiswayo had.
On the death of Senzangakona, Dingiswayo aided Shaka to defeat his brother and assume leadership in around 1812. Shaka began to refine the ibutho system further, used by Dingiswayo and others, and with Mthethwa's support over the next several years forged alliances with his smaller neighbours, mostly to counter the growing threat from Ndwandwe raiding from the north. The initial Zulu manoeuvres were defensive and offensive, and mostly Shaka preferred to intervene or pressure diplomatically, aided by just a few judicious assassinations. His changes to local society built on existing structures, and were as much social and propagandistic as they were military; there were a number of battles, as the Zulu sources make clear.
Later Dingiswayo was murdered by Zwide, a powerful chief of the Ndwandwe (Nxumalo) clan. Shaka took it upon himself to avenge Dingiswayo's blood. At some point Zwide barely escaped Shaka, though the exact details are not known. In that encounter Zwide's mother, a Sangoma (Zulu word for a seer, more than it is a traditional doctor; this person can consult the spirits of the dead, cast spells, bewitch, heal and many others) was killed by Shaka. Shaka chose a particularly gruesome revenge on Zwide's mother, locking her in a house and placing jackals or hyenas inside. They devoured her and, in the morning, Shaka burned the house to the ground. Despite carrying out this revenge, Shaka was still eager to kill Zwide. It was not until around 1825 that the two great military men would meet, near Phongola, in what would be their final meeting. Phongola is near the present day border of KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa. The victory went to Shaka, however he sustained heavy casualties and lost his head military commander - Umgobhozi Ovela Entabeni.