Cetshwayo ka Mpande(circa 1826-1884), King of the Zulu
Sitter in 4 portraits
Cetshwayo was the last King of the independent Zulu nation in Southern Africa, succeeding his father after his death in 1872. He restored political power and prestige to his kingdom after its decline under his father's reign. His strong military prowess built a disciplined 40,000 man army, which he led against the British in the Anglo Zulu War (1879). The defeat, by Zulu soldiers, armed only with spears and shields, claimed the lives of 867 white soldiers and 440 black auxiliaries in a single day. Considered a strong threat to colonial interests, he was deposed when his capital, Ulundi, was destroyed and captured. Imprisoned in Cape Town, South Africa, he found an unexpected ally in John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley who admitted the Zulu invasion was "unjust and unnecessary". Ceyshwayo took the opportunity to request a visit to Britain to negotiate his return to the throne in an effort to prevent further conflict. He was reinstated as King in 1883.