This reprinted English edition is published with the isiZulu edition on the tenth anniversary of his death, embracing Kunene’s original dream to have his work published as intended in the original isiZulu form. The symbolic and cultural significance of these publications begins a process of re-evaluating and recontextualising Kunene’s writing oeuvre.
Emperor Shaka the Great – A Zulu epic
In UNodumehlezi KaMenzi (Emperor Shaka the Great), which he wrote during this exile period, Mazisi Kunene positions Shaka as a legendary thinker, who had great skill as a strategic and military genius. This vision acknowledges and re-imagines Shaka as a unifying cultural and political force that defined the cohesive Zulu nation. Kunene projects Shaka into the mythical ancestral universe that affirms the deep cultural lineage of the African world view.
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