Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #54) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #54)
Transcript: "Feeling confident", Mngoma went on, "the missionary turned to the real mission. 'Hail, oh mighty King! Your Majesty as King of the Zulus enforces laws which must be obeyed by all subjects. Your Majesty punishes all those who disobey him. There are many other kings on this earth, with subjects and laws just as your Majesty has. But above all kings in this world there is one who lives up there in heaven. He is King of all Kings, including your Majesty, and his laws must be obeyed by kings and subjects alike. He burns in a huge furnace all those who break his laws.'
"At this stage Shaka called out one of his regiments and ordered each warrior to bring firewood which was then piled up in a heap and set on fire. It burned fiercely and when it was very hot Shaka ordered the regiment to extinguish it with their hands and feet. Many men died in the process, but the fire was ultimately put out. Whereupon Shaka turned to his visitors and told them that there was no king alive who was his superior, and that if anybody tried to burn him alive his army would easily handle the situation. Now son, do you realise what an intelligent man Shaka was?" concluded Mngoma.
In my reading of Zulu history since those days I have found no confirmation of this particular incident, and it may well be that Mngoma's account is a garbled version of the meeting in 1824 between Shaka and the Englishman, F.G. Farewell and H.F. Fynn, the first whites to be received by the Zulu king according to written records. But though there are a few notable exceptions, South African history has been written by whites for whites and rarely takes into account the oral history of the black man.
Extent and Medium: 1 page