Shaka kaSenzangakhona, also known as Shaka Zulu (Zulu: [ˈʃaːɠa]), was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu Kingdom.
He is widely credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni people, specifically the Mtetwa Paramountcy and the Ndwandwe into the Zulu Kingdom, the beginnings of a nation that held sway over the portion of southern Africa between the Phongolo and Mzimkhulu Rivers, and his statesmanship and vigour marked him as one of the most prominent Zulu kings. He has been called a military genius for his reforms and innovations, and condemned for the brutality of his reign. Other historians debate about Shaka's role as a uniter, versus an usurper of traditional Zulu ruling prerogatives, and the notion of the Zulu state as a unique construction, divorced from the localised culture and the previous systems built by his predecessor Dingiswayo. Research continues into the character and methods of the Zulu warrior king, whose reign still greatly influences South African culture.