What are the role of the Mfecane in State formation?
The Mfecane refers to the wars and disturbances caused by Shaka and the rise of the Zulu state in South Africa. The Mfecane is also referred to as the time of trouble or turbulence in South Africa. The origin of the Mfecane was Shaka’s expansionist policies that led to the conquering states. The Mfecane played a great role in state formation in Southern Africa:-
1.Political transformation: The Mfecane led to political transformation in Southern Africa, the former age group communities were transformed into strong centralized states. The Mfecane also forced people to form strong armies to protect themselves from Shaka; these armies were later used for conquest and expansion hence forming states. Zulu is a good example of a state formed due to the Mfecane.
2.Military advancement:The Mfecane contributed to the introduction of new military weapons such as the short stabbing spears and the cow horn style. These weapons were used for conquest and expansion thus forming states.
3.Emergency of strong leadership:The Mfecane contributed to the rise of strong leadership; this was needed for protection from the Mfecane. Strong leadership had a big role to play in state formation because the leaders united the people to form states.
4.Migrations: The societies through which they passed were forced to form strong states to protect themselves from the Mfecane. The movement of the Ngoni from South Africa was not a peaceful process; it involves wars that necessitated unity among the people.