Isandlwana Heritage Development Precinct is a unique Zulu heritage and tourism project based in the Nqutu Local Municipality (Umzinyathi District Municipality). The project is in partnership with the Ngonyama Trust under the direct traditional authority of Inkosi M.P.M Mazibuko.
After many years of British dominance, when they had been going about taking land from natives, by 1879, Zululand was the only part of the country that hindered the British from consolidating the trade route from Transvaal to the Port of Natal. At the beginning of that year the English crossed over the uThukela River and served King Cetshwayo with a list of demands. Unlike other native rulers, King Cetshwayo did not answer to any of their demands and resisted. The British then declared war and oved over the Eastern side of the uThukela River which was the border between the Natal (which was already the British Colony) and Zululand (which was still under the rule of King Cetshwayo).
On that fateful morning of 22 January 1879, the British were outwitted by the Zulu’s Warfare Strategy and got completely obliterated by the Zulu forces. It was the very same “Horns of the Buffalo” warfare strategy devised by Inkosi uShaka kaSenzangakhona that confused the Chelmsford’s 24th Battalion and got the Zulu’s the victory.
This battle sent shockwaves throughout the world, it was “unthinkable” that a native army with basically nothing but stabbing weapons could defeat Western troops armed with modern riles and artillery, let alone wiping them out completely.
The significance of the African victory at the battle of Isandlwana is not only about the annihilation of the invaders, but also that it was a turning point in the struggle for independence as it marked the 1st and last major resistance victory by a sovereign indigenous monarch in the Southern African region.
Isandlwana heroic encounter became the symbolic amber of hope throughout the decades of crucible resistance of the African people against injustice.
A concept born of strong desire to remember, capture, re-affirm, embrace and celebrate this historic moment in Zulu history through the development of the iSandlwana Heritage Development Precinct.
The Heritage Precinct
The plan is to build a living heritage of a particular chapter in Zulu and African History. A place where visitors are able to walk in and trace the footsteps of their ancestors; be able to create a solid emotional and psychological connection with those of 22 Jan 1879 warriors. An emotional experience that will inspire and re-affirm African Spirituality and humanity.