King Cetshwayo's Grave

Cetshwayo, a son of King Mpande and was born in or about 1826. In 1856 he fought a bloody succession battle with his brother Mbuyazi. In 1873, following the death of Mpande, he became king. In 1979 the British Government in South Africa orchestrated a war to remove the threat of the independent Zulu Kingdom. The British won the war and the King was interned in Cape Town and whilst there met Prince Albert and Prince George (later King George V). He requested and was granted an audience with Queen Victoria.


He sailed to England in September 1882 and on his return was reinstated as King but on terms set by the British Government. As a result of the poorly considered reallocation of land by the British authorities, civil war broke out in Zululand between supporters of the king’s Usuthu faction and the Mandlakazi faction under Inkosi Zibhebhu.


King Cetshwayo again settled at Ondini, but his homestead was attacked by Zibhebhu. He was injured and took refuge at Eshowe where he died on 8 February 1884.


His grave is in a clearing in the Nkandla Forest, and is tended by the Shezi clan. The area is considered to be sacred by the Zulu people. Remains of a wagon that was placed on top of his grave can be seen at the Cultural Museum at Ondini.