Zulu: the largest ethnic community in South Africa


They are Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa and largest ethnic group in South Africa. They are mainly living in the province of KwaZulu-Natal with an estimated population of 10-12 million people. Small numbers also live in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, and Mozambique. Overall these are countries where Zulus are found; South Africa= 12 million, Lesotho=324,000, Zimbabwe=167,000, Eswatini=107,000, Malawi=66,000, Botswana=5,900, Mozambique=6,000.

Zulu speak their native language isiZulu and English, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Xhosa.

The largest ethnic community in Angola; Ovimbundu

Their main religion is Christianity and Zulu religion. A Zulu person is called umZulu, people amaZulu and country is called kwaZulu.

Zulu is among the group of Nguni people who speak Nguni languages. The Nguni people are Ndebele, Swazi, Xhosa and Zulu.

The Zulu formed a powerful state in 1818 under the leader Shaka. Shaka, as the Zulu king, gained a large amount of power over the tribe. As commander in the army of the powerful Mthethwa Empire, he became leader of his mentor Dingiswayo’s paramouncy and united what was once a confederation of tribes into an imposing empire under Zulu hegemony.

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