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Soshangane KaZikode (born Soshangane Nxumalo) was a commanding general of the Ndwandwe army under King Zwide KaLanga. Following the defeat of Zwide's army at the Battle of Mhlatuze River by King Shaka of the Zulu, Soshangane led a remnant of the army and of the Ndwandwe people northwards away from Shaka's Zulu hegemony. He carved out a Nguni empire of conquest known as the Gaza Empire (or Gasa), named after his grandfather, which would later significantly expand to cover areas over present day southern Mozambique, parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in South Africa. The rise of the Gaza Kingdom was based primarily on military conquests, particularly the Ronga and Ndau peoples, who would be absorbed into the Nguni Gazan Kingdom. Soshangane then began a campaign to create a new language and culture named after himself known as IsiShangane. A punitive expedition sent by Shaka to liquidate his rival was easily defeated in 1828, and Soshangane consolidated his empire. Soshangane's army overran the Portuguese settlements at Delagoa Bay, Inhambane and Sena, and he extracted tribute from the Europeans. After the death of Soshangane around 1856, Soshangane's empire was embroiled in succession disputes between his sons Mzila and Mawewe. The final ruler Ngungunhane (born Mdungazwe Nxumalo), was defeated by the once tributary Portuguese in 1895, and the Nguni Gazan empire entered into decline. Soshangane is one of a number of outstanding figures that rose to prominence during the Mfecane.
- The Cambridge History of Africa. Vol. 5