Soshangane was a general of the Ndwandwe under King Zwide. 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 hegemony. He carved out a Nguni empire of conquest known as the Gaza Empire (Gasa or Gaza) in what is now modern-day Mozambique. Allied with the rival Ndwandwe in 1819, Soshagane fled after defeat by Shaka. He moved north into Mozambique, absorbing or conquering numerous followers that include Ronga and Ndau people. A punitive expedition sent by Shaka to liquidate his rival was seen off in 1828, and Soshagane consolidated his empire. When Soshangane settled in Gaza, he then established his own language, better known as isiShangaan, derived from his name. 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, Soshagane's empire was embroiled in succession disputes. The final ruler Ngungunhane, (Gungunhana in Portuguese), was defeated by the once tributary Portuguese in 1895, and the Nguni Gazan empire collapsed. Soshagane is one of a number of outstanding figures that rose to prominence during the Mfecane.
- The Cambridge History of Africa. Vol. 5