(born circa 1826, near Eshowe, Zululand [S.Af.]—died Feb. 8, 1884, Eshowe) Last great king of the Zulus (r. 1872–79). Nephew of the great Shaka, Cetshwayo commanded a disciplined army of 40,000. Attacked by the British in 1879, he defeated them at Isandhlwana but lost at Ulundi. Part of his kingdom was returned in 1883, but his rivals drove him out of power.
Learn more about Cetshwayo with a free trial on Britannica.com.