Many tribes and clans were forcibly united under Shaka Zulu. Shaka Zulu's political organisation was efficient in integrating conquered tribes, partly due to the age regiments, where men from different villages bonded with each other. The nguni tribes kept similar political practises to those used by Shaka Zulu.
During the southern african migrations known as mfecane, the nguni peoples spread across a large part of southern africa, conquering or displacing many other peoples.
For example, the kingdom of Swaziland was formed in the early nineteenth century by different Nguni groups allying with the Dlamini clan against the threat of external attack. Today the kingdom encompasses many different clans who speak an Nguni language called Swati and are loyal to the king of Swaziland, who is also the head of the Dlamini clan.
"Dlamini" is a very common clan name among all documented Nguni languages (including Swati and Phuthi).
Nguni people in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, may be Christians (whether Catholics or Protestants), or practitioners of African traditional religions, or they may practise forms of Christianity modified with traditional African values (such as the Shembe Church of Nazarites).