My first book by an african author. Started sedately but I became interested as soon as I garsped the fact that Chaka is considered the father of the Zulu nation.
The book starts interestingly enough with a baby and adolescent Chaka refused by the other wives of his father who succumbs to their will. Chaka is the first son of the local king among older sisters, and so considered the sole heir to the throne. But when the first wives give birth to other male children, Chaka is sent away and disgraced. From then on the story unfolds smoothly through the renaissance of Chaka. This transformation is unfortunately sort of a Jekill-Hide dualism with progressive no-going back. Chaka becomes king at the expenses initially of the closer nations whose members he does not spare and finally becoming a icy heart man which obsessed by power blossoms only through the blood of enemies and friedns. Eventually killing his own wife and his own mother.
The story is well writte, Iniially one tends to consider Mofolo as a sort of naif writer, maybe because one tends to think of him as a sauvage writer. It is not so. Mofolo has all of the great writer and his first-hand account of the Zulu history validly counterbalance what we know but written by english and so enemy voice.