Zulu history and identity has changed throughout the ages. Before the 1800's, the term Zulu referred to one clan that acknowledged "Zulu" as its founding ancestor. However, when King Shaka Zulu came into power in the early 1800's, the term Zulu was re-established to represent hundreds of African clans and tribes under King Shaka's Zulu monarchy. Shaka Zulu is credited for creating the formation of the Zulu kingdom. After his death in 1828, Shaka's brother Dingane Zulu took charge as the new ruler of Zululand. During Dingane's rule Afrikaners from all over encroached Zululand. Following 1840, Mpande Zulu came to be the new king and ruled under Afrikaner's surveillance. In 1872, King Cetshwayo Zulu took over the crown as Africa's new Zulu leader. He ruled during the Zulu war and was the last independent Zulu king. When he passed away in 1884, Dinuzulu Zulu took his place. While Dinuzulu Zulu was king Zululand was divided into 13 separate territories, each under appointed by chiefs, by British government. Dinzulu Zulu governed Zululand until 1913. The next king after Dinzulu Zulu was Solomon Zulu . Even though Solomon Zulu was considered the king of Zululand he had no real power or control over his kingdom. He held the role of king until 1933. After Solomon Zulu passed away Cyprian Zulu took over. Just like the previous king Cyprian had no real power or control over his kingdom. Cyprian Zulu passed away in 1968. As of today the current king of Zululand is Goodwill Zulu. Goodwill acts as a focus for a sense of Zulu pride and unity (96). Today Zululand makes up nine provinces all over Africa. Carton, Benedict. "Ch. 8 "The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Kingdom" John Laband." In Zulu Identities: Being Zulu, past and Present, 87-96. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.
Throughout the rise and fall of the Zulu kingdom many different factors have influenced the development of the identity of the Zulu people.