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 Don't kill me in the shadows....

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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:26 pm

I have been following and involved in a discusion on another forum about prisoners etc at Isandlwana

One chap – who is a Zulu posted this point:-

“Descendants of warriors who fought at this battle, Langa clan in particular, in their praises, I've heard them say "nina bakamgwazi wabathi amen esandlwane"...roughly "of one who stabbed those who said amen at the battle of esandlwane"...it's believed, at one isolated stage during the battle, defeated and cornered "invaders" asked for an opportunity to offer their last prayers which was granted...just after the conventional prayer conclusion "amen", they received the widest and deepest possible assegai wounds”

A further poster added this -

There is an account from one Zulu veteran that a white man said to him 'Do not kill me in the daylight; kill me in the shadows'. The warrior assumed he just wanted an excuse to hide, but someone once suggested to me that rather than saying 'Kill me in the shadows' he might have said 'I walk in the shadow of death'.

I am not convinced about being granted time to pray (this sounds too much like the idea of Younghusband shaking hands to me) however but I find it intriguing.....apparently so I have read - the Shangani Patrol sung a hymn prior to the final Matebele attack

I have often wondered about ‘kill me in the shadows’......my point on the forum was that obviously this statement would depend on the ‘speakers’ grasp of the Zulu language (given the situation) and the veterans memory or what was said......but do you feel it is feasible?

Ta

Sime
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:53 pm

Simon,

The Shangani Patrol - according to at least one Ndebele source - sang God Save the Queen.

Something I find odd about your Zulu response is the use of the word ‘assegai’, it is not a term that the Zulu normally use when describing their spears. Unless he has used it for your benefit.

JY
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:59 pm

I'm rather more inclined to believe that "amen" here simply means "so be it". It seems much more likely to me that some poor souls recognised the inevitable and opened themselves to the final cut rather than requested time to pray.

Steve Reinstadtler
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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:30 pm

JY, I think reading the original post the bit about the assagei, was the posters words and not those of the the people at the time. I think most of the post is the modern writer trying to explain the Zulu praise song/name.

I knew Wilsons men sang something but couldn't remember what it was.......it's a long time since I read about them.

I'm more intrigued about the Psalm 23 similarities.....could it have been a mistranslation? Both are short phrases which include both shadow and kill or death......maybe I'll never find out but what was the "kill me in the shadows" about it has been said that he wanted to hide but I dunno....

Cheers Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:53 pm

"Kill me in the shadows." Younghusband shaking hands with his men before the charge down into the waiting Zulus. I don't believe a word of it (obviously my opinion). In the intense ferocity of battle, and savagery at its highest, oh no.
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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:23 pm

I dunno, certain things are from Zulu sources, recorded soon after the events (obviously under British interrogation). Whilst I disbelieve many things -Younghusband, for one, I do not feel inclined to dismiss, all out of hand.

Why would the Zulu make the shadows thing up? Did it make him look good? Not really......

Having spent many years studying military history (from the safety of my armchair), there is some rather strange things that have happened in the most unlikely situations.

The chap who shouted at a Zulu "who do you think you are shooting at" ( during the flight after Isandlwana - forget his name, someone will no doubt tell me) - was that true? Who knows.....

Vereker giving his horse (or someone's horse away), that to me seems too good to be true, too noble, if you wish.....

Thankfully I have never been a battle, savage or otherwise but I personally I am loath to discount such stories......until proven otherwise......or do we ignore everything what does not fit in with our ideas.....?

Cheers

Sime
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:31 pm

SRB
At the height of a battle of almost 30,000 men, with shouting, murdering, firing, do you really think that someone could make himself heard to a crowd of oncoming, surrounding Zulu and ask for time to pray??? how would he find the occasion to ask those around him if they would like that??? How would he make himself understood to the Zulu??? How would he get them to hold off in order to speak to them???
This is clearly apocryphal.
At the same time Erskine's remark, made to an individual Zulu confronting him on the Fugitives' Trail has all the hallmarks of truthfulness.
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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:07 pm

Julian,

Thank you, that's right it was Erskine

First of all, in your apocalyptic (and some would say simplistic) description of the battle it would be clearly impossible....however and indulge me here......I am not at all concerned about the prayer and amen bit, as I put in my starting post, I was not convinced about that at all.

At what stage in the battle did the 'shadows speech' event take place....in the mopping up? When majority of firing had stopped.....I do not think it was the height of battle.......the Zulus could have been all over the place singly and in groups, looting and searching.....

Was this 'soldier' a member of the 24th - if so its clearly unlikely, however, if he were a colonial, or a wagon driver, or voorlooper....(I can not recall the exact description, if one is given) - many of these would have spoken Zulu quite well.....Erskine certainly could..... some British Special Service Officers spoke Zulu (Harford for one?) so I am not convinced that the language barrier is a 'blocker'.

So one fleeing British soldier a says to a Zulu "stop throwing those bloody spears at me" (obviously these are my words and not Wally's) and it is believed. One Zulu says that a British fellow asked to be "killed in the shadows" and its not believed.....

Cheers

Sime

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:38 am

SRB
Sorry, I didn't mean to be flippant but the whole prayer-meeting anecdote is just silly.
If the 'shadows' words were said, the speaker would have to know Zulu, so I imagine it was a colonial, Boer or Natalian.
As per previous reasons it would have to be somewhere away from the roar of battle, so along the Fugitives' Trail perhaps. It might well have been said by someone about to meet his end.
The words are not particularly Queen's English so I imagine are a free translation by the Zulu of what was said from Zulu into English. Perhaps we'd be better off asking a Zulu what was meant!
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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:09 am

Cat amongst the pidgin time.
There were before iSandlwana missionaries operating in Zululand and had quite a few semi converts who would have learned the meaning of Amen. In particular that it came at the 'end'.
the quoted phrase can also be translated as 'You, who hit him, said amen.'
Again, with the other phrase, could that be interpreted as a plea from someone who was scared of, had witnessed, torture or mutilating and begged to be killed now (in the daylight) rather than later (in the shadows). Possibly a colloquialism or a bastardised translation from a not very good Zulu speaker?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:13 am

And we are all still in the shadows where Isandhlwana is concerned! Though a little daylight sometimes peeps through.
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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:29 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Again, with the other phrase, could that be interpreted as a plea from someone who was scared of, had witnessed, torture or mutilating and begged to be killed now (in the daylight) rather than later (in the shadows). Possibly a colloquialism or a  bastardised translation from a not very good Zulu speaker?

Bonjour,
You wrote, "someone who...had witnessed torture".

In another threat, you wrote; "the key issue of my post was to deny, to a degree, the concept of the Living being mutilated that seems to be the challenge from Julian. Even the 'Poor little Drummer Boys,' is really a non starter. The youngest was close to 17 and in the world of the Zulu that was a grown fighting man. I'm hoping against hope that he and Fred will offer more proof that occurred rather than the 'Chinese whispers'.
in the meantime I'm signing of as:

The Revisionist".


Please, why have you changed of opinion?

Thanks in advance for your answer.
Fred
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:43 am

Greetings Frederic
No my opinion hasn't changed, I'm still sitting firmly on the fence.

Regards
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:48 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Greetings Frederic
No my opinion hasn't changed, I'm still sitting firmly on the fence.

Regards

After writing "someone who had witnessed..torture"... scratch
Thanks for your answer.
Fred
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:56 am

Your quite right, I should have restricted the answer to just mutilation. I still remain open minded about torture of the living considering the amount of passion and the concept of the Zulu custom of stabbing bodies as they past them in order to share in the kill. So considering that trait, the number of Zulu charging and milling around the various formations, would there really be time and space for a slow torture process? Possibly wounded fugitives out on the trail? I'm yet to be convince fred.

Regards
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:07 pm

Frank,
I don't think that "time and space for a slow torture process" was really relevant.
As you know, the Zulus occupied the battlefield during several hours after the annihilation of the camp.
Regards.
Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:29 pm

If you consider that when any of the positions were over run the shear numbers of the attackers each 'counting coup' would surely have taken care of any wounded or incapacitated. So with the time and space issue when would any 'torture have taken place' and probably more to the point on whom? Would there have been any one left alive after the mass swoop through the camp? I would not assume so, therefore we would need to have a scenario that prisoners were taken and kept for later.
I don't recall any suggestion of that.

Regards
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:42 pm

Frank,
Interesting thoughts.
Regards
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:38 pm

Certainly it is possible that as the camp was overran, individual military and civilian personnel sought refuge in wagons, tents, etc and were later killed after the main pockets of resistance were annihilated. With that initial burst of savage adrenaline and rage abated, I could definitely see a handful of men with no fight left in them praying in their last moments, knowing they were seconds from being killed. It is also common sense that the Zulus, having been exposed to Christian missionaries, would recognize phrases such as Amen, etc.
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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi,

Like you I feel it is not impossible, that people were hiding, within the camp - and being 'winkled' out, and strange things may have been said and partially remembered by Zulus.

I am always fascinated by the report by someone (GHB maybe?) that a couple people 'blacked up', with lamp black to try and escape......I can't remember the exact quote but I (personally) find that hard to believe and incredible, if it was true.

Cheers

Simon
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:14 pm

Two waggon drivers allegedly.
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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Re: Don't kill me in the shadows....   Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:38 pm

Thank you.
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