Stories and Traveltips

ID #5480

Nil Desperandum, the Bazley Story, Denzil Bazley, South Coast, Southern kwa-Zulu Natal, South africa.

A record of the accomplishments of this resourceful family which settled in Natal in the 19th Century, including amongst others sugar farming and the construction of a sugar factory, construction of the harbour in Port Shepstone and road building.  The following story is an excerpt from the book:

Henry Francis Fynn, who first arrived in Natal in 1824, was the first white man to meet Shaka. Soon after their meeting an attempt was made on Shaka’s life and Fynn’s simple medical skills helped his recovery. Shaka approved of Fynn as a representative of white people and he was given the name Mbuyazi, meaning “the one who comes back with the answer”. The two were to become close friends. Although Fynn was able to exercise considerable influence over Shaka, he was never comfortable in Shaka’s company, where victims could be clubbed to death for offences as trivial as sneezing in the royal presence.  Shaka was undoubtedly a merciless and cruel tyrant who had little regard for human pain and suffering though, at times in complete contrast, he was seen to show kindness and sensitivity.

Following the death of his mother Nandi, Shaka was grief-stricken and embarked on an orgy of destruction. All pregnant women were put to death, together with their husbands.  All milch cows were slaughtered so that “even the calves might know what it was to lose a mother” and, in all, 7000 Zulus died. William Bazley believed, from firsthand information he had received from Fynn and several old Zulus who witnessed the events, that Nandi’s death was due to Shaka.

Fynn nearly always spoke Zulu, for he was as comfortable in that language as he was in English. He warned William Bazley that there were three cannibals living in close proximity to Nil Desperandum, the family home on the banks of the Ifafa River. Over a campfire he warned the tough young lad with awful stories of the notorious cannibal Sosingata. This ruthless hunter, Fynn said, used a ten-foot wattle stick with a loop of gonoti (a type of liana or creeper) tied firmly to its end. Around the loop was a noose of uzi fibre. Sosingata would take up a position in brambles near a pathway where he could not be seen. The stick was kept upright as if growing and, when the last in a line of travelers passed, he would slip the noose over their head, pull the noose tight and silently choke the victim to death. In this way the cannibals acquired a mystique – people simply vanished.

William told Fynn that he was not afraid of Sosingata, and meant it. He informed Fynn that he had a gun and, if he encountered any cannibals, he would “… blow their insides out”. Fynn admired the youth’s bravado but nevertheless sent off for two guards from the nearby Nyamvini tribe. For many weeks these two guards hovered over William and would not let him move ten yards without following.  Four years later Sosingata was killed by the residents of kraals near the Umtwalume River, five km south of Ifafa.  “They waited for him to come back to the pots where he had cooked a fat little boy, caught him and smashed his head to a pulp". Nildes


"And that was the end of dear old Sosingata". 


Contact:     Denzil Bazley

Tags: -

Related entries:

Last update: 2014-02-28 22:24
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.17

Digg it! Print this record Send to a friend Show this as PDF file
Propose a translation for Propose a translation for
Please rate this entry:

Average rating: 0 out of 5 (0 Votes )

completely useless 1 2 3 4 5 most valuable

You cannot comment on this entry