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Honour for St Helena’s Zulu prisoner

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King Dinizulu, before his imprisonment on St Helena

A hospital in South Africa is to be named after the Zulu king who was exiled to St Helena, according to the IOL News website.

It says Durban’s King George V Hospital will be renamed Inkosi Dinuzulu Hospital, after the last Zulu king to command regiments in battle against colonialism.

Dinizulu arrived on St Helena with two uncles and several wives and servants in 1890, according to the historian Philip Gosse.

He wrote: ‘The Emperor of the Zulus proved far more amenable to captivity than did the Emperor of the French. He did what he was told, never quarrelled with the authorities, and wandered about the island making friends with all he met.’

However, Gosse says Dinizulu’s uncles were less amenable to European convention, and during the seven years of their captivity refused to sit on chairs or sleep on beds.

The chief converted to Christianity and asked to be baptised, causing ‘an awkward and apparently insurmountable dilemma’ – he had too many wives. The clergy overcame the problem by recognising only one of them and pretending the others were ‘attendants.’

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