The picture is painting of Cetshwayo kaMpande who was the king of the Zulu nation from 1872 to 1879
Cetshwayo kaMpande was the last king of an independent Zulu nation. He faced the British in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. During which the battle of Isandlwana occurred and proved to be the worst defeat ever suffered by British forces against native opposition.
The British lodss of the battle at Isandlwana stunned the world. It was unthinkable that a “native” army armed substantially with stabbing weapons could defeat the troops of a western power armed with modern rifles and artillery, let alone wipe it out.
Until news of the disaster reached Britain the Zulu War was just another colonial brushfire war of the sort that simmered constantly in many parts of the worldwide British Empire. The complete loss of a battalion of troops, news of which was sent by telegraph to Britain, transformed the nation’s attitude to the war.
In the longer term the British Government determined to avenge the defeat and overwhelming reinforcements were dispatched to Natal. General Sir Garnet Wolseley was sent to replace Lord Chelmsford, arriving after the final battle of the war. Cetshwayo’s overwhelming success at Isandlwana secured his ultimate downfall.
Cetshwayo was sent in exile to Cape Town when his forces were ultimately defeated. He was restored after appealing to Queen Victoria, but was forced to flee in the face of civil war. His death shortly after may have been the result of poisoning.