Emperor Cetshwayo is a character in 80 Days. He is the emperor and supreme ruler of the Zulu Federation that controls most of southern Africa. Through the use of his automaton armies he managed to capture and hold such a large territory while also managing to fight off the European colonists who attempted to take it for themselves, effectively stopping a large portion of the Scramble for Africa from happening. From his capital seat in Ulundi he keeps tabs on everything and everyone in his country via his automatons, who answer only to him.

Upon entering the Zulu Federation, whether it be legally through Quelimane or being captured by animal automata after unwittingly attempting to smuggle guns across the border from Nsenga, Phileas Fogg and Passepartout will be taken to an audience with Emperor Cetshwayo. He is suspicious about what two Europeans are doing in his country, but changes his tone a bit once they explain how they are traveling around the world and seek his help. Using an automaton bird named Bheka, which can evidently read minds, he determines that they are telling the truth. He proceeds to remark upon Passepartout's position as a personal servant and the vanity of Europeans as a whole, explaining that it will make them easy to defeat in the end. Apparently to prove that this is no empty threat, he then takes the two of them outside to show them some examples of his animal automatons that he can control at will with his mind.

He then removes his headband, showing his guests a diamond shard, matching those found in all of his automata, embedded deep in his brain, before giving Passepartout an ominous warning to pass on to the rest of Europe about what awaits them should they make an enemy of the Zulu Federation. Summoning his personal airship from the skies above his palace, he offers Fogg and Passepartout passage to their choice of either Bhayi or Antananarivo. Should they decide to go to Madagascar, Cetshwayo will tell of how he is good friends and allies with Queen Ranavalona II and he will call her up to arrange a meeting for them upon their arrival in the capital.

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