I think you should go after iron so you can chop jungle around your cities to the south. Expand toward SB fast if you are confident there is no AI north of you. Get Fishing and send out scout boats to circle SB and to look for new AI's. REX south fast and fill in up north much later when your economy recovers. Fogbust to keep the barbs down south with SB. Barb cities to the north should not be a problem. They can be taken at your leisure. With luck they might unlock the HE for you. While an early rush by Shaka is appealing, SB is a very hard target and you would likely fall far behind in tech v. the AI's on the other continents. And if you are not rushing, you ought to be REXing. A successful REX would allow you later to choose a peaceful tech strategy or a rush v. SB with catapults & swords if you are lucky with iron.