King Zwelithini was the reigning King of the Zulu nation up until his death on 12th March 2021. He took over the throne after the death of his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu, in 1968. After his first marriage, he was installed as the eighth monarch of the Zulu nation.
King Goodwill Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu died in March 2021 after being hospitalised for several weeks. Mzansi eulogised the leader of the most dominant tribe in the country. However, the question of whom his successor will be has been crossing the minds of most people. Therefore, going through the details of King Zwelithini wives and children will help you familiarise yourself with his family.
How many wives does the Zulu King have?
At the time of his death, King Zwelithini had six wives and twenty-eight children. Interestingly, he married his youngest wife when she was seventeen years old, and they had one child. Two of his sons passed on.
1. Sibongile Winifred Dlamini
Sibongile Winifred Dlamini, known to many as maDlamini or Queen Dlamini, was King Zwelithini first wife. They got married on 27th December 1969, two years before taking the throne. Their marriage of forty-five years gave rise to five children, although her eldest son Lethukuthula Zulu passed on in 2020.
2. Buhle KaMathe
In 1974, seventy-year-old Buhle KaMathe became King Zwelithini's second wife. Queen Buhle gave birth to eight children, and in 2002, one of her daughters made headlines due to her marriage to Chief Mfundo Mtirara of the abaThembu royal household. Chief Mtirara is alleged to have paid approximately 150 head of cattle for her hand in marriage.
3. Mantfombi Dlamini, the Great Wife
Queen Mantfombi Dlamini was King Zwelithini's third wife and the sister to King Mswati III. They got married in 1977 and so far have eight children. Her son, Misuzulu, is alleged to be a strong contender for the throne.
4. Thandekile "Thandi" Jane Ndlovu
Thandekile "Thandi" Jane Ndlovu got married to the late king in 1988. Their union yielded three children, two daughters and a son.
5. Nompumelelo Mchiza
Nompumelelo Mchiza got married to King Goodwill Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu on 25th July 1992 as the fifth wife. Their marriage of close to three decades yielded three children. Queen Nompumelelo Mchiza lives at the Enyokeni Palace, which is regarded as the King’s “traditional” palace and hosts the Umhlanga Reed dance every September.
6. Zola Zelusiwe Mafu
Thirty-five-year-old Zola Zelusiwe Mafu is King Zwelithini's sixth and last wife. She was selected to become the king's wife when she was seventeen, and for the past seven years, she has lived in one of the royal homes. Queen Zola is the mother of the youngest King Zwelithini children, Prince Nhlendla.
King Zwelithini children
The king was the father of twenty-eight children. However, three of his children are deceased. Meanwhile, these are the possible heirs of the throne.
1. Prince Lethukuthula Zulu
Lethukuthula Zulu was the eldest of King Zwelithini children. He was born in 1970 to Queen Dlamini. The late Lethukuthula Zulu passed on in 2020.
2. Princess Nombuso Zulu
Nombuso Zulu is the eldest King Zwelithini daughters. She was born in 1973 to Queen Dlamini. Currently, Nombuso is the owner of Ilembe Catering Services, a Durban-based business.
3. Ntombizosuthu Ka Zwelithini Duma
Ntombizosuthu Ka Zwelithini Duma is the second King Zwelithini daughter. She was born in 1979 to Queen Dlamini and is currently married to Mbongiseni Duma, a businessman based in Johannesburg. Ntombizosuthu co-owns Strategic Persuasions and Zamalwandle Transport Logistics.
4. Princess Ntandoyenkosi Ka Zwelithini Ngcaweni
Ntandoyenkosi Ka Zwelithini Ngcaweni was born in 1982, and she is currently married to Busani Ngcaweni. Ntandoyenkosi Ka Zwelithini Ngcaweni is an asset manager at the Public Investment Corporation.
5. Princess Sinethemba Bati Zulu
Sinethemba Bati Zulu was born in 1989 and is the youngest of Queen Dlamini daughters. She is a student at the University of Witwatersrand currently pursuing a degree in international relations.
6. Princess Sibusile Zulu
The late Sibusile was born in 1972 and was the eldest daughter of Queen Buhle. She passed on at the age of thirty-five after an attack at the royal residence in KwaMashu. Her mother was also injured during the attack.
7. Princess Nandi Zulu
Nandi Zulu was the second daughter to Queen Buhle and King Goodwill Zwelithini. She was born in 1977, and in 2002, she got married to Chief Mfundo Bovulengwa Mtirara in a much-talked-about wedding. Chief Mfundo is the Chief of the Matye'ngqina Traditional Authority Area.
8. Prince Phumuzuzulu
Phumuzuzulu is the eldest son of Queen Buhle. He was named after his great grandfather King Phumuzululu kaDinuzulu.
9. Prince Shlobosenkosi Zulu
Shlobosenkosi Zulu is the second son of Queen Buhle, and he was born in 1988. He is an alumnus of Kearsney College in Durban.
10. Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu
Nhlanganiso Zulu is the third son of Queen Buhle, and his wife is called Wandi.
11. Prince Buzabazi
Buzabazi is the fourth son of Queen Buhle.
12. Prince Butho Zulu
The late Butho Zulu is the youngest son of Queen Buhle, and he passed on in 2018 due to a prolonged illness. His sudden death led to the postponement of Shaka Day.
13. Prince Misuzulu Zulu
Misuzulu Zulu is the eldest son of Queen Mantfombi. He was born in September 1974. Currently, he is a student pursuing a degree in international studies in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a father of one, although he is unmarried. Misuzulu is one of the strongest candidates for the throne.
14. Princess Ntandoyesizwe Zulu
Ntandoyesizwe Zulu was born in 1976 and got married to the late Kgosi Oupa Moilwa in April 2002. She is the eldest daughter of Queen Mantfombi.
15. Princess Nomkhosi
Nomkhosi was born in 1982. She is currently engaged to Melusi Moyo.
16. Princess Bukhosibemvelo
Bukhosibemvelo was born in 1985. The woman is married to Spiho Nyawo. She made headlines after it was alleged that her husband paid 120 cows for her lobola.
17. Prince Lungelo
Lungelo is a student at Michaelhouse, a boarding school in KwaZulu Natal.
18. Prince Mandlesizwe
Mandlesizwe is one of the youngest King Zwelithini sons.
19. Prince Bizwekhaya
Bizwekhaya is the second youngest sons of Queen Mantfombi.
20. Prince Masikomahle
Masikomahle is the youngest Queen Mantfombi and King Zwelithini sons.
21. Prince Sihlangu Zulu
Sihlangu Zulu is one of the sons of queen Queen Thandi. He is an artist who goes by the name Zulusoul.
22. Princess Mukelile Zulu
Mukelile Zulu is one of the daughters of Queen Thandi. Princess Mukelile has a younger sister.
23. Princess Nqobangothando Zulu
Nqobangothando Zulu is the eldest daughter of Queen Nompumelelo.
24. Prince Nhlangano Zulu
Nhlangano Zulu is the only son of Queen Nompumelelo.
25. Princess Cebo Zulu
Nompumelelo is the youngest daughter of Queen Nompumelelo.
26. Prince Nhlendlayenkosi Zulu
Nhlendlayenkosi Zulu is the youngest King Zwelithini son. He is also the only son of Queen Zola Zelusiwe Mafu.
The details of the late King Zwelithini wives and children must have enlightened you on how diverse his family is. If you wish to find out who among his sons will take over the throne, be on the lookout for updates.
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