Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Turns 73: A Look at Her Life and Career on Her Birthday

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Turns 73: A Look at Her Life and Career on Her Birthday

She was once the former first lady and almost became Mzansi’s first ever female president, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is a household name in South Africa.

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On 27 January, 2022, Dlamini Zuma celebrated her 73rd birthday. Politics have been a part of the current Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ life for a long time and Briefly News decided to celebrate her birthday by taking a look at NDZ’s career.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Turns 73: A Look at Her Life and Career on Her Birthday
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during her presidential bid in 2017. Photo credit: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Early life: Dlamini Zuma was born in Natal

On 27 January, 1949, Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini was born to Zulu parents in Natal - which is known as KwaZulu-Natal today. She is the eldest of eight children and completed high school at the Amanzimtoti Training College, according to historicschools.org.za.

Falling in love with politics while in university

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Almost 50 years - that’s how long NDZ has been in politic. Her political aspirations reportedly started her degree in medicine at the University of Natal, and joined the underground South African Students Organisation. Despite the strenuous nature of her chosen qualification, NDZ made her political activities a priority and in 1976 she was elected the deputy president of the South African Students Organisation. That same year, she was exiled and had to finish her studies abroad. NDZ completed her degree in medicine at the University of Bristol in the UK in 1978, African Union reported.

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Becoming Mrs Zuma

Briefly News previously reported their union was blessed with four children before she divorced him in June 1998. Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube, one of the children born in Zuma's house, got married to the son of Welshman Ncube, Zimbabwean politician and President of the MDC. The other children that Dlamini gave birth to in Zumas house are Msholozi, Nokuthula Nomaqhawe and Thuthukile.

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Even though their marriage ended, Jacob Zuma stilled showed his former missus support when she ran for the ANC presidency. Before his term in office ended, Zuma publicly endorsed NDZ as his successor, eNCA reported. Business Insider added that Zuma said his former wife was not easily fooled and could be trusted.

Climbing the ranks in the ANC

Nkosazana had served in various capacities in the country before assuming her current position. During former President Jacob Zuma's first term in office, she served as the Minister of Home Affairs, and while presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe were in power, she served in the same capacity. At that time, Dlamini Zuma news filled the media with lots of criticisms because of her "quiet diplomacy" in response to the violent land invasions by Zimbabwe as well as anti-white racism.

More so, she had also served under President Cyril Ramaphosa as the Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission for Policy and Evaluation. In December 2007, Dlamini-Zuma was elected as one of the 80-member National Executive Committee of the ANC. Then, the election that held at the nineteenth session of the Assembly of the African Union on the 15th of July, 2012 ushered her in as its Chairperson. Her victory made her break a record by becoming the first woman who would lead the Commission.

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In 2017, she contested for the office of President of South Africa but got defeated by Cyril Ramaphosa in her campaign during the African National Congress's 54th National Conference that held in December 2017. The competition between NDZ and Ramaphosa was widely seen as an example of the division within the ruling party.

In an attempt to salvage the public image of the ANC and to give the impression of a united party, Ramaphosa included Dlamini Zuma in his cabinet.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Turns 73: A Look at Her Life and Career on Her Birthday
Ramaphosa hugs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during a swearing-in ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Photo credit: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma municipality

The establishment of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipality took effect based on the merging of Kwa Sani and Ingwe local municipalities after the local elections that held in August 2016. Politically, twenty-nine members make up the municipal council. They were elected by proportional representation of mixed members.

Even though there are no perfect leaders, the impact of Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma towards the development of South Africa would still be remembered. Her level of boldness and belief in herself which makes to take giant strides are worth emulating.

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Dlamini Zuma sparks outrage with ciggie ban

Dlamini Zuma was up front and centre during the hard levels of the Covid-19 lockdown. Many people, especially smokers and the tobacco industry, dreaded the nights she addressed the nation.

NDZ infuriated many when she told the National Coronavirus Command Council that the sale of tobacco and alcohol products should be banned until Level 1 lockdown. Dlamini Zuma's motion was supported by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when she voiced her opinion. The minister reportedly feels that allowing the sale of cigarettes and alcohol on June 1 when SA migrates to Level 3 would pose too much of a health risk, despite immense pressure to unban the products.

A part of her speech, where NDZ explained how smoking weed could spread the coronavirus, even went viral after it was remixed by muso Max Hurrel.

In the speech, the Minister explained the increased danger that smokers, especially those who roll their own tobacco, face from Covid-19.

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She said, “When people zol, they put saliva on the paper, and then they share that zol."

John Steenhuisen joins many SAns to accuse Dlamini-Zuma of benefitting sketchy friends

Thhe cigarette ban resulted in a lot of criticism directed at Dlamini-Zuma. The DA’s John Steenhuisen went as far as to accuse Dlamini Zuma of benefitting the infamous Adriano Mazzotti.

The DA leader threw some shade at Dlamini-Zuma on Twitter, suggesting her decision might stem from a controversial relationship with Adriano Mazzotti. Steenhuisen said he knows of "somebody" - referring to Mazzotti - who will be "smiling all the way to the bank after his favourite minister shut down the legal tobacco sales.

Mazzotti has been accused of selling tobacco in an illegal manner. In 2017, Zuma's ex-wife was accused of working closely with Mazzotti, The South African reported. Photos of her meeting with the corrupt cigarette manufacturer resurfaced online now that she had decided to ban the legal sale of ciggies.

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Mzansi wishes Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma a happy birthday

Meanwhile, social media users have flooded our comment section with happy birthday messages to the minister.

Esihle Nzwaki said:

“Happy Birthday Queen.”

Ndonga Nhlakah Shamase Ayandah added:

“Happy 73rd birthday to the old lady.”

Nomathamsanqa Kunene wrote:

“Happy birthday Leadership.”

John Mollo commented:

”Mother of the nation indeed.”

Source: Briefly News

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