The late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s sons and daughters are among the most sought-after names among the Zulu people, who happen to be the most dominant tribe in South Africa. This is mainly because over the years, several curious people have sought to know who would replace the King when he dies. Before his sad passing, the great King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation was married to multiple wives and had many children with them. As a matter of fact, he was married to six wives and produced 28 children. Sadly, some of the children have passed away.
For the record, King Goodwill Zwelithini reigned as King of the Zulu nation from 1968 until his death on 12 March 2021. He became king following the death of his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu, in 1968, but his official coronation was in 1971. After getting married to his first wife, Goodwill Zwelithini was installed as the eighth monarch of the Zulu people on 3 December 1971. The grand event was held during a traditional ceremony at Nongoma, a popular town in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, and the seat of the Nongoma Local Municipality. The historic event was attended by 20,000 people.
King Goodwill Zwelithini Had 14 Sons and 14 Daughters
During his long reign as the King of the Zulus, King Goodwill Zwelithini married six wives. His first wife was Sibongile Winifred Dlamini whom he married before his coronation on 27th December 1969. He had 5 children with her. He married his second wife, Buhle KaMathe in 1974 and they had eight children together. In 1977, the King married his third wife, Mantfombi Dlamini. The marriage produced eight children.
King Goodwill Zwelithini got married to his fourth wife, Thandekile “Thandi” Jane Ndlovu in 1988. This marriage was blessed with three children. In 1992, the highly revered monarch married his fifth wife, Nompumelelo Mchiza, and had three children with her. The King married his last wife, Zola Zelusiwe Mafu in 2014. They had one child together.
Altogether, King Goodwill Zwelithini produced 28 children with his six wives before his sad passing in 2021. Interestingly, the gender of the kids was equally divided as he had 14 sons and 14 daughters.
The Princes Of Zulu Nation: Meet King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Sons
1. Prince Lethukuthula Zulu
Prince Lethukuthula Zulu was the first-born son of King Goodwill Zwelithini whom he had with his first wife, Sibongile Winifred Dlamini. Prince Lethukuthula Zulu was born in 1970 and was often considered to be the one to take over as the ruler of the Zulu people when his father dies.
However, in what will come across as a really shocking development, the Prince died in 2020. Prince Lethukuthula Zulu was found dead on November 6 2020 at his Gauteng home in Northwold, Johannesburg. It was immediately suspected that he had been murdered. It has been alleged that he was drugged and his belongings stolen. Eventually, five women who were believed to be with him on the night he died were charged with murder.
Before his tragic death, Prince Lethukuthula was said to be a businessman. It is believed that Prince Lethukuthula was a businessman who had operations in Gauteng. There are no reports about him being married or having children.
2. Prince Phumuzuzulu
Prince Phumuzuzulu is the eldest son of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s second wife, Queen Buhle. The prince was named after his great grandfather, King Phumuzululu kaDinuzulu, the son of King kaCetshwayo. Very little information is available about him, but reports say that he is the heir of Enyokeni Palace. Incidentally, the Enyokeni Palace is where King Goodwill Zwelithini hosted most historic events of the Zulu nation, including the reed dance and other events of cultural significance.
When King Goodwill Zwelithini passed away, many people including the University of Zululand-based historian, Dr. Maxwell Shamase, explained that Prince Phumuzuzulu was a very strong contender for the throne of the Zulu people.
3. Prince Shlobosenkosi Zulu
Prince Shlobosenkosi Zulu is the second son of Queen Buhle. He was born in 1988 but the exact day and month of his birth remain vague. Prince Shlobosenkosi Zulu studied at Kearsney College, a private boarding, English medium high school in Botha’s Hill, Durban.
4. Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu
Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu is the third son of Queen Buhle. His date of birth is not clear but we know that he is married to a woman called Wandile Mkhize. He and his wife got married on April 30, 2016, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. As expected, the royal wedding was so big that it was attended by the South African president at the time, Jacob Zuma. It was also attended by some top national figures including Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Zweli Mkhize, and business people.
Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu is also is a TB (tuberculosis) ambassador in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2018, during the commemoration of World TB day in Durban, the prince stunned people when he took off his shirt at the public event to show large scars on his body that were caused by TB. He then encouraged people to take care of their health and work towards fighting the disease. His action inspired many people including Deputy President, David Mabuza who hailed the prince for his hard work towards fighting the dreaded killer disease. He is one of the very prominent princes in the Zulu kingdom.
5. Prince Buzabazi
Prince Buzabazi is the fourth son that Queen Buhle had with King Goodwill Zwelithini. Not much is known about him but he became very vocal after the King’s death as he joined court battles with other members of the royal family to challenge the validity of the will of the late king.
He and the others are claiming that some of the signatures in the late King’s will were flagged by handwriting experts as forged and so the will should be set aside. The court battles have stunned the entire nation as people watch in horror to see what the entire would be like.
6. Prince Butho Zulu
Prince Butho Zulu was the youngest son of Queen Buhle. Sadly, Prince Butho Zulu passed away in September 2018. The Prince died due to a prolonged illness to which he succumbed. His death shocked the entire Zulu nation and the sudden development led to the postponement of King Shaka Day.
The popular politician and Zulu tribal leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, announced that the King Shaka Day celebrations that were scheduled to take place shortly before the sad incident, had been postponed out of respect for the royal family and the need to allow the family some space to grieve.
7. Prince Misuzulu Zulu
Misuzulu Zulu was born on 23 September 1974 in Kwahlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal. He had his high school education at St. Charles College, a Christian, independent boys college situated in Pietermaritzburg. He also bagged a degree in International Studies from Jacksonville, Florida. Misuzulu is married to a beautiful woman called Ntokozo Mayisela, his long-time partner whom he met in August 2009 during the royal wedding of his sister, Princess Bukhosibemvelo. They eventually got married in May 2021. King Misuzulu Zulu has two children with his wife and one other child with Princess Wezizwe Sigcau of amaMpondo royalty.
8. Prince Bambindlovu
Prince Bambindlovu is the second son of the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini. Reports say the prince was born in 1981. Prince Bambindlovu was educated at St. Charles College, Pietermaritzburg, and is a farmer as well as an interior designer and artist.
9. Prince Lungelo
Prince Lungelo is the third son of the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini. The prince was born in 1984 and, according to reports, was once a student at the Michaelhouse boarding school, a full boarding senior school for boys in KwaZulu-Natal.
10. Prince Mandlesizwe
Prince Mandlesizwe is the fourth son that King Goodwill Zwelithini had with Queen Mantfombi Dlamini. He was born in 1990. Very little is known about the prince except for the fact that he is one of the youngest sons of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.
11. Prince Simangaye
Prince Simangaye is the last son that King Goodwill Zwelithini had with Queen Mantfombi Dlamini. The prince was born in 1991. Not much is known about the prince as he keeps quite a low profile.
12. Prince Sihlangu Zulu
Prince Sihlangu Zulu is the first and only son that King Goodwill Zwelithini had with his fourth wife, Thandekile “Thandi” Jane Ndlovu of Linduzulu Royal House. It is not quite certain when Prince Sihlangu Zulu was born. However, we do know that he is now an artist who goes by the name zulusoul.
13. Prince Nhlangano Zulu
Prince Nhlangano Zulu is the first and only son that King Goodwill Zwelithini had with his fifth wife, Nompumelelo Mchiza of oSuthu Royal House, Nongoma. Not much is known about Prince Nhlangano Zulu except that he is one of the youngest sons of the late king.
14. Prince Nhlendlayenkosi Zulu
Prince Nhlendlayenkosi Zulu is the only son King Goodwill Zwelithini had with his sixth and last wife, Zola Zelusiwe Mafu of Ondini Royal House, Ulundi. Very little is known about Prince Nhlendlayenkosi Zulu except for the fact that he is the youngest son of the late king.
Who Succeeded King Goodwill Zwelithini To The Throne?
Prince Misuzulu Zulu, the eldest son of the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, the third wife of King Goodwill Zwelithini, has been appointed the King of Zulu people following his father’s death. King Misuzulu was officially appointed as the next king of the Zulu people on 7 May 2021, however, his official coronation has not taken place yet.
How The King Was Chosen
When King Goodwill Zwelithini passed away, there were lots of speculations among the Zulu people about which of the late king’s sons will replace him as the King of the Zulu people. There were speculations because even though the Zulu nation is a monarchy, kings do not just succeed each other and ascend the throne based on a monarchical order. Instead, they are appointed because the Zulu Kingdom now considers itself a constitutional monarchy. For this reason, no one was sure of who was going to be the next king. Even members of the royal family didn’t know.
Immediately after King Zwelithini’s death, some cultural experts and historians began to predict that Prince Misuzulu would be the one to ascend the throne. This was mainly because he is the son of the late King and his official ‘Great Wife’, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini. This gave him the edge over other children of the late King to ascend the throne.
During the interregnum, King Zwelithini’s Great Wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, was appointed regent and an announcement was made that the new king would be announced after a three-month mourning period for the late King. It was later discovered that King Zwelithini had given Queen Mantfombi Dlamini the responsibility of appointing the next king. However, before she could appoint the next king, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini died from an undisclosed illness. She passed away on 29 April 2021, approximately 7 weeks after the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini.
This notwithstanding, everything was still fine because the Queen had left her own will which contained whom she had appointed as the next king. The will was publicly read on 7 May 2021 and it emerged that she had appointed King Misuzulu as the next king of the Zulu nation.
The Intriguing Succession Battle To Replace King Goodwill Zwelithini’s sons
It is noteworthy that following King Zwelithini’s death, the royal family has been engaged in a succession battle that has threatened King Misuzulu Zulu’s ascension to the throne of his fathers.
Immediately after it was announced that Misuzulu Zulu had been made king, other members of the royal family protested bitterly. In fact, the protests were so bitter and fierce that King Misuzulu, who was present at the reading of the will, had to be quickly whisked away to safety by the South African Police Service and a security detail from Eswatini.
The members of the royal family who are challenging King Misuzulu Zulu’s ascension to the throne have taken the matter to court already. The court papers were filed at the Pietermaritzburg High Court by the late King’s first wife, Sibongile Winifred Dlamini, and the two daughters she had with the King. Sibongile Winifred Dlamini is challenging the validity of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s will. According to the Queen and her daughters, the King’s will should be declared invalid and set aside, because there was a fraudulent signature on it. They also filed a court application asking the court to stop the appointment of a new king pending the court’s ruling on the validity of the late king’s will.
In fact, Sibongile Dlamini has declared that she holds the title of “Great Wife” because she was the king’s first wife who was married to him under civil law. Therefore, she wants the court to set aside his other five, traditional marriages and also stop them from getting an equal share of the King’s estate. She also wants to block the ascension to the throne of anyone who is not from her family. However, despite the case being in court, Misuzulu Zulu was appointed King.
Weeks later, on 21 May 2021, the two daughters of the late King Zwelithini’s first wife headed to court again seeking to interdict the coronation of Misuzulu. They particularly sought an order stopping the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal from formally recognizing Misuzulu as king of the Zulu people. They also asked the court to stop President Cyril Ramaphosa from issuing the certificate of recognition to Misuzulu which would officially put the staff of authority in his hand.
Despite all this, Misuzulu Zulu still has the overwhelming support of many Zulu people. As a matter of fact, the highly respected traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu nation, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, backs King Misuzulu despite objections from other members of the royal family and has since maintained that the king needs no “piece of paper” to be recognized. Also, the Zulu royal household spokesperson, Prince Thulani Zulu, has revealed that the coronation of King Misuzulu Zulu could go ahead despite everything.