Misuzulu Zulu isn’t just one of the 28 children of the late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, he is also the heir apparent to the throne following the death of his father. But then, one would not expect that the struggle for the throne would be his major concern, considering that he lost both his father and mother within the space of two months.
His father, King Goodwill Zwelithini, was the longest-serving king in the history of the tribe, having ruled for over fifty years. Following his death in March 2021 from a diabetes-related illness at a hospital in KwaZulu-Natal at the age of 72, his third wife, Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, was appointed Regent of the Zulu Nation. However, in a shocking turn of events, she was announced dead by the royal family just a few weeks – about one month – after she was anointed regent of the kingdom while issues of a new monarch were being sorted out. Dlamini Zulu died at the age of 65, much to the utter shock of the royal palace, who were quick to dismiss any rumors that she had been poisoned.
Having been announced the next ruler of the 11 million people that make up the Zulu nation, the 47-year-old Zulu kingdom heir apparent understands the fact that his parents laid the foundation of a project that they were yet to finish. Rather than mourning them in sorrow, he believes it is wiser to stand up to the responsibilities they left behind and try to finish them up. The battle to become the crowned king of the Zulu kingdom had not been an easy one for Misuzulu, as his stepmother and half-sisters have no plans of allowing him to become king without a fight.
Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini Is The Eldest Surviving Son Of The Late King Goodwill Zwelithini
The eldest son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini is Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, and he was born by his first wife, Ndlunkulu Sibongile MaDlamini. But sadly, he died in 2020, making Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini the eldest surviving son. Misuzulu Zulu, the supposed next king of the Zulu kingdom, was born by Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, the third wife of the late king.
Although she was not his first wife, she bore the title of “Great Queen/Wife” or “Udlunkulu” in Zulu, which was bestowed on her due to the size of her lobola – which was about 300 cattle because she was royalty. She, therefore, served as the queen consort, and when King Goodwill Zwelithini died, she was crowned ‘queen regent’ while her son was readied to take up his father’s throne.
Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, the King’s great queen, also raised Prince Simakade Zulu, the very first son of the late king, but he was born out of wedlock and was not born by one of the six royal wives. As such, he had no right to become the king of the Zulu kingdom following the king’s death – even though he is also contending for the throne.
Being the eldest legitimate son of late King Goodwill Zwelithini was supposed to leave Prince Misuzulu Zulu with an easy passage to the throne as the rightful heir to his father’s throne, but things have changed in the Zulu kingdom – which now sees itself as a constitutional monarch. This means leadership was no longer by inheritance but rather by appointment. Misuzulu Zulu was appointed king by his mother’s will, but many controversies surrounded his coronation. So far, he has proven capable of fighting through the storm and calls on the good people of the Zulu kingdom to stand with him.
Misuzulu Zulu Is The First Child Of Queen Mantfombi Dlamini
Queen Mantfombo Dlamini, the mother of Misuzulu Zulu, is the daughter of Sobhuza II of Swaziland. Being royalty herself, she married King Goodwill Zwelithini in 1977, but before then, she already had a son with him, who happens to be Misuzulu Zulu. The crowned prince of the Zulu kingdom was born on the 23rd of September 1974, which means his present age stands at 47 years old.
He started his education back at his mother’s hometown in Eswatini, but the young prince returned to South Africa, where he completed his high school education at St. Charles College, Pietermaritzburg. Some sources claim that he has a degree in international relations, while some other sources claim that he is still studying at Jacksonville in Florida.
He is currently married to Ntokozo Mayisela, a lady he has been in a relationship with since 2009 and the mother of his two children. King Misuzulu Zulu also has another child out of wedlock with Princess Wezizwe Sigcau of amaMpondo royalty.
Misuzulu Zulu Was Appointed King By The Queen Regent
Following the death of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died on the 12th of March 2021 as a result of diabetes complications, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is the prime minister of the AmaZulu kingdom, issued a statement on behalf of the royal family, stating that the next king will be announced after a three-month mourning period for the late king.
But even before this time was over, historians and cultural experts were already debating and speculating that Prince Misuzulu Zulu would be the next appointed king. During the interregnum, the King’s Great Wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, was appointed Queen Regent. Following her late husband’s will, she was now saddled with appointing the next King of the kingdom.
Although Misuzulu Zulu was yet to be appointed, and no one knew who her choice will be. As the kingdom awaited the expiration of three months mourning period for the late king after which the announcement will be made, all fingers were already pointing at Misuzulu Zulu – and for good reasons. First, Zulu was the eldest son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and was the forerunner to land the top job. Again, he was also the son of the Queen Regent, who the late king had chosen to appoint his successor – it was very likely she would appoint her own son.
While everyone still awaited the end of the mourning period for the next king to be announced, something unexpected happened. The Queen Regent, Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, died on the 29th of April 2021. This was shocking news, and considering all that was happening in the royal family regarding the throne, it was easy for rumors to begin to hold sway that the Queen Regent had been poisoned. This was so, especially because the cause of her death was said to be – and remains – unknown. However, the royal family has since debunked the rumor of her being poisoned, stating clearly that there was no truth in the rumor.
The twist with regards to her death was that she was yet to announce who the next king would be at the time of her death. However, the Great Wife had already put things in place in case of unforeseen circumstances like her death. Thankfully, she had a supposed will, and in the public reading of her will by her lawyer on the 7th of May 2021, her first son, Prince Misuzulu Zulu, was appointed as the next king of the Zulu nation.
Some Members Of The Royal Family Did Not Accept His Appointment As The King
As expected, the announcement of Misuzulu Zulu as the next king of the Zulu kingdom did not go down well with the King’s first wife, Sibongile Winifred Dlamini, and her first two daughters – Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu. And they did not hide their feelings as protests quickly broke out during the reading of the will.
Things got so tense as the will was read that the heir apparent, Prince Misuzulu Zulu, had to be taken away by the South African Police Service as they saw the developing tensions and considered the environment unsafe for him. Despite their disapproval, Misuzulu Zulu had no plans of stopping on his quest to become king, nor did his stepmother and sisters have plans of allowing him to become king.
The entire dispute led to a court hearing as Queen Sibongile Winifred Dlamini and her daughters took the matter before a South Africa court. They filed a case at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on the 2nd of May 2021, requesting that the late King’s will, through which the late king vested the responsibility of appointing the next king to his Great Queen, be declared null and void.
Queen Sibongile and her daughters claim that the signature on the king’s will was forged. As such, making the entire will legally invalid, but they will have to prove this claim in the court of law. However, the Zulu kingdom cannot allow for a leadership vacuum due to the lawsuit. As such, Prince Zulu was appointed King of the Zulu nation. Unfortunately, the appointment happened on the same day they were due to appear in the courts, and as a result, the court hearing was postponed.
The Validity Of Misuzulu Zulu Mother’s Marriage Is Also Being Disputed In The Court
The effort to thwart the ascension of Misuzulu Zulu to the throne of his father seems not to be coming to an end anytime soon. The legality of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s will is not the only thing being questioned in court. Queen Sibongile Winifred Dlamini and her daughters have taken the case as far as disputing the validity of the marriage between the late king and his late wife, Queen Mantfombo Dlamini, and his other wives after her.
Aside from the first wife, who was married under the South African Civil law, all other wives of the late king were married under the customary law, as the law only permits polygamously customary marriages. The case is still being heard in court. However, if they can prove their case beyond reasonable doubt – that the late king’s marriage to Queen Mantfombo Dlamini and all the other wives after her is not legally binding, then they would be able to render Misuzulu Zulu planned ascension to the throne illegal, as he would now be in the same category with Prince Simakade Zulu who was born out of wedlock. This would leave a situation where another person would have to be appointed king.
Some Members Of The Royal Family Demands That Misuzulu Zulu Should Not Be Regarded As The King Of Zulu
Misuzulu Zulu half-sisters – Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu – must have a good reason for coming against their own half-brother so fiercely. Despite that their lawsuit against the brother is still pending in the court, they went ahead to seek orders from the court to stop the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal from taking any step that would officially make Misuzulu Zulu the king of the Zulu kingdom.
They even went as far as bidding to interdict the South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, from issuing a certificate of recognition to Misuzulu Zulu as the king of the kingdom.
This is a major step because for a king or a queen to be officially and formally recognized according to section 9(2)(b) of South Africa’s Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 41 of 2003, there must be an issuance of a presidential certificate of recognition, and publication of recognition in the Gazette of the Government.
With all the court cases and issues at hand, it is still unclear whether or not the royal family will go on with the coronation of the Misuzulu Zulu, who is already the appointed king, or whether they will wait for all court cases to be resolved before taking the next step.
Meanwhile, the court requested that both parties submit additional court papers by the 18th of June 2021. What the Princesses and their mother have in mind or have to benefit from all these is still unknown, but with time the outcome of things will certainly become clear to everyone.
King Misuzulu Zulu Got Married To His Wife Ntokozo Mayisela A Day Before His Mother’s Funeral
In the heat of all these issues, Misuzulu Zulu tied the knot traditionally with the long-time love of his life, Ntokozo Mayisela. Misuzulu and Ntokozo met 12 years ago at the royal wedding of his sister Princess Bukhosibemvelo and Sipho Nyawo, a former Transnet executive. The wedding took place at Durban Botanic Gardens in August 2009, and while the couples were being joined, nature was also busy setting a path for future couples to meet.
Despite being with each other for so long and having two children together, they only got married traditionally on the 6th May 2021, a day before the funeral of Misuzulu Zulu’s mother, Queen Mantfombo Dlamini. Under normal circumstances, one would have expected that Misuzulu Zulu would have postponed the marriage until after his mother’s funeral, but he obviously had his reasons. After all, the marriage did not stop the funeral from holding.
On the 13th of May 2021, Misuzulu Zulu sent delegates to Ntokozo Mayisela’s family at Osizweni in Newcastle to negotiate lobola payments and also go ahead to make payments. According to reports, the lobola consists of R50,000 and eight cows.
After lobola payments, wrong pictures of the bride started surfacing the internet, making her family really worried. As a result, her family sent out the actual pictures of the King’s bride to avoid public impersonation. King Misuzulu Zulu’s bride is a 36 years old woman who is also the mother of his two children. She is plumpy, beautiful, and dark-skinned, contrary to the pictures of the light-skinned lady flying around the internet.
Misuzulu Zulu May Also Have Intentions of Being Polygamous Like His Late Father
On the 2nd of June 2021, King Misuzulu Zulu spoke publicly for the first time after being appointed as the king of the Zulu kingdom. In his interview with a South African news broadcaster, he was asked regarding his vision for the Zulu nation and his intentions to take a second wife. This line of the question was intended to reveal his thoughts about polygamy – especially in the wake of what he has had to go through in his quest to ascend his father’s throne.
In his response, he said considering that he is from a polygamous home, we can expect anything. He went ahead to say that he would also not like to shy away from the Zulu culture of which polygamy is accepted, and to end his response, he made it clear that he was married at the time, and he is satisfied with having just her – for now.
Although Misuzulu Zulu is married to Ntokozo Mayisela, he has another child outside their union with another lady. Therefore, we can expect anything.
King Misuzulu Zulu Intends To Build On His Father’s Foundation If He Is Finally Crowned King
Still, during the interview, he was asked what his intentions are for the Zulu kingdom should he be crowned king officially, and he started by applauding his father for the great job he had done in the land during his reign and clearly stated that his father had set a foundation which he intends to build on.
For now, he said he does not plan to start anything new of his own, but he looks to build on the solid foundation his father has laid. Stepping into the big shoes his father had left behind would be his immediate and primary concern as he would want to sustain his late father’s legacy by finishing the noble projects and ideas the late King Goodwill Zwelithini had started. According to him, it is only when this first step – successfully building on the foundation this father has laid – is complete that he can then consider working on his own ideas in years to come.
He was also asked about what he intends to do concerning the Ingonyama Trust, which was one of his late father’s issues with the national government. The latter wanted to disband and take over the 2.8 million hectares of land. On that, he responded by saying it was historically obvious that the lands belong to the Zulu people.
He said he would continue to fight on the side of the Zulu people as that is what his father did until his death. The crowned Prince also said he has plans of developing the land for the betterment of the people by partnering with loyal people and systems that would work with him to achieve this mission.
What We Know About The Current State Of The Royal Family, Considering Their Opposition To King Misuzulu
Reports have it that the ceremony of the cleansing of the late king’s shield, knife, and gun was conducted without the knowledge and presence of the new king Misuzulu Zulu. This did not go down well with leading members of the royal family, including the traditional prime minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who publicly slammed members of the family who organized the cleansing ceremony without the king’s presence. He stated that it was against the tradition of the Zulu people for a late king’s shield, knife, and gun to be cleansed in the absence of the heir apparent.
In response, members of the royal family claim that all family members, including the king, were involved. According to one of the king’s daughters, Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu, their family may look divided, but they are not. According to her, they are only airing their different opinions on the matter, which is the right of everyone involved.
Despite this suggestion by Princess Thembi, many South Africans (especially people of the Zulu nation) do not believe that the royal family is still united. The court cases, the public comments from some family members seem to suggest anything but a united royal family. The other question on the minds of onlookers is how those who are currently opposing the coronation of Prince Misuzulu Zulu will work with him if everything is resolved and the heir apparent ascends the throne. What if the case goes against him, and he had to step aside? What happens next? All of these are questions that only time will reveal their answers.