Zulu Royal Family, South Africa || Ubukhosi bakwaZulu || Zulu Kingdom

The Zulu Royal Family is currently the reigning dynasty of the Zulu Kingdom of Zulu people (AmaZulu) of South Africa. The Zulu kingdom etsbalished in 1816 covers parts of KwaZulu province and neigbouring Mpumalanga Province. The royal family consists of the current King and his family, late King Goodwill Zwelithini and his family, Previous Kings and their families, and many other royal descendants. Currently, the Zulu royal dynasty has 12 royal houses that make up the dynasty. This post however mainly focuses on the late King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu dynasty. Members either go by the surname Zulu or their fathers name. e.g. KaZwelithini

Royal Titles

  • King – Ingonyama or ISilo among others
  • Queen – uMkankosi (wife of King), uNdlunkulu (plural iNdlunkulu) used by ladies who marry into the royal family,
  • Queen Mother – Indlovukazi (also applied to Queen regents)
  • Prince – UMntwana
  • Princess – UMntwana
    • Zinyane, Plural Amazinyane – children of a lion (King)
  • Chief – iNkosi, plural Amakhosi
  • Headman – Induna
  • Prime minister – Ndunankulu
    • (Special Acknowledgement to Princess Sinethemba Kazwelithini, Thami Zulu)

Kings of Zulu

Picture: JHK, Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

King Misuzulu kaZwelithini

King Misuzulu Singobile KaZwelithini is the current reigning King of Zulu people of South Africa. He is the son of late King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu and late Queen regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu ,born Princess of Eswatini. His parents marriage was a great wife tradition and thus was expected to become King. He was named heir to the throne after the passing of his mother who had served shortly as queen regent after the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini. King Misuzulu is married to Queen Ntokozo Mayisela Zulu with young children. He has 6 children among them Prince Jubezizweni Sigcau Zulu. Bayede Wena WeNdlovu!

Photos : 1- Prince Bambindlovu, 2- Supplied, 3 – Enhle media

Queen Ntokozo Mayisela Zulu

Queen Ntokozo is the wife of King Misuzulu. She is locally addressed as Indlunkulu. She is the frist wife of King Misuzulu. Together they have two Boys.

Photos; Courtsey

Queen Nozizwe Mulela Zulu

Queen Nozizwe is from Eswatini and currently serves as Managing Director of Eswatini Bank. She is the second wife of King Misuzulu

Photos; Queen Nozizwe

King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu

King Goodwill Zwelithini son of King Cyprian Bhekuzulu reigned for nearly 50 years after succeeding his father in 1968, crowned in 1971 until his passing in 2021. See link – King Goodwill Zwelithini

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Queen mother Mavis Mazungu Zulu

Queen Mother Mavis Mazungu Zulu is the only surviving wife of late King Cyprian Bhekuzulu who reigned from 1948 to 1968. She is also the mother of late Queen Noloyiso Nomusa Zulu of Rharhabe and thus grandmother to King Jonguxolo kaSandile of Rharhabe kigdom, South Africa.

Queen Sibongile Dlamini Zulu of KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace

Queen Sibongile is the first wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. She was the first wife the King married before he was crowned. She resides at KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace

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Queen Buhle Mathe Zulu of KwaDlamahlahla Royal Palace

Queen Buhle is the second wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. In 1996 she was shot, stabbed and beaten with clubs by supporters of the Zulu based Inkatha Freedom Party. Her daughter Princess Sibusile and four friends were also hurt. They survived the ordeal that shockeed south Africa. She resides at KwaDlamahlahla Royal Palace

Late Queen regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu of KwaKhangelamakengane Royal Palace

Queen regent Mantfombi was the third wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. She was born a princess of Eswatini as the daughter of King Sobhuza II. She resided at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace

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Queen Thandekile Ndlovu Zulu of KwaLinduzulu Royal Palace

Queen Thandekile is the fourth wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. She resides at KwaLinduzulu Royal Palace

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Queen Nompumelelo Mchiza Zulu of eNyokeni Royal Palace

Queen Nompumelelo is the fifth wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. She is from Xhosa tribe. She resides at Enyokeni Royal Palace, which is considered the traditional palace because thats where the Zulu reed dance takes place among other big royal events.

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Queen Zola Mafu Zulu of Ondini Royal Palace

Queen Zola is the sixth and last wife of late King Goodwill Zwelithini. She is a swati from Eswatini. She resides at Ondini Royal Palace

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KaZwelithini Princes and Princesses

King Goodwill Zwelithini children include:

(Note; Prince Simphiwe and Prince Sibusiso names have been interchanged)

(Note: The Photos also don’t include all the children)

Photo: Zuluyesabeka
Photo: Zuluyesabeka

Other Senior royal houses

There are 12 senior royal houses which are branches of the main Zulu royal family. There are also others

  • Onkweni Royal House
  • Kwafihlinqindi Royal House
  • Osuthu
  • eGazini
  • KwaNobamba
  • more to be added

Chiefs/Amakhosi under Zulu monarchy

As per history the Zulu clan/Tribe emerged victorious consolidating all other tribes/clans to for the Zulu Kingdom under Shaka Zulu in 1816. These other tribes were previously autonomous and in some sense can be regarded as Kings. Currently they are seen more as Chiefs under the Zulu Kings. Some sit in the Kwazulu provincial house of traditional leaders and khoisan eaders and local houses

  • Chief (Inkosi) of Buthelezi clan – late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Prince of Kwaphindagene
  • Inkosi  of Chiliza clan – Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza
  • Inkosi of Shozi clan at eMangangeni – Inkosi Bhekamanganga Shozi
  • Inkosi of Mahlobo – Inkosi M.A Mahlobo
  • Inkosi of amaMbo traditional council (mkhize clan) – Inkosi Sibonelo Mkhize
  • Inkosi of emaBovini clan – Inkosi Mpendulo Dumezweni Thandolwami Ngubane
  • Inkosi of Mchunu clan “emachunwini” at Msinga, Emdubuzweni royal house – Inkosi Mchunu
  • Inkosi of esikakhabazela clan – Inkosi Mkhize
  • Inkosi of esikanxamalala clan in Inkandla – Inkosi Zuma
  • Inkosi of amaNtungwa traditional council – Inkosi Patrice Siphamandla Sidumo Khumalo
  • Inkosi of Zungu clan – Inkosi ZK Zungu, Prince of Dedangenabe
  • Inkosi of Biyela clan, Biyela royal house – Inkosi Phiwayinkosi Biyela
  • Inkosi of Hlabisa clan – Inkosi Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa
  • Inkosi of Somopho Traditional Council – Inkosi Mthembu of Somopho
  • Inkosi of KwaNyuswa – Inkosi Muziwhlanhla Ngcobo of KwaNyuswa
  • Inkosi of Zondi clan, iNkadla – Inkosi Zondi
  • Inkosi of Mathenjwa Traditional Council, Manyiseni – Inkosi Lulekwa Mathenjwa (they are swati)
  • Inkosi of Amazizi Traditional Council in Bergville- Inkosi Njabulo Miya
  • Inkosi of Tembe Clan, Tsonga people – Inkosi Mabhudu Israel Tembe
  • Inkosi of the Mhlana Traditional Council

list incomplete

Royal Ceremonies

Kingdom ceremonies that involve royals

  • Umkhosi Womhlanga/Zulu reed dance
  • Umkhosi Wamaganu/First Fruits festival
  • Umkhosi Woselwa/Young Men
  • Commemoration of Battle of Isandlwana
  • Umkhosi Welembe/Shaka Zulu day
  • Umkhosi Wesivivane
  • See link for full description – Royal ceremonies

Royal sites to Visit

  • Ulundi King Cetshwayo palace– was once the capital of the Zulu Kingdom, King Cetshwayo’s palace compound has been reconstructed and is site of Ondini cultural museum
  • Isandlwana – site of the Anglo-Zulu War on 22 January 1879, whereby the Zulu royal army defeated the british army. The site now has monuments to the fallen British and Zulu fighters.
  • King Shaka’s Grave in KwaDukuza – It was here in KwaDukuza that King Shaka was killed by his half brothers Dingane and Mhlangana. He was buried in the town, and a monument has been erected next to his grave. There is also a small museum near the monument where visitors can learn about Shaka, his reign, and the Zulu Kingdom
  • Emakhosini valley –  burial places of a number of early Zulu kings.
  • Nongoma – modern royal capital of the Zulu Kingdom. Nearby are the royal palaces of King Zwelithini and his wives. Enyokeni royal grounds are the site of the annual umkhosi womhlanga reed dance

Traditional Ceremonies

Day to day ceremonies of the Zulu People

  • uMememlo – Coming of age for women
  • uMembeso – Pre-wedding
  • uMshado – Wedding

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