Zwelinzima Vavi Biography: Wife, Age, Children, Qualifications, Net Worth, News, Twitter, Contact Details, Salary, House

Zwelinzima Vavi Biography: Wife, Age, Children, Qualifications, Net Worth, News, Twitter, Contact Details, Salary, House

Posted By Princess Tshegofatso


Zwelinzima Vavi (born December 20, 1962) is a prominent South African trade unionist, is a dynamic figure who has made a lasting impact as an influential activist and captivating internet personality. His notable role as the former General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) from 1999 to 2015 has solidified his place as a key player in advocating for workers’ rights and social justice.

Zwelinzima Vavi‘s ascent within COSATU was remarkable, as he climbed the ranks to assume the pivotal position of General Secretary in 1999. His tenure, spanning more than a decade, was marked by his commitment to championing the rights of the working class. 

However, in 2012, he faced a crisis involving allegations of sexual impropriety, which led to his resignation after the National Executive Committee of COSATU voted to suspend him. He staunchly denied these claims, yet he chose to step down, undoubtedly navigating a difficult path.

Despite the challenges, Zwelinzima Vavi‘s contributions to the labor movement and his dedication to social justice have left an indelible mark. His leadership at COSATU propelled the organization’s mission forward, amplifying workers’ voices and advocating for their rights.

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Zwelinzima Vavi: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Bheki Zwelinzima Vavi
Stage Name: Zwelinzima Vavi
Born: 20 December 1962 (age 60 years old)
Place of Birth: Hanover, South Africa
Education: Maritaaz Technical College
Nationality: South African
Height: 1.57 m
Parents: N/A
Siblings: N/A
Spouse: Noluthando Norah Mathebe (m. 2007)
Girlfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: 5
Occupation: Activist • Media Personality
Net Worth: $1 million

Early Life & Education

Zwelinzima Vavi, born Bheki Zwelinzima Vavi on December 20, 1962, is a prominent South African trade unionist and political figure. Raised in Hanover, a small town in the Northern Cape province, Vavi’s journey is one of resilience and determination in the face of apartheid’s oppressive regime.

Coming from a working-class background, Zwelinzima Vavi witnessed firsthand the hardships endured by black South Africans during apartheid. His father worked as a mineworker, while his mother labored as a domestic worker. These early experiences instilled in him a deep understanding of the time’s economic disparities and social injustices.

In pursuit of justice, he joined the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the early 1980s, an organization at the forefront of the anti-apartheid movement. Through his dedication and unwavering commitment, he quickly rose, becoming a respected leader within COSATU.

His fight for workers’ rights and vocal opposition to the apartheid government often resulted in his arrest and detention. Yet, undeterred by these challenges, Zwelinzima Vavi continued to mobilize workers and advocate for their rights, playing a pivotal role in the broader struggle against apartheid.

Following the end of apartheid and the transition to democracy, Vavi remained actively involved in trade unionism. From 1999 to 2015, he served as the General Secretary of COSATU, contributing significantly to addressing labor issues and combating social inequality.

While Zwelinzima Vavi did not pursue higher education, he completed his schooling at Hanover High School and obtained a secretarial diploma from Maritaaz Technical College. His passion for activism led him to work as a clerk at a gold mine and later become an organizer for the National Union of Mineworkers.


During his time at COSATU, Zwelinzima Vavi became known for his outspokenness and strong stance against inequality, corruption, and injustice. He actively campaigned for workers’ rights, better working conditions, and higher wages. He was also involved in various social and political movements, fighting for affordable healthcare, education, and housing issues.

However, Vavi‘s career at COSATU faced some challenges. In 2013, he was suspended from his position due to alleged financial improprieties. This led to turmoil within the trade union movement, with divisions emerging among its members. Despite the suspension, he remained popular among many workers and was seen as a champion for their rights.

After he departed from COSATU in 2015, Zwelinzima Vavi remained active in the labor and social justice movements in South Africa. He co-founded the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) in 2017, which aimed to provide an alternative voice for workers outside of COSATU. As the Secretary General of SAFTU, he advocated for workers’ rights and social justice.

In addition to his trade union work, Zwelinzima Vavi has also been involved in political activities. He has been critical of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and has called for a more radical and progressive political agenda. Vavi has been vocal about issues such as corruption within the ANC and the need for a more inclusive and equitable society.

Social Media

  • Twitter: @ZwelVavi
  • Facebook: Zwelinzima Vavi
  • Instagram: zwelinzima_vavi
  • YouTube: Zwelinzima Vavi

Personal Life

In 2007, Zwelinzima Vavi married Noluthando Norah Mathebe. They share five children. He is a fervent Christian who attends the Zion Christian Church. 

He is also a strong supporter of social justice and a loud critic of government corruption and inequity. He is the tenth of twelve children born to a mineworker father and a homemaker mother. Vavi is the youngest of four brothers and seven sisters.

Net Worth

Zwelinzima Vavi‘s amassed net worth is about $1 million. This is based on his pay as General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) from 2007 to 2014 and his speaking and book sales.

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