King Goodwill Zwelithini Biography: Parents, Wives, Age, Children, Cause Of Death, Education, Sons, Surname

Posted By Princess Tshegofatso


Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (born July 14, 1948), who reigned as the Zulu King for an unprecedented 50 years from 1971 until his passing in 2021, played a pivotal role in South Africa. 

Assuming the throne at 20 in 1968 following his father’s demise, King Zwelithini became the longest-reigning Zulu monarch in history. Beyond his traditional leadership, he actively participated in politics, being a member of the Inkatha Freedom Party and serving as the traditional prime minister in the KwaZulu homeland from 1981 to 1994. 

Goodwill Zwelithini‘s legacy includes his enduring reign and commitment to Zulu advocacy and education in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Goodwill Zwelithini: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu
Stage Name: Goodwill Zwelithini
Born: 14 July 1948 (age 72 years old)
Place of Birth: Nongoma, South Africa
Died: 12 March 2021, Durban, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Education: Bekezulu College of Chiefs
Height: 1.59 m
Parents: Cyprian Bhekuzulu, Thomozile Jezangani kaNdwandwe
Siblings: Vulindlela kaBhekuzulu, Mathuba KaBhekuzulu, Mbonisi kaBhekuzulu
Spouse: Zola Zelusiwe Mafu (m. 2014), Nompumelelo Mchiza (m. 1992), Mantfombi Dlamini (m. 1973), Sibongile Winifred Dlamini (m. 1969), Buthle MaMathe (m. 2002), Thandekile Jane Ndlovu
Girlfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: Misuzulu Zulu, Lethukuthula Zulu, Phumuzuzulu, Ntandoyesizwe Zulu, Nandi Zulu, Nombuso Zulu, Sibusile Zulu, Shlobosenkosi Zulu, Ntombizosuthu Ka Zwelithini Duma, Sinethemba Bati Zulu, Ntandoyenkosi Kazwelithini Ngcaweni
Occupation: King of the Zulu Nation
Net Worth: $20 million (USD)

Early Life & Education

Born on July 27, 1948, in the town of Zulu, South Africa, Goodwill Zwelithini was raised by his parents, Cyprian Bhekuzulu and Thomozile Jezangani kaNdwandwe. His surname happens to be kaBhekuzulu.

Growing up alongside siblings Prince Mbonisi kaBhekuzuluPrince Mathuba KaBhekuzulu, and Prince Vulindlela kaBhekuzulu, with a grandfather named Solomon kaDinuzuluGoodwill ascended to the throne as the King of the Zulus in 1968, a position he held until his passing on March 12, 2021.

Goodwill Zwelithini‘s education was rooted in tradition, as he attended the Bekezulu College of Chiefs, receiving comprehensive training in Zulu customs. His educational journey also involved private tutoring to enhance his understanding of traditional practices. 

Additionally, exposure to Western-style subjects like English and history gave him a broader perspective. Armed with a well-rounded education, Goodwill Zwelithini became a highly respected and knowledgeable leader of the Zulu nation.


Goodwill Zwelithini served as the revered Zulu king for over 50 years, leading the Zulu people through an era of stability and prosperity. His commitment to preserving traditional values and fostering cultural heritage defined his reign. 

Beyond his role as a traditional leader, he demonstrated a compassionate spirit through philanthropic endeavors, extending help to those in need. Goodwill has left a remarkable legacy and is remembered for his substantial contributions to advancing and preserving Zulu culture.

Within the Zulu community, Goodwill Zwelithini held two significant positions. Firstly, as the chairman of the Ingonyama Trust, a corporate entity managing traditionally owned land, he ensured its use for the benefit of the Zulu people. Secondly, he served as the head of the Zulu National Council, the highest traditional authority, granting him influential decision-making power and a crucial role in shaping the community’s future.

Personal Life

Goodwill Zwelithini, the seventh Zulu king, led a personal life as diverse and vibrant as his official role. Throughout his life, he entered into six marriages and was a father to at least eleven children. 

His wives included Sibongile Winifred Dlamini (married 1969), Mantfombi Dlamini (married 1973), Nompumelelo Mchiza (married 1992), Thandikela Jane NdlovuButhle MaMathe (married 2002), and Zola Zelusiwe Mafu (married 2014). The eleven children born to Goodwill Zwelithini were Misuzulu ZuluLethukuthula ZuluPhumuzuzuluNtandoyesizwe ZuluNandi ZuluNombuso ZuluSibusile ZuluShlobosenkosi ZuluNtombizosuthu Ka Zwelithini DumaSinethemba Bati Zulu, and Ntandoyenkosi Kazwelithini Ngcaweni.

Known for his outspoken nature, Goodwill Zwelithini fearlessly expressed his opinions on various topics, staunchly advocating for Zulu traditions and speaking out against perceived threats to their culture. Despite being a revered figure for many, controversy surrounded him, particularly regarding his views on women and a luxurious lifestyle. However, within the Zulu community, he was widely regarded as a symbol of unity and pride, embodying traditional values.

Tragically, after his passing in 2021 at the age of 72, Goodwill Zwelithini left behind a legacy that will be remembered and cherished in the hearts of many.

Net Worth

The late King of the Zulu Nation, Goodwill Zwelithini, was a wealthy individual with an estimated net worth of over $20 million. This amount represented his assets, which included investments and numerous properties under his ownership. 

Additionally, the annual budget of the Zulu royal household, which the South African government funded, was also considered a part of his overall wealth. Despite his passing in 2021, King Goodwill Zwelithini‘s legacy as a prosperous and influential figure within the Zulu community will undoubtedly endure for many years.

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