Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini (born 23 September 1974) is the reigning King of the Zulu nation. Misuzulu is the third-oldest surviving son of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, and Great Wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu. Misuzulu became heir presumptive after the death of his father on 12 March 2021.
Although he was officially appointed as the king of the Zulu nation on 7 May 2021, his traditional coronation did not take place until 20 August 2022. The King was crowned and recognized by the Government on 29 October 2022.
Personal life and education
King Misuzulu completed his early schooling in eSwatini, his mother’s home country, and later attended high school in South Africa, at St. Charles College, Pietermaritzburg. On 6 May 2021, a day before his mother’s funeral service, King Misuzulu married his long-time partner, Ntokozo Mayisela. The couple met in August 2009 during the royal wedding of King Misuzulu’s sister, Princess Bukhosibemvelo and former Transnet executive Sipho Nyawo, at the Durban Botanic Gardens.
On 13 May 2021, King Misuzulu sent a delegation to Mayisela’s home to negotiate and pay lobola in terms of Zulu marriage custom. The lobola was reported to consist of eight cows and fifty thousand South African Rand. The king has a second queen from eSwatini, Queen Nozizwe Mulela. Lobola and some cultural ceremonies have been done, but the actual wedding has not taken place. The king and his second queen do not have children.
Some sources claim he has a degree in international studies, while others state he is still pursuing the degree, in Jacksonville, Florida. He has two children with his wife, Ntokozo Mayisela, and another child with Princess Wezizwe Sigcau of amaMpondo royalty.
Despite being King Goodwill Zwelithini’s third oldest surviving son, King Misuzulu’s accession to the throne was not instant. Historically, King Misuzulu’s claim to the throne would have been automatic, but the Zulu Kingdom now considers itself a constitutional monarchy, the leader of which must be appointed. King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Great Wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, was appointed regent during the interregnum and, on 24 March 2021, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi issued a statement on behalf of the Zulu Royal Family stating that the new king would only be announced after the three-month mourning period for the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. King Goodwill Zwelithini’s will gave the responsibility of appointing the next king to Queen Mantfombi.
Immediately after the death of King Misuzulu’s father, historians and cultural experts predicted that King Misuzulu would be the one appointed to the throne, as he was the son of the late King and the late King’s Great Wife, giving him increased status among the late King’s other 28 children. At the time, some senior members of the royal family called the debate over succession “premature”. At King Goodwill Zwelithini’s funeral service, the late king’s sister, Princess Thembi Ndlovu stated that the royal family did not yet know who the next king would be and that the individual would be “chosen by God”.
On 29 April 2021, approximately 7 weeks after the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini, Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini herself died from an unspecified illness, without having publicly appointed the next Zulu monarch. However, on 7 May 2021, at the public reading of the late Queen’s will, it emerged that she had appointed King Misuzulu as the next king of the Zulu nation. The announcement was met with protest from certain members of the royal family and King Misuzulu, present at the reading of the will, was escorted away to safety by the South African Police Service and a security detail from eSwatini.
Misuzulu entered the royal kraal and the royal hunt took place on the night of 19 August 2022, until the early hours of 20 August 2022.
The king’s coronation took place on the 29th of October 2022 and was attendeed by Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, David Mabuza, Mswati III, Patrice Motsepe, Thabo Mbeki and many politicians, actors, actresses, journalists, royals, musicians and crowds of people. The coronation took place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Roads in the city were closed.