Zulu Royal Family

The Zulu Royal family consists of the reigning monarch of the Zulus of South Africa, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, his consorts, legitimate descendants, near relatives and male-line descendants of his great-grandfather, King Mpande who, as a half-brother of the Zulu Pater Patriae, King Shaka, reigned from 1840 to 1872. Shaka's policies and conquests transformed a small clan into one of South Africa's most influential pre-colonial realms, extending over much of what is now KwaZulu-Natal.

The Nguni-speaking clan of the southern Bantus, which evolved into the Zulu people, takes its name from the third of its recorded chiefs.[1] Malandela, believed to have reigned in the early part of the sixteenth century, is the patrilineal ancestor of the present king, whose lineage comes down from him through Chief Senzangakhona to the latter's son, Shaka.[1] Originally part of the early nineteenth century Mtetwa Empire of Dingiswayo, the Zulus united, expanded and founded an independent empire under King Shaka who, however, never married. The dynasty continues to reign in the male-line descent of his half-brother, King Mpande, whose realm's borders were recognised by the Boers' Commandant-General Andries Pretorius in 1840. He had at least 28 children by different wives, many of whom have living descendants.[1] In 1887 the British annexed Zululand, effectively mediatising the Zulu dynasty as paramount chiefs in the region.[1] The Zulu people and dynasty retained their distinct cultural identity and a measure of independence under the governments of South Africa through the establishment of Zululand as a bantustan and the subsequent abolition of apartheid in the Republic.

As paramount chief within the Republic of South Africa and pursuant to the preservation of African traditional leadership, the hereditary head of the Zulu dynasty retains kingly dignity, ethnic leadership, ritual authority and a civil list, reigning but not ruling in KwaZulu Natal in conjunction with the province's UNdunankulu weSizwe samaZulu. The dynasty is Christian and practices polygamy, agnates of the dynasty bearing the prefix "Prince/Princess" and the surname "Zulu", while holding the rank of KaBhekuZulu, (i.e. prince of the Blood).

Incumbent and family

The present head of the Zulu Royal Family is King Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu, the current monarch of the Zulu nation of South Africa. He was born on 14 July 1948, in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal. He became king on the death of his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon in 1968.[1]

As of 2004, Goodwill Zwelethini had six wives and 27 children:[2]



Main article: List of Zulu kings
  1. Mnguni I
  2. Lufenu
  3. Gumede
  4. Yeye
  5. Mnguni II
  6. Mdlani
  7. Luzumana
  8. Malandela kaLuzumana, son of Luzumana
  9. Zulu I kaMalandela, son of Malandela
  10. Nkosinkulu
  11. Ntombela
  12. Zulu II kaNtombela founder and chief of the Zulu clan from ca. 1709
  13. Gumede kaZulu II, son of Zulu II, chief of the Zulu clan
  14. Phunga kaGumede (d. 1727), son of Gumede, chief of the Zulu clan up to 1727
  15. Mageba kaGumede (ca. 1667–1745), son of Gumede and brother of Phunga, chief of the Zulu clan from 1727 to 1745
  16. Ndaba kaMageba (ca. 1697–1763), son of Mageba, chief of the Zulu clan from 1745 to 1763
  17. Jama kaNdaba (ca. 1757–1781), son of Ndaba, chief of the Zulu clan from 1763 to 1781
  18. Mkabayi kaJama, daughter of Jama
  19. Senzangakhona kaJama (ca. 1757–1816), son of Jama, chief of the Zulu clan from 1781 to 1816
  20. Shaka kaSenzangakhona (ca. 1787–1828), son of Senzangakona, king from 1816 to 1828
  21. Dingane kaSenzangakhona (ca. 1795–1840), son of Senzangakhona and half-brother of Shaka, king from 1828 to 1840
  22. Mpande kaSenzangakhona (1798–1872), son of Senzangakhona and half-brother of Shaka and Dingane, king from 1840 to 1872
  23. Cetshwayo kaMpande (1834 – February 1884), son of Mpande, king from 1872 to 1884
  24. Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo (1868–1913), son of Cetshwayo kaMpande, king from 1884 to 1913
  25. Phumuzuzulu kaDinuzulu (1890–1933), son of Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo, king from 1913 to 1933
  26. Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaPhumuzuzulu (4 August 1924 – 17 September 1968), son of Solomon kaDinuzulu, king from 1948 to 1968
  27. Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (b. 14 July 1948), son of Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon, king since 1971


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh; Freeman-Grenville, G.S.P. (1980). Burke's Royal Families of the World, Volume II: Africa & the Middle East. London: Burke's Peerage, Ltd. pp. 267–271. ISBN 0-85011-029-7.
  2. Royal Zulu Monarch Archived 29 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/13/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.