Who are Zuma's 23 children?

Jacob Zuma with some of his children.
Jacob Zuma with some of his children.

* This story was last updated on 4 July 2018. 

President Zuma once said in a TV interview: "There are plenty of politicians who have mistresses and children that they hide so as to pretend they're monogamous. I prefer to be open. I love my wives and I'm proud of my children." 

Some of the Zuma clan are well known to the public and tabloids, others prefer to keep to themselves. What follows is an unofficial list of the First Children, from oldest (40) to youngest (7). Not all names and dates are known to the public, and many of the younger ones are still minors so we're protecting their identities.

Also read: How do you talk about Mr President in front of your children?

The older clan:

The oldest 10 are mostly the children of former wives Kate Mantsho and presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Kate had 5 children with Jacob, but tragically committed suicide in 2000. Dlamini-Zuma had 4 children with Zuma and divorced him in 1998; the following year she became cabinet minister.

1. Mziwoxolo Edward Zuma (son)

Mother: Minah Shongwe
Born: 1977

Edward Zuma

Zuma’s oldest son and also perhaps the most controversial one, Edward started law studies at the University of Zululand.

In 2000 he was arrested for raping a fellow student, but the woman withdrew the charges (after receiving compensation, reported Noseweek). Edward has since been in the news for defaulting on a multimillion loan, owing a million bucks to his wedding planner, allegedly dealing in contraband cigarettes, dropping xenophobic remarks and avoiding paying maintenance for his son.

On the upside, this means Edward is the first (and so far only) one to make the president a grandpa, and his expensive wedding (to Phumelele Shange) did make it onto Top Billing (click to watch). He is also fiercely loyal of his dad and regularly defends him on issues ranging from Nkandla and Zuma’s genitals in art to negative comments by Julius Malema. Edward is director of nearly a dozen companies and has been tied to at least 34.

2. Mxolisi (Saady) Zuma (son)

Mother: Kate Mantsho
Born: 1980 

Mxolisi is the oldest of 5 children born to Jacob and Kate Mantsho. Born in Mozambique, where their family was in exile, he and his 4 siblings played in the streets, went to the local school and learned Portuguese. After 10 years, they moved to Zimbabwe and finally relocated to South Africa in 1993. He was 20 years old when his mom passed away. Today he has business interests in at least 6 investment and broker companies, but he stays out of the news and off social media. 

3. Msholozi Zuma (daughter)

Mother: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Born: 1982 

Msholozi Zuma

Msholozi, Zuma’s oldest daughter, was named after her father’s clan name. She’s also the oldest of Zuma’s children with his now ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who divorced Jacob when Msholozi was 16.

Msholozi isn’t in the news much but this story raised a few chuckles: when she accompanied the president in 2013 to an IEC point at a primary school in Nkandla, she was told she wasn’t on the voter’s roll because she had a Swaziland ID document. Her dad quickly explained that she was born in exile and after a few urgent phone calls, Msholozi was registered. Here she is seen celebrating her mom's birthday in 2012.

4. Duduzane (Zane) Zuma (son, twin)

Mother: Kate Mantsho
Born: 1984  

Duduzane Zane Zuma

Brother Zane has a taste for the lavish. In 2009 he cruised on a luxury passenger ship costing around R200,000 per week. He lives in a grand house in Johannesburg with a fleet of luxury cars, although it's technically owned by Mabengela Investments – of which he is a director along with the Gupta brothers. He is also director of at least 10 other companies, including Shiva Uranium and Tegeta Resources and Energy.

*Update: On 8 April 2016, Duduzane resigned along with Gupta brothers Atul, Ajay, Chetali, Rajesh "Tony", Arti and Varun from Oakbay Investments and Oakbay Resources and Energy.

Duduzane says, though, that none of this has come through his dad. "I believe I would’ve been further if my surname wasn’t Zuma," he once said. "It has been a millstone (around my neck) for a very long time. People forget when my old man was going through all sorts of troubles." He has gotten himself into trouble, however. Not least when in 2014 he drove into a minibus taxi in Sandton, killing a woman and injuring three others.

His 2015 wedding to Shanice Stork was a socialite event bar none. You can follow Zane on Twitter (@duduzane_zuma) thought he hasn't tweeted since 2014. 

*Update: November 2016 - Tegeta has been mentioned in Public Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report.

5. Duduzile (Dudu) Zuma (daughter, twin)

Mother: Kate Mantsho
Born: 1984

Duduzile Zuma Twitter Drum

The twin sister of Zane, Dudu is also famous for her bling lifestyle. In 2009 she hosted her birthday party with a guest list 600 names long, an open bar and luxury champagne on tap. She’s on the board of a number of investment companies, and founded African Star Communications, a PR and events company. Deeply touched by her mom’s suicide, Dudu also founded the Dudu Zuma Foundation charity for underprivileged women and children, specifically assisting those at risk of suicide. Her high-profile marriage to Lonwabo Sambudla, who is linked to The Billion Group and tender irregularities, seems to have ended in 2016. 

6. Gugulethu (Gugu) Zuma-Ncube (daughter)

Mother: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Born: 1985 

Gugulethu Gugu Zuma

Gugu is perhaps best known as actress in the roles of Lesedi Moloi in Isidingo, Sergeant Bhelu Mini in Interrogation Room, Coco in It’s for Life, and Zozo in Rhythm City. She graduated from AFDA Cape Town in 2007 with a Live Performance degree and her group's graduation film, "Sindiswa", was nominated for the Student Academy Awards (Student Oscars) in Hollywood.

She’s more than an actress, however, and also has various business interests, including Nyenyedzi Productions, which produced It’s for Life. 

"Politics just isn’t in my blood," she once told Beeld. "There are other ways of reaching out to people besides being a politician. I decided the way I wanted to influence people was through media, and film-making specifically."

*Update: Gugu also co-owns Stained Glass Productions, which produces Uzalo, the series that got caught up in the controversial Hlaudi decision to commission a second series.

Gugu responded on Twitter:

Gugu’s Twitter bio reads: “Living and growing, hoping and praying, laughing, loving & learning.” (@guguzuma

7. Nokuthula (Thuli) Nomaqhawe Zuma (daughter)

Mother: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Born: 1987

Nokuthula Thuli Nomaqhawe Zuma

A brainy one, Thuli graduated in 2012 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a Masters degree in Economics, and she also did her Masters of Public Policy Management at Wits University. She’s been working at the Presidency Department of Monitoring and Evaluation since 2010 and also has interests in at least 4 businesses.

Thuli is also an actress, however, and starred in her sister’s sitcom It’s My Life. The presidential twitter account was so proud of the show that it officially promoted it, creating a bit of a stir. She has tweeted much support for Gugu in response to #Uzalo.

Follow @Thulibird on Twitter: "A lover of many&much, including but not limited to waffles. An actor&teller of stories. I hope for a better world."

8. Thuthukile (Thuthu) Xolile Nomonde Zuma (daughter)

Mother: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Born: 28 April 1989

Thuthu Zuma

Another offspring of the president that has hit the headlines, Thuthu has had a meteoric career path. A year after obtaining her BA honours in anthropology in 2012, she was appointed public liaison officer at the Ministry of State Security. Another year later, in 2014, at the tender age of 25, Thuthu became the youngest ever ministerial chief of staff with her appointment in the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, earning nearly R1 million annually. Thuthukile also has business interests.

Her Twitter (@thuthukilezuma) bio reads: "Chief of Staff, Telecommunications & Postal Services Department. The Presidents Daughter. Born Free. Previously Underprivaledged." (sic)


* Thuthukile resigned from her high position, it was confirmed on Sunday 21 February 2016. Read more here.

In July she tweeted support for sis Gugu after the #Uzalo cabal, and was retweeted by sister Thuli: 

And on the first day of the ANC conference, 16 December, she tweeted her support for dad Mr President and mom Dlamini-Zuma.

9. Phumzile Zuma (daughter)

Mother: Kate Mantsho
Born: 1989

Phumzile isn’t often in the spotlight. She studied at Wits and became a Scientologist, and gave a speech at the opening of the Scientology Life Improvement Centre in Johannesburg in March 2010.

This heart-warming photo album of her and her other siblings, with Mom Kate and dad Jacob, appeared on YouTube:

10. Nhlakanipho Vusi Zuma (son)

Mother: Kate Mantsho
Born: 1993. Died: 2018.

Vusi Zuma, the youngest of Kate and Zuma’s children, passed away on Sunday 1 July 2018. He suffered from systematic lupus erythematosus, more commonly known as lupus, and developed complications. Read the story on News24 here: Former president Jacob Zuma's son dies and Zuma's son Vusi died of lupis

Vusi was very quiet in the media. We could only find a Twitter account for him: @VusiZumaN. *But a woman contacted us and said the photograph in this Twitter account (which we published here), is actually of her son, and we managed to verify that that photo was indeed of her son and not of Vusi.

So who was the real Vusi? We don't know whether the entire Twitter account is a hoax, but he simply describes himself with the word "Academia" in his Twitter bio and says he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

On 21 June this account tweeted:

And on 10 May, he tweeted this message:

That was his last tweet. We guess Vusi just used another man's photo to protect his own identity?

Our condolences to the family.

Also read: South Africa's top baby names

The younger clan:

Not too much is public about Zuma's younger children, which means the birth order below is all approximate. Wife MaNtuli has so far produced 3 children for Jacob, and currently lives near Stanger in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2009 MaNtuli’s former bodyguard, Phinda Thomo, died in what was said was a suicide. And in February 2015 MaNtuli was evicted from Nkandla after being accused of trying to poison the president and father of her children. 

Wife Gloria Bongekile Ngema has given Jacob a son and he has another child (gender unknown) with wife Thobeka Madiba (Mabhija), who lives in Durban North and is also looking after a daughter and twins he fathered with an unknown woman from Johannesburg.  

Furthermore we know he has two children with Priscilla Nonkwaleko Mhlongo (a Pietermaritzburg businesswoman), a daughter with a woman from Richard's Bay, and a son with Sonono Khoza, daughter of the president's friend Irvin Khoza.

11. Daughter 

Mother: Priscilla Nonkwaleko Mhlongo
Born: 18 January 1998 

12. Daughter

Mother: Priscilla Nonkwaleko Mhlongo
Born: 19 September 2002

13. Daughter

Mother: Nompumelelo (MaNtuli) Ntuli
Born: 1 January? 2002

This child was in car accident in March 2015 with her two siblings and cousin when a black car rammed into theirs. They all recovered well.

14. Daughter

Mother: Nompumelelo (MaNtuli) Ntuli
Born: 1 February 2006

This child was also in the car. 

15. Son

Mother: Gloria Bongekile Ngema
Born: 2006

16 & 17. Twins: son & daughter

Mother: Johannesburg woman
Born: ?

18. Unknown

Mother: Thobeka Stacie Madiba (Mabhija)
Born: October 2007

19. Daughter

Mother: Johannesburg woman, but currently lives with wife Thobeka Madiba (Mabhija).
Born: ?

20. Daughter

Mother: Sonono Khoza, daughter of Irvin Khoza
Born: 8 October 2009

Zuma’s 20th child (officially). 

21. Son

Mother: Nompumelelo (MaNtuli) Ntuli
Born: August 2010  

In car accident in March 2015 with his 2 siblings and cousin. 

22. Daughter

Mother: woman from Richards Bay
Born: ?

23. Unknown

Mother: Nonkanyiso Chonco 
Born: 12 April 2018

There are rumours that Zuma will marry Nonkanyiso.


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