President Zuma once said in a TV interview: "There are plenty of politicMians 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 (38) to youngest (5). Not all names and dates are known to the public, and many of the younger ones are still minors... Besides, could you blame them for not wanting to be in the spotlight?
The older clan:
The oldest 10 are mostly the children of former wives Kate Mantsho and 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
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.
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.
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 Shiva Uranium and tied to at least 10 other companies.
*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 himself 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 rarely tweets.
5. Duduzile (Dudu) Zuma (daughter, twin)
Mother: Kate Mantsho
Born: 1984The 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 2015.
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."
Gugu’s Twitter bio reads: “Living and growing, hoping and praying, laughing, loving & learning.” (@guguzuma)
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.
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."
Mother: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Born: 28 April 1989
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."
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.
10. Nhlakanipho Vusi Zuma (son) Mother: Kate Mantsho Born: 1993
The youngest of Kate’s children, Vusi is 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 is 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:
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. Name? (daughter)
Mother: Priscilla Nonkwaleko Mhlongo Born: 18 January 1998
12. Name? (daughter)
Mother: Priscilla Nonkwaleko Mhlongo Born: 19 September 2002