Notable Zulu Leaders

The Zulu nation has had many influential leaders of past and present that have played vital roles in leading the Zulu people. From King Shaka Zulu to President Jacob Zuma, the Zulus have had some noteworthy leaders.

King Shaka Zulu

Shaka kaSenzangakhona Zulu, the most renowned King of the Zulu tribe, transformed the Zulus from a small tribe into the largest and most powerful nation in South Africa. His ideas and military tactics turned the Zulus into a force to be reckoned with, and he is remembered as one of the greatest Zulu Kings in history.

King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu

His Majesty Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, has been the King of the Zulus since 1968. He plays a vital cultural role for the Zulus, and holds annual events such as the Zulu Kings Reed Dance to support and preserve the Zulu culture.

President Jacob Zuma

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has been the president of the Republic of South Africa since 2009, and Deputy President of the ANC (since 1997). He is a proud Zulu and lives at his home in Nkandla, Zululand.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a proud Zulu and founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and has been a dedicated and influential leader to many across Zululand and South Africa.

Prince Gideon Zulu

Prince Gideon Zulu, a senior member in the Zulu Royal Family, was a people’s man who had love for everyone. He did everything he could for the upliftment of the communities and the disadvantaged, and became Minister of Welfare and Population Development.

John Dunn

‘Jantoni’ as he was known amongst the Zulus, was a Scottish hunter who grew up in KwaZulu Natal in the 1830’s, and became close to the Zulus through his fluency in isiZulu and his appreciation for the Zulu Culture. King Cetshwayo gave him land, cattle, and Zulu wives. He was father to over 150 children.

Ndlela ka Sompisi Ntuli

Ndlela ka Sompisi Ntuli served during the reign of King Shaka and later his brother and successor King Dingane. He showed extraordinary prowess as a soldier during some of the most romantic and dramatic moments of Zulu nations history.

Cetshwayo kaMpande

Cetshwayo kaMpande was the ruler of the Zulus in the 1870’s during the Anglo-Zulu war. King Cetshwayo died in Eshowe in 1884 as the last King of the Zulus as an independent nation.