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Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu

From Academic Kids

Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (b. 14 July 1948 at Nongoma) is the current (2004) king of the Zulu nation.

He became king on the death of his father king Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon in 1968. Prince Israel Mcwayizeni KaSolomon acted as the regent 1968-1971 while the prince was in exile in St. Helena for three years fearing the distinct danger of assassination. After his 21st birthday and his marriage, Zwelithini was installed as the eighth Monarch of the Zulus at a traditional ceremony at Nongoma on 3 December 1971, attended by 20000 people. The country’s constitution made the King’s role ceremonial and subject to the authority of the Chief Minister, Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Zwelithini’s finances are controlled by KwaZulu-Natal Provincial authorities.

In 1989 he attacked the ANC leadership for not inviting himself and Buthelezi to a rally welcoming back the Rivonia trialists, who had been released after almost three decades of imprisonment.

As a constitutional monarch of the Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal, he is the head of the Ubukhosi (Monarchy), the institution of Traditional Leadership. His leadership role also entails his being chairman of the Usuthu Tribal Authority and Nongoma Regional Authority, both established under the provisions of the KwaZulu Amakhosi and Iziphakanyiswa Act.

As the custodian of Zulu traditions and customs, he has revived cultural functions such as the Umhlanga, the colourful and symbolic reed dance ceremony which, amongst other things, promotes moral awareness and AIDS education among Zulu women, and the Ukweshwama, the first fruits ceremony, which is a traditional function involving certain traditional rituals.

In June, 1994, the University of Zululand honoured him with a honourary doctorate in agriculture. He is Chancellor of the South African branch of the American-based Newport University. In March 1999 Cocker College of South Carolina, USA awarded the King with an honourary doctorate in law. During the first half of 2001 he was inaugurated as Chancellor of the M L Sultan Technikon in KwaZulu-Natal.

The King's authorized biography, "King of Goodwill" was published in 2003. The musical dramatization of this work will premiere at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg on 16 March, 2005.

Marriages

Children

27 children (as of 2003), including:

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