Jacob Zuma Biography: Age, Education, Wives, Children, Net Worth & Political Career


Jacob Zuma (born 12 April 1942) is a South African politician who served as the President of South Africa from the 2009 to 2018, when he was forced to resign.

He also served as the deputy president and vice president of the Africa National Congress and as the deputy president of South Africa.

Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma Age

The former president was born on April 12, 1942, in NKandla, KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa.  He is 82 years old as of 2023 and celebrates his birthday on April 12th every year.

Jacob Zuma Parents

He was born to Geinamazwi Zuma and Nobhekisisa Bessie. His father was a policeman who died in World War II when he was only 5 years old. Following the death of his father, he relocated together with his mother to Maphumulo. His mother had to take up a job as a domestic employee to fend for them.

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Zuma did not have any formal schooling. He engaged in all sorts of jobs as a child to help his family making it impossible for him to go to school.

He taught himself how to read and write. Jacob Zuma learnt Zulu, French, Xhosa, Portuguese, Swahili, Russian and speaks them fluently. He also has Soviet Union training.

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Jacob Zuma Wives

Jacob Zuma is a  proud Zulu polygamist who has been married 7 times. He married his first wife Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo (MaKhumalo) in 1973, they have no children.

He went on to marry Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma but they divorced in June 1998. His third wife, Kate Mantsho was from Mozambique. She committed suicide on 8 December 2000 and is buried in Heroes’ Acre at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg. Zuma had five children with her.

In January 2008 he married Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli). Two later later, he married Thobeka Stacie Madiba. On the 20th April 2012, he married Gloria Bongekile Ngema. He got married to his seventh wife Nonkanyiso Conco on October 2018

Jacob Zuma Children

Zuma has a total of 23 children with his six wives. Some of the of them are;

  • Mziwoxolo Edward Zuma
  • Mxolisi (Saady) Zuma
  • Msholozi Zuma
  • Duduzane Zuma
  • Duduzile Zuma
  • Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube
  • Nokuthula Nomaqhawe Zuma
  • Thuthukile (Thuthu) Xolile Nomonde Zuma
  • Phumzile Zuma
  • Nhlakanipho Vusi Zuma

Jacob Zuma Net Worth

Zuma has a total net worth of $20 million dollars. He was one of the highest paid presidents in Africa with an annual salary of $27000. Zuma is also known to have investments in different economic sectors.

This includes property holdings, a chain of restaurants named Fat Zuma Burger, a football team called Nkandlas Angels, a vodka brand, a top-perfume brand and a fashion line. All these ventures contribute significantly towards his wealth and net worth.

Jacob Zuma Political Career

1959: His political career began at 17 years old when he joined the African National Congress .

1962: He joined the Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

1963: Zuma joined the South African Communist party, giving him the opportunity to acquire Soviet training. He was arrested together with 45 other ANC recruits and imprisoned for 10 years at Robben Island. He was convicted of conspiring to overthrow the Apartheid government.

1977: He became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee and also served as Deputy Chief Representative of the ANC in Mozambique.

1984: Jacob Zuma was appointed Chief Representative of the ANC after the Mozambican and South African governments signed the Nkomati Accord

1987: He relocated to Lusaka Zambia, where the ANC headquarter was later moved to and Zuma was appointed as Head of Underground Structures and shortly thereafter Chief of the Intelligence Department.

1990: After the ban on the ANC was uplifted he went back to South Africa and was elected Chairperson of the ANC for the Southern Natal region.

1991: He was elected the Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC.

1994: He was nominated as the ANC candidate for the Premiership of KwaZulu Natal. Zuma became the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Economic Affairs and Tourism in his home Province of KwaZulu-Natal when Nelson Mandela was elected President.

He was elected National Chairperson of the ANC and chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal in December.

1997: He was elected Deputy President of the ANC.

1999: He was appointed executive Deputy President of South Africa.

2005: President Thabo Mbeki removed Zuma from his post as Deputy President due to allegations of corruption and fraud related to the $5-billion weapons acquisition deal by the South African government in 1999.

2007: Zuma was elected President of the ANC with 2,329 votes, beating Mbeki’s 1,505 votes.

2009: Zuma was sworn in as President of South Africa on 9 May 2009.

2017: Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to succeed Zuma as President of the ANC at the ANC conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg.

2018: Zuma announced his resignation on 14 February 2018 and was succeeded by Ramaphosa the next day.

Jacob Zuma Awards and Recognitions


  • Nelson Mandela Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Medical University of South Africa, awarded in Washington, D.C. (1998)
  • During a visit to the United Kingdom in 2010, Jacob Zuma was made an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.
  • Imo Merit Award, the highest award in the Imo State of Nigeria conferred on those who have made a difference in the development of their communities. (15 October 2017)

Honorary degrees

  • University of Zululand (2001), Honorary Doctor of Administration.
  • University of Fort Hare (2001), Honorary Doctor of Literature/Letters
  • Medical University of Southern Africa (2001), Honorary Doctor of Philosophy
  • University of Zambia (UNZA) Great East Campus (2009), Honorary Doctor of Law
  • Peking University (2012), Honorary Professor of International Relations

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