South Africa: Meet the commoner said to be the new Zulu queen

Ntokozo Mayisela. Photo: news24

It is being reported that the new Zulu queen may be a commoner originally from the third-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Zulu king, Misuzulu KaZwelithini, officially registered their marriage with the Department of Home Affairs earlier this month, according to reports. He subsequently sent a royal delegation to pay lobola (bride price) for his longtime beloved, Ntokozo Mayisela.

The delegation from the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province made its way to Newcastle last week and went back home to inform the king about how the process went. Part of the lobola for 36-year-old Mayisela included a herd of cattle and hard cash, ENCA reported.

According to Independent Media, the Mayisela family demanded eight cows and R50 000 ($3,500) in cash. “As I am speaking to you right now we are inside the farm selecting the best cows to present them to the Mayisela family at 4 pm today,” a royal source told Independent Media ahead of the presentation. “We will not sleep over, instead, we will present our cows and come back. They demanded eight cows and R50 000 in cash and we happily obliged.”

Who is Ntokozo Mayisela?

Mayisela and King Misuzulu have known each other for many years. They have two children together aged three and nine while the king has two other children with other women.

Though Mayisela’s ancestral home is in the coal mining town of Newcastle, she lives around Pinetown, Durban. She is a jazz musician with a diploma in jazz and music from UKZN.

A source told Daily Sun it could be jazz that brought the couple together. “Queen Ntokozo was part of a jazz group that performed at the botanical gardens in Durban at Princess Bukhosibemvelo’s wedding in 2009.” Princess Bukhosibemvelo is the sister of Misuzulu.

“King Misuzulu and Queen Ntokozo met at the wedding when the princess married businessman Sipho Nyawo,” said the source.

The king was also most recently pursuing a degree in international studies in Jacksonville, Florida, before the death of his parents, SAHistory.org reported.

A commotion broke out earlier this month after Misizulu, who is the eldest son of South Africa’s late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, was chosen as successor to the throne. The will of Misizulu’s late mom, Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, named him as the next king but others raised objections.

At the reading of the will at the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace this month, the new leader’s brother, Prince Thokozani, expressed disapproval. Two princesses also asked if Queen Mantfombi had the right to nominate a successor on her death.

Queen Mantfombi, who became the regent of the Zulu throne after the death of her husband King Goodwill in March, also passed away last month at the age of 65. By virtue of her own royal lineage, Queen Mantfombi was regarded as King Goodwill’s prime and stately wife. King Goodwill and Queen Mantfombi were together for about five decades. King Goodwill, however, had 28 children with his different wives.

Since Queen Mantfombi’s death, a power struggle has ensued over the succession. There were even rumors that she was poisoned.

The Zulu are the subject of a lot of anthropological and historical interest as well as the source of African pride for those on the continent and out. From the legendary King Shaka to the one who just passed, Zulu history continues to be made on the particular ethnic level as well as in the larger context of South African history. The Zulu throne does not have formal political power and the monarch’s role is largely ceremonial.

Misizulu will now be leading the Zulu nation of about 11 million people. At his mother’s memorial service, he called for unity among the Zulu royals.

Mayisela would be his first wife since he is single, reports say. Mayisela’s mother, Noxolo Mayisela, said in an interview with City Press that even though her daughter is a commoner, she is an “upright” person and possesses all the qualities required to be a queen.

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