Mantfombi Dlamini

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Mantfombi Dlamini
Queen regent of the Zulus
Regency24 March 2021 – 29 April 2021
PredecessorGoodwill Zwelithini (as king)
SuccessorMisuzulu Zulu (as king)
Queen consort of the Zulus
Tenure1977 – 12 March 2021
Born(1953-02-15)15 February 1953
Swaziland Protectorate
Died29 April 2021 (2021-04-30) (aged 68)
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
SpouseGoodwill Zwelithini
  • King Misuzulu Zulu
  • Princess Ntandoyesizwe Sobethu
  • Princess Nomkhosi Magogo
  • Princess Bukhosibemvelo
  • Prince Bambindlovu Makhosezwe
  • Prince Lungelo
  • Prince Mandlesizwe
  • Prince Simangaye
FatherSobhuza II
MotherPrincess Manoni waKlebe

Mantfombi Shiyiwe Dlamini Zulu (15 February 1953 – 29 April 2021) was the queen consort of the Zulu nation from 1977 to 2021 as the Great Wife to King Goodwill Zwelithini. She served as the queen regent from March 2021 to April 2021.

Early life and family[edit]

Queen Mantfombi Dlamini was born on 15 February 1953[1] to the House of Dlamini. Born to King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and Princess Manoni, who was herself the granddaughter of King Mbandzeni, a former Swati king, Mantfombi's father Sobhuza II, as Ngwenyama of the Swazi Nation, became the King of Swaziland at independence in 1968. Queen Mantfombi's brother,[2] Sobhuza's successor Mswati III, would ultimately change their country's name to Eswatini in 2018.[3]

Her family forged links with other African dynasties: her brother, Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini, married into the Mandela chieftaincy family of Mvezo in the same year as her betrothal. Through this union, she gained Zenani Mandela-Dlamini as a sister-in-law.[4]

The Queen was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[5]

Queen consort[edit]

After a traditional upbringing in the Swazi royal family, the princess was betrothed to King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu Nation in 1973. At the time of their betrothal, she was a member of the royal family of a sovereign state. Her intended husband was a chief recognised by the South African government as the traditional authority of Zululand. Considering their relative dynastic seniority, the Swazi palace laid a condition for the marriage: the princess was to become the King's Great Wife, a position that would give her male children first place in the line of succession. The Zulu agreed, and the couple married in 1977.[6]

Queen regent[edit]

She was appointed as the interim leader of the Zulu Nation under the title of queen regent, on 24 March 2021, after the death of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini on 12 March 2021.[7] This was in accordance with King Zwelithini's will, and she was set to temporarily serve in this capacity until the next Zulu king was appointed.[8][9][6][10] Had she survived, she would also have appointed the next king; her first son, Misuzulu Zulu, was believed to have been her choice.[11][12]


On 27 April 2021, the royal family confirmed that Queen Mantfombi Dlamini had been hospitalized.[13] She died two days later on 29 April 2021. The family did not immediately release the details of the cause of death.[14]

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi described her death as "unexpected".[15] KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala called the news "heart-wrenching" and said the Queen was a bridge between the Zulu and eSwatini nations. He called her leadership role an inspiration for women, which helped to "administer the final burial rites to the backward, patriarchal and chauvinistic tendencies that considered women as inferior beings".[14]

On the following day, Prince Buthelezi confirmed that the Queen died around 20:15 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. He further announced that the Queen had been suffering from a long-term illness; this was known to the palace but not revealed publicly. After recovering from COVID-19, she was admitted to a hospital in Durban for a previously scheduled operation to remove gallstones. As she was too weak to undergo surgery, she saw another doctor in Johannesburg, and was later hospitalized.[16]


Queen Dlamini and King Goodwill had eight children as follows:[17][18]

  • King Misuzulu Zulu, born 23 September 1974 in Kwahlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal. He studied International Studies in Jacksonville, Florida. He was appointed king by his mother before her death, and was crowned in August 2022.
  • Princess Ntandoyesizwe Zulu, born 28 June 1976. Married to Moses Tembe
  • Princess Nomkhosi Magogo Zulu
  • Princess Bukhosibemvelo Zulu, married in 2007 to Sipho Nyawo, who paid 120 cows as part of the ilobolo for her.[19]
  • Prince Bambindlovu Makhosezwe Zulu
  • Prince Lungelo Zulu
  • Prince Mandlesizwe Zulu
  • Prince Simangaye Zulu

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SHIYIWE MANTFOMBI ZULU – THE QUEENS DESK (K2015175315)". Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. 2021.
  2. ^ Sekudu, Bonolo. "Queen regent of the Zulu Nation | All we know about Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu". News24. Retrieved 1 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "King Renames Swaziland to its 'Ancient', Pre-Colonial Name". 20 April 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Mandela set for diplomatic posting to Argentina". Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  5. ^ "As royal family moves to bury Queen Regent, tensions hover over Zulu throne". Billionaires Africa. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  6. ^ a b "King Zwelithini: New Zulu ruler named - who is Mantfombi MaDlamini Zulu?". Blue Sky Publications (Pty) Ltd. 21 March 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Zulu Queen Mantfombi Dlamini dies a month after becoming regent". BBC News. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Queen Mantfombi MaDlamini Zulu to be interim leader of Zulu nation | eNCA". Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu takes the throne". DailySun. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Interim ruler of the Zulu nation announced". 21 March 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Queen Mantfombi Dlamini to appoint successor following the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. - SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader". 21 March 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  12. ^ Carter, Logan (21 March 2021). "Mysterious USA Educated Prince Misuzulu To Succeed King Zwelithini". Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  13. ^ Ndou, Clive (27 April 2021). "Regent of Zulu nation Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu is unwell - royal family". Witness. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b "South Africa's Zulu regent Queen Dlamini Zulu dies at 65". Reuters. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu has passed". Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu: 'Regent died of a long-term illness'". The South African. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  17. ^ Mueni, Priscillah (13 March 2021). "List of King Zwelithini wives and children (with images)". Briefly. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Just in: Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu dies". The South African. 29 April 2021. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  19. ^ Mthembu, Bongani (27 August 2007). "More than 100 cows paid for Zulu princess". IOL. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
Regnal titles
Preceded by Queen regent of the Zulu nation
24 March 2021 – 29 April 2021
Succeeded by