Jacob Zuma

Honorary Degree Conferred: 
Doctor of Law
Year awarded: 
2001
Biography: 

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (Msholozi – his praise name) was born on 12 April 1942 at Nkandla in northern Natal (now kwaZulu-Natal). He is the first born of five children of his father Nobhekisisa Zuma and his second wife, Geinamazwi. His mother had three sons with his father, Jacob being the eldest. His father constructed the middle name Gedleyihlekisa from a Zulu phrase, which translated into English reads, “I cannot keep quiet when someone pretends to love me with a deceitful smile.” His father’s first wife had four sons and three daughters.

His father, a policeman, died when he was about four. Following his father’s death, he and his mother left for his mother’s parental home in kwaMaphumulo, Natal. Zuma began herding his grandfather’s cattle while other children his age went to school. He was around seven or eight years old. Zuma and fellow herders would engage in traditional stick fighting, at which he excelled.

Coutersy of SA History Online