Jacob Zuma Biography: Age, Educational Qualification, Salary, Net Worth, Children

Jacob Zuma Biography

Jacob Zuma Biography – Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, commonly referred to by his initials JZ, is a significant figure in South African politics. Known for his roles as an anti-apartheid activist, a member of the uMkhonto we Sizwe, and the fourth president of South Africa, Zuma’s life is a compelling blend of struggle, leadership, and controversy. This article looks into the multifaceted life of Jacob Zuma, exploring his early years, political career, personal life, and more.

Jacob Zuma’s Early Life and Background

Birth and Childhood

Jacob Zuma was born on April 12, 1942, in Nkandla, a rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa area. His upbringing in a traditional Zulu household played a crucial role in shaping his identity and values.

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Early Challenges

Zuma faced significant hardships during his early years, including the death of his father when he was young. This loss forced him to take on responsibilities at an early age, contributing to his resilience and determination.

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Jacob Zuma Educational Qualifications

Lack of Formal Schooling

Despite his later achievements, Zuma’s formal education could have been more extensive. He never attended formal school, which makes his subsequent rise in politics all the more remarkable.

Honorary Degrees

In recognition of his contributions, Zuma has been awarded several honorary degrees. In 2009, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zambia. This was followed by degrees from the American University of Nigeria, the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin, and Texas Southern University in 2011. In 2012, Peking University in Beijing honored him with an honorary professorship.

Jacob Zuma’s Political Career

Early Activism

Zuma’s political journey began with his involvement in the African National Congress (ANC) and its armed wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe. His commitment to the anti-apartheid struggle saw him imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela.

Rise in the ANC

Zuma’s influence within the ANC grew steadily. In 2007, he was elected president of the ANC, a position he held until 2017. His leadership was marked by significant political and social changes in South Africa.

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Presidency (2009-2018)

Jacob Zuma served as the President of South Africa from 2009 to 2018. His tenure was characterized by achievements and controversies, including significant economic challenges and allegations of corruption.

Jacob Zuma Family and Children

Zuma is known for his large family. He has been married multiple times and has 14 children. His familial relationships and traditional Zulu beliefs are often highlighted in media coverage.

Current Activities

Following his presidency, Zuma’s political activities continued. He now leads the new uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, having experienced a fallout with the ANC. His role in this new party has kept him in the political limelight.

Jacob Zuma Net Worth

As of 2024, Jacob Zuma’s net worth is estimated at $20 million. His wealth is attributed to his political career and various business ventures.

Jacob Zuma Salary

During his presidency, Zuma earned a salary of ₦220,539,727.00 per year. His financial dealings and lifestyle have often been the subject of public scrutiny.

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Legacy and Controversies

Legal Issues

Zuma’s career has been marred by legal battles and accusations of corruption. His disqualification from the election by South Africa’s Apex Court is a significant aspect of his controversial legacy.

Contributions to South Africa

Despite the controversies, Zuma’s contributions to South Africa, particularly regarding policy changes and advocacy for traditional Zulu culture, cannot be overlooked.


Jacob Zuma’s life is a testament to the complex interplay of leadership, resilience, and controversy. From his early days in rural KwaZulu-Natal to his tenure as the President of South Africa and beyond, Zuma remains a pivotal figure in South African history. His journey offers valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of political life in a dynamic and evolving nation.

About Samuel Jegede 313 Articles
Author & Editor at BioLog

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