Love is in the air for former president Jacob Zuma, as he looks set to marry for the seventh time.
A 24-year-old Ballito woman, Nonkanyiso Conco, has confirmed that she is engaged to marry Zuma, although representatives of his family have not yet officially confirmed the union.
“Yes‚ we are getting married‚ but that is all I can say. I need to consult before I give any interviews‚” Conco told TimesLive.
Conco reportedly works to protect the cultural customs and living conditions of the traditional Zulu maidens involved in the King’s reed dance. She is a director at Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation in Pietermaritzberg.
Zuma, who is more than 50 years her senior, apparently promised to marry her when he was no longer president and has already paid lobola, according to an anonymous source close to the family.
“Both families are ecstatic,” this source told The Citizen. “He promised that he will marry the girl after his presidency, and he has kept that promise.”
News24 reports that Conco already gave birth to a child fathered by Zuma just a week ago, on 12 April. Zuma apparently secretly visited Conco and the child in hospital.
A glance back in time down Conco’s public Twitter account suggests she may have known Zuma since 2013.
Don’t believe this OMG!!! Am going back to that Hollywood house,to spend the whole weekend this time!#Zuma‘s home @ Nkandla! Whop can’t wait
— Nonkanyiso (@nonka_conco) September 3, 2013
Zuma, who is now 76 years old, has always been a proponent of polygamy, which is common in Zulu culture. He is currently married to four women, although is separated from one of those.
Zuma married his first wife, Gertrude Khumalo, after he was released from Robben Island prison in 1973. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was his second wife, but the two later divorced. Zuma’s third wife, Kate Mansho, committed suicide in 2000. In 2008, Zuma married his fourth wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli (commonly known as MaNtuli), but the relationship between the two grew strained when she made headlines for an alleged affair with a bodyguard. There was subsequently accusations that she had plotted to poison Zuma, which she denies. The two are now separated and live apart.
Zuma’s most recent two wives are Thobeka Madiba, whom he married in 2010, followed by Gloria Ngema in 2012.