Born in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Misuzulu moved to Eswatini when he was 5. He returned to South Africa at age 11 and completed high school at an elite private institution. His family then forced him to attend university in the United States, he said, as part of a Swazi royal family scholarship program that sends relatives, and some ordinary Swazis, abroad to study.
He said that after spending some time in schools in Evansville, Ind., and Vincennes, Ind. in 2017.
Misuzulu said he stayed in the United States for several years to volunteer at a Baptist church in Jacksonville, which did a lot of charitable work in Africa. He returned to South Africa after a 10-year absence at the insistence of his father.
Back in South Africa, he led a largely anonymous life as a businessman, negotiating contracts for a pipe-making company.
Until his father died on March 12, 2021.
Within a week, Misuzulu’s successor name began to be revealed. His father’s will called for his mother, Queen Mantfombi, to become the regent – or temporary leader – of the Zulu nation. That indicated to some that King Zwelithini had wanted one of her sons to succeed him. A faction of the family challenges the will in court, arguing that the king’s signature was forged.
One of the most prominent early supporters of Misuzulu was Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the prime minister of the Zulu nation since 1954. Prince Buthelezi, 93, has arguably wielded more power than any other Zulu, including the king, over the years, after he founded the Inkatha Freedom Party, a Zulu nationalist political party.