Who Is Mangosuthu Buthelezi Wife Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila?



Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a revered leader of the Zulu Kingdom, passed away on September 9, 2023, leaving behind a legacy cherished by many. His devoted wife, Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila, played a pivotal role in his life until her passing in March 2019. Their enduring love story is one that touched hearts and inspired generations.


A Love for a Lifetime

Throughout his life, Mangosuthu Buthelezi remained devoted to one woman, Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila. Their union was celebrated with the joyous arrival of eight children, a testament to their deep bond. Unlike his father, who had many wives, Buthelezi chose to share his life with one extraordinary woman.


A Fateful Meeting

In January 1959, destiny intervened in the form of a meeting that would change their lives forever. At the tender age of 20, Mangosuthu Buthelezi encountered Irene Audrey Mzila while attending a family gathering in Randfontein. The venue was the Wenela Compound, managed by Zachariah Mzila, Irene’s father. In his own words, Mangosuthu recalled, “She was about to do a nursing course at St Aidan’s Hospital in Durban. I was mesmerized. She was full of life, intelligent, and kind.”


A Love That Endured

Irene Audrey Mzila possessed a grace and wisdom that endeared her to Mangosuthu. Her quiet sophistication hinted at a remarkable future, one where she could have excelled in the diplomatic arena. Their love story blossomed, leading to Mangosuthu’s heartfelt request for her hand in marriage. In a world where marrying multiple women was commonplace, Mangosuthu chose the path of a devoted husband to one exceptional woman.



Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila’s love story is a testament to the power of enduring love. Their bond weathered the trials of time, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who heard it. As we bid farewell to a great leader, let us also celebrate the extraordinary woman who stood by his side, shaping the legacy they leave behind.