Joshua Nkomo was a Zimbabwean Politician and Vice President of Zimbabwe from 1987 to 1999.

(19 June 1917 – 1 July 1999)

Resting Place

National Heroes Acre


Death cause

Prostate cancer


Early Life

Born Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo on the 19th of June 1917 in Bulilima(Matebeleland South).


Nick Names

Umafukufuku, Father Zimbabwe, Chibwechitedza and uMdala wethu



Grandfather – Motsomi Mqabuko

Father- Thomas Nyongolo Letswansto Nkomo

Mother – Mlingo Hadebe

Spouse – Johanna MaFuyana

Children – Thandiwe Nkomo, Ernest Thutani, Michael Sibangilizwe, Louise Sehlule, Themba Nkomo



Primary – Tsholotsho Primary School

Secondary- Adams College

Tertiary  – Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology (University of South Africa)



Social Worker, Rhodesia Railways (now National Railways of Zimbabwe) (1947)

Secretary-General, Railway African Workers Union (1951)

President, African National Congress, (1952 and 1957)

President of National Democratic Party (1960)

President of Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) (1961–87)

Formed Patriotic Front with Robert Mugabe (1976)

Commander of military and political wings of ZAPU, (1977)

Minister of Home Affairs (1980)

Minister without Portfolio (1981)

Member of Parliament for the Midlands (1980-1985)

Member of Parliament for Magwegwe (1985-1990)

Senior Minister for development ministries (1988)

Vice-President of Zimbabwe (1987-1999).



Was arrested in 1964 by Ian Smith’s government and spent 10 years in prison detained Gonakudzingwa Restriction Camp

Was once a Methodist lay preacher but later converted to Roman Catholic

Fled into exile in 1983 disguised as a woman due to a fall-out with Robert Mugabe

Allowed his party ZAPU to be absorbed by ZANU to form ZANU-PF in a bid to end Gukurahundi massacres

Survived three assassination attempts, one by Selous scouts, the other by Rhodesian Special Air Service and the other by Zanu government