Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has revealed a side of himself only his wife and family know about in a recent interview with Anele Mdoda.
He shared with Mdoda what kept him going as a politician. “As long as you have an appointment with the future, it doesn’t matter what anyone says about you. If Mandela had lost focus on his appointment with 1994, he would have given up,” he told Mdoda.
The EFF leader says he has learnt a lot from political stalwarts such as President Jacob Zuma. Though he says the man has been through a lot, he has somehow lost it along the way. “Zuma should have been the most humble and accessible president we have. He just destroys what he built within a year or so.”
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Malema, however, mostly talked about his life outside of politics, revealing to us the sweet and caring man who was just as nervous as everyone when he proposed to his beautiful wife, Mantwa.
Here are a few things we now know about Malema:
- He got the name ‘Juju’ from Kuli Roberts after she wrote a column about him.
- He cannot cook or clean.
- He’s the only child left after two of his siblings passed on when he was still young.
- He doesn’t find it difficult to apologise and, in fact, apologises a lot to his wife.
- He doesn’t like comedy.
- He doesn’t do anything outside politics in his spare time and only reads books.
- If he hadn’t become a politician, he would have been a lawyer.
- He only started going to the movies now because his wife forces him.
- He struggles to understand what white people say, so he prefers movies with subtitles. If you’re white and want to have a conversation with him, you must slow down.
- The closest he has come to working with white people is in parliament with the Democratic Alliance (DA).
- He likes watching news and Our Perfect Wedding (because of his wife).
- He wouldn’t mind Mbuyiseni Ndlozi’s rumoured bae, Mmabatho Montsho, to play his wife if a movie was to be made about his life. In fact, he enjoyed watching Happiness Is A Four Letter Word because of her.
- He always takes his wife’s calls (even if he puts a “do not disturb sign”, he always takes it because he doesn’t want a “Baghdad” at home, it must always be peaceful)
- He says his wife makes him a better person and completes him. “She’s able to speak a lot of sense and persuade me to see things differently and get me to do things I haven’t done.”
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- He wishes his mom had lived to see him walk down the aisle.
- His grandmother told him she would not die before he got married because she wanted to see the person who was going to take over from her.
- Liquid courage helped him approach his wife, and he stopped drinking after he got married.
- He spoke to his wife about getting married, then proposed to her in a private place, with just the two of them. Malema says it was the scariest thing he had ever done and wouldn’t do it again. “If I divorce I don’t want it anymore because I kept on moving the ring,” because he thought she was going to see it before the moment arrived.
- When he went down on one knee, she left him there.
- He found planning the wedding irritating because old people wanted their own people on the guest list and wanted to control everything.
- He says he has something in common with United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa (They were both expelled from the ANC, though under different leadership).
- Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela, Peter Mokaba and Steve Biko are his role models.
- He doesn’t have ambitions to be a dictator, contrary to what some reports have claimed.
- He says Zuma is charming and charismatic but lacks qualities of leadership, and that “putting politics aside, you would enjoy his company”.
- He doesn’t have Zuma’s number on his phone and never has. Like everyone else, he would never call the president directly.