1. Zwelinzima Vavi was born on the 20th of December 1962 in Hanover, Northern Cape, with a mineworker father, four brothers and seven sisters
2. Zwelinzima Vavi was a child labourer, looking for work among neighbouring farms.
3. In 1987 Zwelinzima Vavi worked in a gold-mining territory of Klerksdorp and Orkney. He was a uranium plant clerk at Vaal Reefs mine, and joined the National Union of Mineworkers as an organizer
4. Zwelinzima Vavi was fired from AngloGold in 1987 following a massive miners’ strike which crippled the Chamber of Mines. He then joined COSATU as a volunteer.
5. He serves on the International Labour Organisation’s commission on globalisation
6. In 1999 Zwelinzima Vavi succeeded Mbhazima Shilowa (formerly the Gauteng Premier, now one of the leaders of COPE) as general secretary of COSATU.
7. As General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has expressed disappointment with political progress in Zimbabwe, blaming mismanagement by government, an ill-conceived structural adjustment programme, and factors beyond its control like sanctions against neighbouring South Africa during apartheid years
8. Zwelinzima Vavi has twins born in 2013.