Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille – Political Power


South African newly elected President Jacob Zuma(C) is sworn in as President of South Africa during a lavish inauguration ceremony held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 9, 2009.AFP PHOTO/POOL/KIM LUDBROOK

Jennifer was asked to present a brief comparative analysis in one day from two photographs of the hands of two controversial South African politicians, Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille.

This article featured in the Cape Weekend Argus, Saturday 16th May 2009.



Helen Ziller being sworn in as Premier of the Western Cape. May 6 2009
Photo by Michael Walker

There is little in common between Zume and Zille besides the love of their land and its people. They are two very diverse individuals. He functions from his brilliant mind, and Helen Zille more from her passionate heart. It could be that somewhere long ago in their careers, trust or respect was broken between them. Let us start with Jacob Zuma.

The hand of Jacob Zuma – President of South Africa

Perhaps the most noticeable feature of Jacob Zuma’s hand is the relative largeness of his fingertips. Large tip phalanges show tremendous mental energy. He likes a challenge, he truly is a visionary who wants words and thoughts to become deeds, but lacks follow through with some projects. Large finger tipped people might tend to get a bit dispersed. Another feature of large fingertips is that owners spontaneously express their thoughts and might make verbal faux pas and antagonise other people with what they say.

The narrowed second phalange of his index finger shows that he lives in a theoretical world and with the larger tip, that he has many brilliant ideas, as well as having a lot of opinions about a lot of things.

The powerful hands of Dr Zuma feature a firm thumb, that is to say the tip does not bend back, showing his firm resolve and constant application of discipline, especially to control his impatience. Firm thumb tips show discipline: owners have great potential for self mastery. They also hate delays.

The base of this forefinger is full – a well known sign in handreading for a good appetite for and even a knowledge of food and wines. The skin of his palm looks full and soft, showing that he is very emotionally sensitive, while also having tremendous sensuality. The slight translucent glow to his skin evidences a deepening of religious or spiritual beliefs and interests which will accelerate with age.

His popularly called life line is called the earth line in chirology. His head line, or air line, is separate at the start from his earth line, a marker commonly found on children who seek their independence at a young age. The line flows around his full Venus mounts, and wraps close in towards the wrist. This shows loyalty, and deeply abiding allegiances to his family and country.

His minor earth (fate) line accompanies his life line in its curve around the base of his hand, and ends up under the base of his middle finger. A very strong marking of a healthy ego, a strong sense of self and purpose, and a deeply committed nature. He also has a narrowing of the ‘quadrangle’ which is the space between his air (head) and water (heart) lines evidence that he is private to the point of secrecy. The wider this space on a hand, the more open the person.

He has a truly magnificent air line which slopes to end on his Moon mount, indicating the brilliant mind of a man who loves, and enjoys, his own mind. He looks at things in an incredibly imaginative and creative way.

He has a long baby (air) finger which shows verbal charm and seductiveness, as well as being an articulate communicator and orator. On a personal level Jacob Zuma is considerate to his wives (polygamy is the Zulu tradition). He is a man with a strong core ego, that is to say a strong sense of self identity, supported by conditioned mind-sets of the generations of Zuma’s before. He is a man who truly honours his ancestors, and he will do it their way.

The hand of Helen Zille – Premier of the Western Cape

A striking characteristic of Helen Zille’s hands is the length of her palm compared to the relative shortness of her fingers. Hands with such noticeably oblong palms and short fingers are ascribed governance of the fire element, as these people are full of ‘raw’ energy, who hate inactivity, and who do not take kindly to being told what to do.

They are the very practical no-nonsense do-ers, forceful, active to the point of wearing themselves out, but with a remarkable ability to recharge. They recover quickly from any crisis.

It is likely that Helen Zille is so hardworking that she races around as if she has a perpetual time limit. She endeavours to resolve things faster than is possible and over the years will have learned to curb her impatience and instead, with much frustration, have had to accept time, and process.

The photograph of Helen Zille’s hand does not show her hand’s features very clearly. Based upon what few pointers I can define, most notably the shape, I would say that throughout her life she has been emotionally steady, not moody or overly emotional, unless she consciously engages and uses her passion to emphasise something. One could say she has emotional surges, and not lingering moods, perhaps a temper that shocks and amazes those around her, that flares up and dies down very fast.

One’s eye is drawn to the tip of her index finger, which appears to have been injured. Index fingers in chirology represent one’s ‘personal identity’, meaning that the length and form of this digit reflects how we see ourselves. It is possible that she fought long and hard to develop her confidence, which more than once, even as a child, was knocked. On a more personal note, she might feel very misunderstood, and have to fiercely resist any feelings of disillusion. Early in her career she was motivated by idealism, which over the years she has had to temper with realism.

Unlike Jacob Zuma, her earth (life) and air (head) lines are joined at their start, whereas his are separate. Separate starts to these lines show more self will in youth, whereas Zille’s lines suggest that she honoured her parental influences and did what was expected of her. Her family environment moulded her mental development and allegiance to her family is deep and loyal.

The tip of her baby finger is noticeably large, a sign of a good communicator with a refined mind, but one who more fits the archetype of the ‘hermit and scholar’ rather than a person who craves visibility. Although Helen Zille is ‘a celebrity’, it is not in her true nature to be in the public eye, but instead she would want to make a difference. She is a leader made of a passionate heart and deep seated beliefs, not as a result of egoistic ambitions.

She has tremendous mental energy, and takes hold of a thought or an idea, and with ‘a terrier like mentality’ will take in and absorb information rapidly – exploring, researching and investigating until thoroughly understood. Fire handed people often love the outdoors and nature more than luxury and glamour. It is likely that her greatest dream is to retreat to nature to express her multitalented artistic side, perhaps through writing, for she finds beauty in the simple, and deep down has a gentle life philosophy. The low set and shortness of this finger also paradoxically hint at her underlying shyness and distaste for exposing her personal life.