The marquee was draped in green, gold and black colours. The stage upfront had African National Congress flags, with a big cake was on the main table for the birthday man.
Young and old, danced to revolutionary songs blasting from loud speakers.
Members of the MKMVA in military gear, held a parade outside the venue, to the delight of supporters.
The Soweto celebration takes place after a march by thousands in Pretoria calling for the President to resign earlier.
MKMVA chairman Kebby Maphatsoe said members of the ANC were gathered to celebrate the President's birthday which has nothing to do with the march.
"The right to march was fought for by our leaders such as Nelson Mandela...blood was spilt, so that has no impact on us here at all," Maphatsoe said on the sidelines of the event.
ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte and Congress of South African Trade Unions president Sidumo Dlamini had arrived ahead of Zuma.
Party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, treasurer Zweli Mkhize and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa were noticeably absent at the event.