One day Inkhosikati LaMbikiza’s father Rev. Percy Mngomezulu arrived at my church, the Africa Evangelical Church(AEC)Ezulwini, took a chair and sat among ordinary members.
No one knew there was a high profile person linked to royalty among us until our Pastor noticed him.
Rev.Mngomezulu by virtue of being the father to Inkhosikati Sibonelo Mngomezulu known as LaMbikiza was a very powerful and influential person in the country, he was once appointed an Ambassador by his son-in law King Mswati.
But what triggered me to write this article was his humbleness that I witnessed and wished if Mswati behaved like him, he could have long listened to the people who are demanding democracy.
After noticing that Rev. Mngomezulu was inside the church building, my Pastor Rev. Amos Matsentjwa sounded shocked by what appeared to be a surprise visit and that we had a high profile guest among us.
The old man walked slowly as senior members of the church ushered him to sit on the first table, the praise team welcomed him with a song and the service continued.
Now, here is the lesson, when Rev.Mngomezulu entered the church, he knew that he was the King’s father-in law and a very influential person in the country, but opted to behave like an ordinary citizen.
After being given the platform to address the church, he preached the word of God, he never boasted about his royal connection and you could hear from his speech after the sermon that the old man was humble and was not faking it.
The tendency by King Mswati to remind Swazis that he is the King and everything within the country belongs to him undermines his integrity as a Head of State.
Being a public figure or a person who holds a position of authority means you must at all times, reduce yourself to the level of the people whom you lead, the people must actively engage with you.
Mswati elevated himself far above the people such that any citizen who wanted to meet him was forced to pay a cow to meet the King.
As a public figure, sometimes you may feel like you have money and power and then start undermining the people but the truth is, power is centered around how people respect and endorse you as their leader.
It’s natural for the people to choose their leader, they may decide to follow and respect an ordinary citizen, a public transport worker, a journalist, a political activist and a health volunteer among others and that individual will subsequently become powerful more than the King.
It is important for Mswati to know that people don’t follow leaders with no mistakes and scandals but they want a leader who always acknowledge his mistakes and apologises to them as a demonstration of respect.
It is surprising that Mswati is behaving in this manner yet he was once surrounded by people like Rev. Mngomezulu who could have advised him on how to behave like a leader.
After visiting my church, I then met Rev. Mngomezulu at the entrance at Corner Plaza and greeted him, he shook my hands even though he didn’t know me.
“Kodvwa ungubani wena ndvodzana?” he asked.
I was shocked that such a man, a father-in law to the King just stopped to speak to another human being unknown to him in a polite manner.
Everytime, I feel like pride is overcoming me, I always think about the character of the late Rev. Percy Mngomezulu whose humility influenced some of us even though we met him for a few hours.
May King Mswati adopt the characters of a leader, humble himself before the Nation and facilitate a genuine political dialogue that seeks to restore peace and stability in this country.
The late Rev Percy Mngomezulu.