Swazi Nation, King Mswati celebrates his 51th Birthday



BY : ZWELI MARTIN DLAMINI

(Additional info: Wikipedia)

King Mswati III who was born as Prince Makhosetive on 19 April 1968 is the King of the Kingdom of eSwatini; he has been in power for over 30 years after taking the Throne in 1986.He was born in Manzini, Eswatini, to King Sobhuza II and one of his younger wives, Ntfombi Tfwala.

Prince Makhosetive was Queen Tfwala’s only child, he attended primary school at Masundvwini Primary School and secondary school at Lozitha Palace School. The then Crown Prince attended Sherborne Schoolin north-west Dorset, England and that was from 1983 to 1986. He was then crowned as Mswati III, the Ingwenyama and King of Swaziland, on 25 April 1986 at the age of 18, thus becoming the youngest ruling monarch in the world at that time.

Together with his mother, Ntfombi Tfwala, now Queen Mother he rules the country and is counted among the few world’s popular Monarchies. King Mswati III is one of many sons fathered by the previous King, Sobhuza II who had more than 72 wives during his reign of 82 years but he was the only child of Queen Ntombi Tfwala.He was born at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini, four months before Eswatini attained independence from the United Kingdom. When he and his mother were discharged from the hospital, they went to live at one of Sobhuza's residences, Etjeni, near the Masundwini royal residence. His birth name was Makhosetive ("Kings of Nations").



As a young prince, Makhosetive attended Masundwini Primary School and later Lozitha Palace School. He sat for the Swaziland Primary Certificate examination in December 1982 at Phondo Royal Residence and received First Class with merit in Mathematics and English. He developed a great interest in the royal guard, becoming the first young cadet to join the now Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF).

When King Sobhuza II died on 21 August 1982, the powerful Supreme Council of State (the Liqoqo) selected the 14-year-old prince Makhosetive to be the next King. For the next four years,two wives of Sobhuza II, Queen Dzeliwe Shongwe (1982–1983) and Queen Ntfombi Tfwala (1983–1986), served as regent while he continued with his education in the United Kingdom, attending Sherborne School (International College).He was then called back to ascend to the Throne. King Mswati was crowned on 25 April 1986 at the age of 18 years thus making him the youngest reigning monarch at the time. Today King Mswati III is Sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch in the sense that he has the power to choose the Prime Minister, other top government and traditional posts. Even though he makes the appointments, he still has to get special advice from the Queen Mother and the Supreme Council (Liqoqo) particularly before appointing the Prime Minister. In matters of Cabinet appointments, he gets advice from the Prime Minister.

King Mswati rule is centered on the Swazi Law and Custom and he exercise some of his powers through traditional leaders (Chiefs) who control the Swazi Nation Land (SNL) in the rural areas. These traditional leaders have powers to preside over matters in terms of Customary Law in the various traditional courts within the communities. Chiefs are considered the core pillars of the Swazi Monarch, some of them are members of the Royal family.

Swazi culture is the way of life and customs of the Swazi people through various historical stages. The culture of Swazi people involves music, food, religion, architecture, and kinship, among many other things. The Swazi people are composed of various Nguni clans who speak the Nguni language SiSwati. These people mostly reside in Eswatini and South Africa. Presently, Swazi people may also include citizens of Eswatini. In Eswatini, one of the most visible features of cultural identity is the traditional political structure of the nation and the home. In the national level, the Ngwenyama (the "Lion”or King is considered the head of the Nation alongside the Ndlovukati (Queen Mother) who is the spiritual leader of the Nation. In Eswatini, National cultural events often involve the Ngwenyama or Ndlovukati. At home, the patriarch of the family is the head and in the past, often practiced polygamy.



This headman, usually referred to as umnumzane is central to all activities of the home. A group of homes forming a community and the land they reside on forms a chiefdom or umphakatsi. Several chiefdoms form an Inkhundla which then belongs of a regional division of the country. This connects the older traditional leadership structures to more modern forms of government. There are National cultural events such as umhlanga, emaganu and incwala which take place at Royal residences of the Ngwenyama and Ndlovukati. Local cultural events in communities or imiphakatsi, take place at the residence of the chief also called emphakatsini. Weddings, funerals and religious events are usually carried out at family homesteads where neighbors are usually invited to partake.



King Mswati is known among his subjects as a King who is passionate about business to create employment. On or around 2004, the King introduced the E50million capacity building fund, however the money disappeared after senior government officials and private business people used corrupt means to gain access to the money. The capacity building fund came subsequent to another E44million that was introduced by the King to fight poverty. Now King Mswati is celebrating 51 years and the country has made significant strides in terms of infrastructure, that include roads, building of schools, hospitals and the hospitality industry is growing. However, the country is still facing challenges of high unemployment rate, poverty and the high rate of HIV/AIDS infections. King Mswati, in his speech from the Throne warned the Nation that the country was facing economic challenges and as a result tough decisions will be taken. The economic challenges come at the time when the European Union (EU) funding for Free Primary Education (FPE) comes to an end. Government has stopped some capital projects and currently working on strategic framework that might see the increase in taxes with other projects halted for the next coming five years. In October 2018, King Mswati appointed Ambrose Mandvulo as the Prime Minister and gave him a mandate to work towards improving the economic situation in the country. The PM is a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eswatini MTN and he once served as the Managing Director at Nedbank Swaziland. The tiny Kingdom of eSwatini generates part of its revenue through tourism with its rich cultural heritage. Tourism in Eswatini is a successful industry. Most of the tourists who visit Eswatini arrive by road from South Africa. Eswatini's tourism industry developed during the apartheid era in South Africa and this shaped many of its distinctive attractions. Since the end of apartheid, Eswatini has emphasized its traditional culture as a tourist attraction.



The adoption of apartheid in South Africa and civil war in Mozambique contributed to Eswatini's appeal as an alternative tourist destination in Southern Africa. This led to growth in Eswatini's tourism industry from the 1960s to the 1990s. During the apartheid era in South Africa, Eswatini drew many visitors by adopting different policies than South Africa. Many tourists visited Eswatini during that time in order to watch television programs or sporting events that they could not view in South Africa. During apartheid in South Africa, Eswatini also legalized gambling in order to draw tourists what brought significant economic prosperity. The number of tourists visiting Eswatini increased from 89,015 in 1972 to 257,997 in 1989. In 1988 tourism was 3% of the GDP of Eswatini and more than 4% of its total exports. Although the traditional Monarchy of Eswatini has often been cited as a factor that attracts tourists, tourism has also been credited with causing modernization in Eswatini. Although the increases in tourism seen in Eswatini have been alleged to have caused an increase in prostitution but there is no evidence that prostitution was a factor in the growth of the Eswatini tourism industry. The increase in tourism did cause the centers of prostitution in Eswatini to shift from mining areas to hotels.