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OPINION:Struggle against ‘white monopoly’ capitalism in the eSwatini media started when Qhawe Mamba established Channel S.

Wednesday, 20th December, 2023

When Qhawe Mamba established his Channel S television station,the Times of Eswatini,stopped referring to him as a journalist,he was consistently in the front page and the headlines would read “King’s Praise Singer”.

Qhawe Mamba’s sin was to sing praises to Mswati everytime he reports, while working for Eswatini TV covering King’s trip, he was known for opening his reporting with the phrase(for example): “Hhayi-ke nine beNkhosi lenhle njengoba nibona Silo seMhlaba iNgwenyama sesitselekile eQatar”.

The Times is owned by Paul Loffler, a white businessman and Channel S was established by a Liswati and by establishing Channel S, other adverts worth millions previously benefitted by the Times went to Channel S.

The economic advertising ‘cake’ in the eSwatini media is worth over R50million per-month and it’s about R1billion per-year, Qhawe Mamba was threatening the business interests of white monopoly capitalists.

As a result,Times journalists were unleashed on Mamba,he was portrayed as a criminal by the media and accompanied to prison.

Of course he might have done something wrong but the capitalists owning the Times wanted to crash and kicked him out of the media space.

One day I held a meeting with the late Prime Minister(PM) Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, at the time he was the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) at MTN Eswatini.

I remember he called me while I was at home-LaMgabhi eTiyeni and we met at the Ezulwini MTN Headquarters at night.

Mandvulo told me something that I will never forget, he analysed the MTN Eswatini budget that was payed to the Times of Eswatini per-year and told me that as the Management they have decided to use part of the budget to support my newspaper that was subsequently closed by powerful people backed by the capitalist.

Mandvulo told me that,they have allocated over three hundred thousand Rands(R300,000.00) adverts to the then Swaziland Shopping,he said the Management was happy with my style of writing and he will support that the following year, the budget for my newspaper be increased from R300,000.00 to over R1million.

After the first MTN advert appeared on our newspaper, the attacks escalated, Mandvulo told me that he was receiving threatening calls from the Times and questionnaires,the mobile company was asked why it was advertising with what was described as an unregistered newspaper.

The questionnaires were sent via emails to the office of the MTN Corporate Affairs Manager.

A newspaper that was interviewing even Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini was labelled as not properly registered just because one businessman wanted it closed and the capitalists took advantage to push their own agenda.

I don’t look at Qhawe Mamba as a criminal or an ex-convict, I look at him as a hero who inspired some of us to work hard, he is a loyalist to the King and that is his own political belief.

The businessmen under the Federation of Eswatini Business Community(FESBC) who complained about the grabbing of tenders by foreigners must understand that,nothing comes easy in this country, as mentioned above, some of us had to work and fight hard to penetrate and liberate the media.

After securing international donors to fund this online publication, one editor Alec Lushaba tried to use the same strategy again, consistently referring to me as a terrorist so that donors can dump the online publication.

I had to hit him hard and ensure that he doesn’t succeed in his mission because I had the previous experience of what they did with the Swaziland Shopping.

In this country if you soft, you will never succeed, capitalists and their agents will destroy you and if you don’t know the politics of this country, you will blame everything on Mswati, others are hiding under the King’s wings to push their business and capitalist agendas

I was chatting with a King’s Advisor some few days ago and he was shocked when I narrated to him how capitalists, Times and Observer journalists tried to use the name of the King to crash me, in fact the businessman who wanted the newspaper closed had his own interests and the Times wanted to re-claim its budget share from State companies thus influencing the closure of another newspaper.

There are many obstacles that hinder the growth of black businesspeople in this country, sometimes if you don’t know politics including media politics you might blame only Mswati when in fact, you are being targeted because you decided to establish a media company thus threatening business interests worth billions.

FESBC members must understand that, life is literally a struggle in this country, if you are weak you won’t survive.

It’s not only King Mswati, there’s a network of capitalists who always deal with anyone who demonstrate a potential to compete in the economy.

Qhawe Mamba was attacked and when the Channel S Club scandal erupted, the media owned by capitalists saw an opportunity to influence his arrest and they succeeded.

At some point, I received a call from Qhawe Mamba after a Times journalist visited his offices in Manzini, the journalist pretended to be visiting Mamba as a colleague yet he was being spied.

The following morning, we saw a headline “Channel S broadcast in an empty studio” and all this was done to discourage advertisers so they can lose confidence on Channel S.

But Qhawe Mamba said the following words after I visited Sidvwashini Prison to check on him with Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu.

“Mine wena Mlangeni noma singawa lesiteshi ngaze ngaphuma lana, sitawuvuka ”.

Indeed, Channel S is on air as you read this.

OPINION:Struggle against ‘white monopoly’ capitalism in the eSwatini media started when Qhawe Mamba established Channel S.
Qhawe Mamba.