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EDITOR’S MOTIVATION ON HIS 41st BIRTHDAY:The positive journey of my life as a writer.

Saturday, 6th April, 2024

In 2003, at the age of twenty(20), I took a two(2) quire exercise book and wrote drama play titled “Luphiko Lwenkhunkhu”, that was played at the State owned radio, Government paid for that drama play.

I used that money to purchase a Spaza Phone and automatically became the first employee of my business.

While sitting inside my Spaza Phone, I saw King Mswati in the local newspapers being driven in one of the luxurious BMWs, I didn’t read the article negatively but my focus was on the car and what I can do to own it.

I said to myself “Let me go to the driving school, maybe one day I will drive that car”, and indeed I was a very ambitious young man.

Well, I remember one of my friends asked me what’s the purpose of going to the driving school if you don’t own a car, he was literally laughing at me.

But being a writer is one of most unique character,you live in your own world of imagination, you see things that others may not see and, you are always inspired by what you want to become not what you are today.

An opportunity then availed itself in 2007, Macmillan publishers published an advert calling upon Siswati writers to write drama and novel stories.

I wrote a drama titled “Tetfule Utetfwese”, it was a story of a young woman in my community of LaMgabhi eTiyeni whose love for dating old men with money resulting to her dating an armed robbery and messing her life, the drama was in the top five(5) winners.

Former Correctional Services Commissioner Mzuthini Ntshangase’s ex-wife Betty Ntshangase became the winner with her script titled “Umsamaliya Lolungileyo”.

I received a call from Macmillan and informed that I was among the winners who will receive their prizes from the then Education Minister Themba Msibi at the Mountain Inn Hotel.

It was my first time to set foot in a Hotel not to mention taking a picture with a Cabinet Minister, this was a motivation that “writing made me to shake hands with a Minister”.

After the presentation ceremony, I went back to my Spaza Phone and when people visited the Spaza they started saying, “we saw you shaking hands with a Minister on Swazi TV and sometimes your voice in on the radio drama, you seem to be a famous person but why are you still here working in a Spaza shop?”.

Well,others didn’t know that I was the owner of the Spaza and I wanted it that way.

One day while reading the Eswatini Observer, I called Musa Ndlangamandla,the then Chief Editor and asked for an opportunity to write a column and he referred me to editor Alec Lushaba, now Hhukwini Member of Parliament(MP).

I was granted my wish to write the column and it was known as “The World of Creativity” as part of the Lifestyle and Entertainment pullout of the then Weekend Observer.

I started to interview gospel artists, the first artist who believed in the idea of the column and agreed to be interviewed was Vusimuzi Gumedze of the Gumedze and the Gospel Worriers.

Other artists that saw the column and asked to be interviewed include Sipho Makhabane, Mduduzi Simelane of the Mduduzi neZinceku Zamagawugawu, the late Sifiso Ncwane and his wife Ayanda Ncwane among others.

I started to be a busy writer, Mduduzi Simelane of Zinceku Zamagawugawu asked me to travel with him to Durban, where he was to perform in an event organized by a radio station in KwaZulu Natal, Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule was preaching there.

There was no time for Spaza as it was no longer making money after MTN introduced Bizemoyeni.

In 2010 during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Macford Sibandze, the then Tourism Minister called me and asked if I can be able to travel with other journalists to South Africa so we can market the country through writing, at the time I had left the Observer working as journalist for the now defunct Ingwazi Newspaper.

We were paid by Government an allowance to go to South Africa and explore opportunities and then write about the World Cup while promoting tourism.

I was in Hotels almost every weekend, either attending workshops or journalism trainings, or covering events.

One day we were traveling in my car with Mlungisi Mkhanya, the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) and said “Mkhaya sikhule sati kutsi letimoto leti tihamba boMswati”, and I remembered my wish to own the car while sitting inside the Spaza Phone.

But I’ve just realized that as you grow older, wishes and ambitions change, depending on your abilities and thinking capabilities.

Indeed, you start to think about what you will leave for your children once you die.You start to think about owning a beautiful home, a farm, shares in companies and establishing businesses that will sustain you as you grow older.

Today(06 April 2024), I’m celebrating my 41st birthday and maybe next year in my 42nd birthday,I will continue to tell the story about the journey of my life as a writer.

It will be interesting to know how I moved from a Spaza shop to speak to the British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC) and get paid as a Contributor for eSwatini stories, write and report for more than ten(10) newspapers, TV stations around globe and became the Managing editor of an online newspaper that changed the eSwatini political landscape while ending the culture of media censorship.

It possible to collect bits and pieces of your life and watch your critics making noise, asking themselves how you climbed the ladder because they have known you as a ‘useless person’.

The secret behind this,is working hard and ignore those who discourage you in whatever you do, in fact you must work hard until your critics eat a humble pie.

I am writing this article to motivate the youth, you might be struggling today, just have a vision about your life, work hard and you will make it.

Writing generates 90% of my personal revenue, it feeds me and my family while changing lives of members of the society through investigative articles.

In this article I objectively focused on the positive part of my journey as a writer to motivate young people that “it’s possible you can make it”, challenges are always there but for me, challenges are part of the journey.

EDITOR’S MOTIVATION ON HIS 41st BIRTHDAY:The positive journey of my life as a writer.
Editor Zweli Martin Dlamini.