Sunshine in a cold, cloudy afternoon minutes before Silo King Mswati III walks into a crowded National Kraal at Ludzidzini Royal Residence. Nembala kuphuma lilanga lemaSwati.

We are flat seated on the ground; men on the right, women on the left. The Royal Kraal facing the East is packed with thousands of people silently waiting for Their Majesties. Ingwenyama will walk in anytime from now, I can feel the steps that shake the ground as he paces closer.

The Indlovukazi walks in before the king, dressed in the same smile that can charm birds out of a tree. A hand gesture will break the silence; she waves in delight of the admirers who respond in a chorus of praises welcoming the Mother of the Nation. “Nkhosi, Ndlovukazi!”

Attentively the masses glue their eyes on the King as he addresses the customary Sibaya forum for first time this year. He greets the nation; “Ndlovukazi, Emakhosikati, bantfwabenkosi, nani nonke nine Bekunene” His Majesty greets in a bold majestic voice. You know the king is loved from the spectacular response from the crowds louder than a thunderstorm. “Bayethe wena waphakathi.”

Speech summary

“All thanks to Mvelichanti and our forefathers, these winter rains were certainly a magnificent sign in the build up to a great Sibaya that was coming. This is a good year post Covid 19 because the nation has retained the impression of a peaceful, harmonious and respectful Kingdom. I will remind you, unity is our strength. Therefore, we should embrace peace and our actions should account for sustaining a peaceful realm.

Many positives have been registered over the year with the World Bank ranking the country’s economy among the most improving in the continent. Our GDP has grown by 7.8, indicating a positive economic revolution that will benefit all emaSwati. These are the benefits of peace we have achieved as a united nation.”

The Ingwenyama continued to roar to a vociferous round ofBayethe.’

“We are proud to have hosted SACU (Southern Africa Customs Union) leaders in the past few days. During our term as Chair of SACU, the organization recorded its highest revenue. SACU leaders congratulate the nation for the success they have seen in developing infrastructure and social wellbeing of the nation. Infrastructure is improving with many more tarred roads across the Kingdom. Life as we knew for emaSwati has improved; electricity has urbanized rural areas, changing lives for better.

The Health sector has been revived as well. Just recently, I witnessed great improvements in health facilities that have equipped the sector to face any disease.

Most importantly social wellbeing is shaping up. The government is committed to deliver to the diverse demographics of the nation. With the elderly grant, job security for the working class, opportunities for the youth and education for the young ones we account for the interests that will progress social life.”

“We have been deprived of our usual and customary dialogue/Sibaya by Covid 19 but then that is in the past now. We are happy to have this chance to dialogue again. Time has elapsed for the current parliament. Two weeks from now the country will be in the process of nominations. We are grateful to the outgoing members of parliament for the success the nation has achieved in their term.

After elections we shall gather again in this customary fashion to discuss national issues as we are destined for a first world status. Vote for candidates who will support this vision. I am looking forward to a parliament with intellectuals committed to serve the public interest not individuals aiming to push their personal agenda. Moreover, I encourage you to consider voting more women into Parliament to ensure they assume more positions of authority. Also ensure that people living with disabilities are considered for Parliament seats as their voices are equally important.  

We continue to invite Mvelinchanti and our ancestors to guide the election exercise which should be free and fair. Umdali asibusise sonkhe bekunene.”

The end of His Majesty’s speech is followed by another thunderous reverberation of “Bayethe Wena Waphakathi. Wen’ungangezintaba”

Another memorable day in the life of emaSwati.

By July Dlamini – a student at Limkokwing University on internship at EBIS

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