The humbling Sibaya experience
LUDZIDZINI – A first time visit to the Royal Cattle Byre dispelled many of our preconceived notions.
We expected to find a rowdy crowd of despondent and indifferent Swazis, separated by their beliefs.
It was a humbling experience to spend time with a people who staunchly believe in their country and in their ability to effectively contribute to its development.
It was amazing to witness how the combination of the glaring sun, chilly wind and an arena peppered with cow dung did not serve as a deterrent; instead it brought people from as far as Buhleni and Lomahasha together.
Fonono Mthembu, 72, a subsistence farmer from KaShoba said he appreciated the tradition which allowed ordinary Swazi citizens to moonlight as parliamentarians.
Mthembu said the opportunity to interact with people with different socio-economic backgrounds but still respect the differing opinions of their countrymen who also shared the desire to see the country grow from strength to strength was a truly humbling experience.
Our observation throughout the day was that diversity blended with respect and a disarming honesty made for a meeting which highlighted the country’s unity at His Majesty King Mswati III’s residence.
The various speakers addressed issues around the introduction of multi-parties in the country, others expressed their contentment with the Tinkhundla system and gave suggestions on how it could be fine-tuned, the contentious issue of a 4.5 per cent salary increment for teachers and how everyone should be accountable for every act of corruption.
The diversity in opinions did not end or begin there, this was noted in the separate entrances for men and women and in the way they addressed the audience; men stood at the microphone while women sat down.
After observing the innate respect with which Swazis treat each other and their European visitors, the picture of the Swaziland which turned our forefathers into sunbeams whenever they spoke about, it began to slowly take form.
Opinions and suggestions were met with either applause or shouted interjections but whenever a speaker returned to the crowd he was welcomed with handshakes and pats on the back.
As Swazis left the Cattle Byre we pushed and shoved our way out with people from all walks of life, walking out with a distinct satisfaction borne of interacting with people we would not have otherwise met.
One prime example was a woman living with disability who took to the microphone to sing and pray and was welcomed by the audience which cheered her on. Sticking to the legacy of King Sobhuza II who said everyone should be listened to and their opinions respected.
Adding to our satisfaction was noting that we live in an inclusive and diverse country which appreciates that a good song is made up of different notes.
The country continues its song today.
Princess slams Sugar daddies
LUDZIDZINI- Princess Sikhanyiso warned sugar daddies who flash money in return for sexual favours to stop their habit.
The princess said instead of enticing young girls into sexual affairs with money, men should make free offers if they are willing to give out money, and stop asking for sexual favours in return.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to urge Imbali to maintain their virginity and know that it is their pride. Therefore, it should not be taken away willy-nilly," said the princess.
The princess recommended an increment of the youth fund allocation because it had become evident that the youth had brilliant business and development ideas that were, however, never explored due to lack of money.
"The youth are talented and have ideas that could greatly improve the Swazi economy.
Hence, I would like to urge government to increase the youth fund allocation in order for the youth to have capital to start more businesses in the country," she added.
The princess further made reference to the song she sang during the Umhlanga Reed dance ceremony last year, where she called upon all Swazis to be proud of their identity, culture and heritage. "Most people around the world want to visit Swaziland for its uniqueness. Then one wonders why some Swazis emulate foreign cultures, yet people want to come to the country to witness the Swazi way of life, culture and traditions," noted the princess.
- MINISTER STATE WITNESS IN MHLATANE FRAUD CASE
- ‘TAX AUTHORITIES HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE US PAY TAX’
- RSSC’S SPECIAL FOCUS ON WORLD AIDS DAY
- ‘KOKI’ BLASTS PLAYERS FOR INDISCIPLINE
- WIN MTN LEAGUE AND GET E240 000- ’DOWNS PLAYERS TOLD