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Imbali against political parties!

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 MATSAPHA– About 500 maidens have been hand-picked from the country’s 350 chiefdoms to rehearse a new Reed Dance song that will vilify political parties.

"Emaphathi Ngwenyama acabanisa bantfu asiwafuni emaphathi. Sive sakho ngwenyama singacabana sodvwa," (Your Majesty, political parties set people against each other. Your people could start fighting each other), goes the song in part.

The rehearsals lasted about two days at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence and Correctional Services Institution in Matsapha.

The 500 maidens have now been mandated to go back to their respective chiefdoms, where they are expected to convince their peers to contribute their singing talents to drive home the message contained in the lyrics.

The song, according to sources, has been composed by certain traditional authorities solely for this purpose. The song will be rendered before their Majesties at the Reed Dance ceremony next Monday.

This is arguably the first time in the history of the reed dance ceremony that maidens were summoned to rehearse a song before the actual event.

The song apparently came about after some traditional structures felt that they were not properly represented in the recent People’s Parliament where the nation was accorded a platform to address His Majesty on various topical issues that affect their livelihood.

The authorities were disappointed that even politicians who were accorded 20 minutes to voice their views on many issues failed to defend the Tinkhundla system of governance.

Another authority said the whole concept behind the song was that in South Africa during the apartheid period, the youth drove the struggle in that country’s politics.

As such, it was felt that maidens were appropriate to push the agenda against political parties.

"There were some people who called for political parties during the People’s Parliament. They were not challenged. Maidens felt that one way of challenging them was through the song," said Lobayeni Dlamini who worked with the maidens during the week on the song.

She said there were fewer people who stood up to defend the system and therefore there was a strong need to send a message.

Dlamini said through the song, maidens set the record straight that Swaziland did not need political parties because of the many problems that went with them.

She said the problems highlighted in the song included politics, development, poverty, strife and corruption.

"This is going to be a powerful message because it will be coming from one of the largest regiments in the country," she said.

Dlamini also said the motivation behind the song was a desire by the maidens to make their views known on the subject of political parties.

She added that maidens never got a real opportunity of making their feelings known on the above subject at the cattle byre hence, the reed dance ceremony was viewed as an appropriate forum.

"The ceremony will present an opportunity for maidens to make their contribution to the topic on the country’s politics and they believe that the country does not need political parties," she said..

The member of the imbali regiment leadership said the message will be loud and sensible, because it would be coming from maidens who were from all parts of the country.

Maidens believe the message they will deliver through the song will reach their Majesties and the whole nation.

Sigombeni Dlamini another traditionalists behind the song said the song was a means for the maidens to express their feelings and views on important things within their social environment.

Sigombeni was part of the team that worked with maidens early this week.

He said maidens considered the contents of the song to be part of their submissions to the recent People’s Parliament.

"The maidens never really had an opportunity to speak at the People’s Parliament. So this is an opportunity for them to express their views before the nation," he said.

Dlamini further said the song was a means of communicating with the country’s authorities that political parties should not be allowed in the country.

Among notable figures in charge of the rehearsals, is Nothando Ntshangase – a former leader of Imbali – who was found at the Matsapha Correctional facility drilling about 100 maidens on Thursday.

"Those who are still not conversant with the lyrics are being taught by the ones already inducted in the song. During the main day of the reed dance, all the maidens are expected to showcase their talent in song before Their Majesties," she said.


Meanwhile, Luke Malindzisa, His Majesty’s Correctional Services Public Relations Officer who was also present during the rehearsals said the main purpose of the preparations was to make sure that the maidens were ready for the main day.

"We all know that practice makes perfect," he said.

"It is one of the reasons maidens have been gathered here today. The rehearsals have been going on for some time and as we speak, the maidens are almost ready for the main day."

When some of the maidens were asked about the song, they said it was just one of the songs that had been composed in order to raise their views with Their Majesties.




- Swazi pipo must b educated about political parties coz once u talk about politics dey think of violance,siyacela maswati nisifundzisele lamaswati akitsi ngoba asehlatsini
August 26, 2011, 10:15 am, Thabiso Dlamini (thabisodlamini37@yahoo.com) 

- Oh God, what are you people doing, pushing your selfish interests through our innocent children? What's wrong with these traditionalists?First of all, this message doesn't come from the maidens but from you, so why do you say Swazis don't want political parties? This is abuse of culture at it's worst. If you want to argue your case about the goodness of Tinkhundla, bring a political discourse. We send our children to the reed dance to pay allegiance to our beloved King not to condone our suffering. You must know that you are killing our culture. Imbali will do anything which they are ordered to do because they are just young kids. Stop this, now!
August 26, 2012, 10:15 am, Banele (gudlizintaba@yahoo.com)

- I think it's Jan Sithole who's been singing the same song for some time now against what he always calls the "politicization of culture". He maintains that culture should have nothing to do with politics because it's the only thing that unites Swazis of differing views. I thought he was making a mountain out of a mole hill until Timbali released their 'debut album' against political parties. All I can say is here goes our cultural heritage down the drain. Is Imbali, or their sponsors, getting too scared of political parties and desperate? Why would they go through this trouble of defending Tinkhundla if "statistics show that the majority of Swazis love Tinkhundla"? Or is it a case of "damn lies, sex and statistics"!
August 26, 2012, 10:14 am, Ndonda (ndoda@live.com)

- The question is do the maidens share the same sentiment or they have found themselves in a situation they cant do otherwise but obey. There are always two sides of a coin, these are young children some ignorent of the very meaning of what the song means, let alone what benefits or disadvantages political parties would bring to SD. They should be allowed to explore these things and stand up for things they know. it is true, political parties can cause division, but can we varily say we are content as a nation now???
August 26, 2012, 10:13 am, phica

- This is propaganda at its best.The Imbali did't summon themselves but they were called by the so called ''Traditionalists''.I bet my cow,all these enormous efforts will be fruitless simply because they is nobody who can brainwash Swazis.
August 26, 2012, 3:15 pm, Mcanco (208501940@stu.ukzn.ac.za)

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