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MBABANE - It’s safe to say Eswatini has produced trendsetters and superstars in the making who are painting global stages, and making us proud.

Amid what our country is going through, there’s always something to be grateful for if one looks close enough. Our flag is hoisted globally by our very own seeds, namely Uncle Waffles and Pastor Bakhe Dlamini. Of course we have many more, like Sands who also put us on the map with his hit song ‘Tigi’; we also have Bholoja who signed a deal with a European record label recently and Snowee strutting her gorgeous self on international runaways.

In the interest of space, I chose to focus on Uncle Waffles and Pastor Bakhe who are gaining traction daily. What makes this duo special is that they have gone outside our shores with their craft and gift respectively. From humble begins to being known globally all because of your gift. As the good book also states that your gift will make room for you, it will put you in the presence of great men. This verse best describes the success story of Uncle Waffles and Pastor Bakhe who have used their gifts to make a difference wherever they go.

I had the pleasure of meeting both trendsetters and took a page from their book of how they become a success and what we can all take home. These two stories prove that no matter where you started, how you finish is entirely up to you. In the words of Steve Harvey; ‘life is 90 per cent of what happens to you and 10 per cent how you react to it.’

Uncle Waffles

Born Lungelihle Zwane, daughter of Nomcebo Maseko and Sandile Zwane, the 22-years-0old was born in Mbabane. Last week she bagged a South Africa Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) deal, she now has her own burger called the Uncle Waffles burger.  She also has a couple of endorsement deals like the Jägermeister Africa and many more under her belt. She also released music video titled ‘Tanzania’ which is currently sitting at over 1.3 million views on YouTube. She is currently touring in the United States of America (USA) and both her shows sold out.

I met Uncle Waffles recently at Malendela for her Dragons Den show which was on October this year. To say I was star struck is an understatement, even though I meet these celebrities often as the Entertainment Editor, I still get overwhelmed at times when they are actually sitting right across me for interviews, its surreal I tell you. I watched her perform for over an hour at her homecoming show after being away for a year. I never left the arena as I was dancing with my two feet the whole time, it’s only then that  it made sense why she has become a global brand, playing for Europeans soccer stars, and touring global stages and killing it on the decks, really epic talent.


After her performance I patiently waited for my turn, as all the other local media houses were queuing to interview the superstar and eventually got my turn with the help from my colleagues. I asked how it all started from playing relatively unknown at Mdzimba View a year ago, to playing overseas. She shared that it was a chain of events from the video clip of her on the decks, which trended on line and that was the spark. She said: “People only knew about the co-sign from Drake the second day. I received a text form someone asking if I was aware that Drake follows me. I went and checked and many more from producers to Jermaine Dupree also followed suit. I followed him back as well and now a lot of producers follow me back. It feels great, it’s even worse when they reach out and tell me that they love my story, it’s so surreal. Especially when they reach out to me and tell me that they love what I do.”

I also interviewed her mum Nomcebo Maseko, who revealed that it was her first time seeing her perform; she attended the show with Uncle Waffle’s grandmother   who also shared that she had never seen her granddaughter perform before. When I quizzed the star’s mum on how she felt about the show, she shared that she was very proud and happy the event well. I further asked her what she hoped for her daughter going forward and she said: “The sky is the limit, only God knows where he can take her next. We thank her fans for the support they give her.”
The sky indeed is the limit….

Pastor Bakhe Dlamini

How we met is an interesting story, my then editor said I should follow up on his story, he had just appeared on Drum, a South African magazine, back in 2014. He was gracious enough to come through to the newsroom for the interview. As I was swamped, I asked if it was ok to send him questions and he responds via email, and he did. As I was going through his responses I spotted great talent in writing and figured since I had space on the weekend pullout, Gcwala, why not give him space to write a feature for me. I proposed it to him, as fate would have it he shared that he’s been wanting to become a columnist. I pitched the idea to my then editor who loved the feature so much, he went on to write even for times as well. He has gone on to publish at least five books already.

So I asked him about his latest venture of working outside the country and this is what he had to say: “My vision of going out of the country all happened accidentally for me. During the times of COVID- 19 I just got a request for my services from outside the country: South Africa (SA), Botswana, Namibia, USA, UK, China, Taiwan, Abu Dabi, and Australia. I reached out, and the rest is history. “I currently have my private practice in Sandton in SA. For consultations, assisting couples, my team started organising marriage seminars in SA. It was a leap of faith and it worked. Demand for our events kept on growing. Besides also public speaking and my book sales that I have throughout SA, we then thought of adding marriage boot-camp. Hence the recent marriage boot-camp we had which was a huge success.

 At the beginning of November, we had a sold out event during our marriage boot-camp. We only had space for 40 couples, but because of the high demand, we ended up having 43 couples. That’s quite a number: 86 people at one resort, over one weekend. I won’t lie; we were scared because it was a territory we had never been to. Our events attract individuals who are quite successful in different industries. There is a lot of expectation they come with and we have to deliver. With our seminars that we do city to city throughout SA, we have managed to have sold out events there too. The biggest achievement is to see relationships and marriages restored.

It took meeting a need, and yes, a lot of uniqueness. There are a lot of companies throughout SA that provide the kind of service we provide, but our company came in with a fresh twist. Our company takes after me. We broke barriers and came with solutions for the modern day couple. Hiring the right personnel in our company also worked for us. Over and above, I work extremely hard. At times I am between therapy sessions from 8am to 9pm, with no break at all. I am working on getting more rest these days though. I have other psychologists looking for employment in my practice, so soon I have to look at getting help, growing the practice further.


My advice for a young pastor is forget being a pastor, break barriers. The danger with many of us in ministry is we limit ourselves and allow people to limit us. During my consultations, seminars, boot-camps, I do not mention even once that I am a pastor. The moment you mention that you are a pastor; people have a tendency of boxing you. I am a fully-fledged psychologist, have a Masters in Community Psychology and prefer that people know me as a psychologist or a businessman. It allows me to reach a wider market. Also, one has to be street smart, relevant and innovative.

The feeling of gracing bigger stages: it is electrifying and humbling. It is humbling to see one’s brand grow beyond boarders and continents. Such can only take God. I consider myself quite fortunate, in as much as I work hard. My advice to young people: Go big or go home. Never settle for less. Dream big. Dreams do come true. It is also important not to rely on talent only. One has to get the education relevant to their talent or passion. Finally, it’s OK to be crazy, not fit in according to people’s expectations. It takes a little bit of insanity to achieve the unimaginable.”

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