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This weekend, the beautiful Kingdom of Eswatini welcomes visitors from all over the world for the magnificent arts showpiece, Bushfire. Once here they will connect with mesmerizing experiences of a lifetime in this scenic and unforgettable destination.

This is a nation that is truly unique and a global gem. That is undeniable. Never mind any dust that may sometimes blur us appreciating the gem’s shine. This is an amazing place to live in and it has the potential to be even the brightest star in the galaxy.


If you have ever travelled even outside your four walls, you will know that there is no place like home. What others may merely refer to as a house is to you a home.

A home is a place of warmth, love, acceptance, relaxation and belonging. It is where the heart is. There is a disconnection one experiences as soon as you walk out of your door. And that connection is restored when you return. Eswatini offers that magnetism to its guests as well.
After experiencing it, it instantly becomes their home away from home due to its tranquility and ambiance. So we are quite excited to be hosting these visitors this weekend. Actually we say welcome to your new second home.

The arts event happens at a time when the continent is also celebrating Africa month. Coincidentally today is also Africa Day. This day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.
It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world.

I know somewhere in Mbabane there is also a gathering to celebrate it today.
On this day one reflects on the uniqueness of being proudly African and in our case emaSwati. And what better way to do so than with sharing our beautiful story through the arts in Malkerns with the over 30 000 people to gather there.
Africa Month also seeks to increase the appreciation and demand for arts and culture goods and services, and to stimulate competitive markets for trade among African countries.

Last Saturday, I had a rare honour to be part of an audience at an event on African spirituality in neighboring South Africa.


Interestingly enough the discussion then went on to discuss further the facets of identity. Who are we, why are we here and are we proud of who we are?
During the debate featuring a rich panel of intellectuals armed with impressive CVs and qualifications, the consensus was as Africans it is important to take pride of who we are. It is important to not dilute our identity such that we no longer even recognize ourselves in the mirror.

And one country that is a beautiful example of holding on to its identity and heritage is Eswatini.
The name change reemphasized this. We continue to be a shining example of being proudly African and of who we are. That makes us Africa’s bright gem. As one creative called us ‘Africa’s cultural hub’.

Eswatini has its challenges as a nation. But so do other countries. Last week, Prime Minister Mandvulo Dlamini shared with the nation a strategic road map for the country to take over the next five years. It has been dismissed by many as a lot of talk as previous plans.
But all great plans start with talking, then are written.

 For it is through articulating what you want to do that you are able to seek support for the next part which is action. This is an essential trait of good leadership that even leadership expert Dr John Maxwell approves of.

He states that leaders touch the heart before they ask for a hand. From the start of the year we have been hearing of how the country is planning to implement positive things to improve the quality of life. That is acceptable and encouraged. It will now be rightly followed up by implementation and then sustainability. So we are on course. As long as each one of us also plays our part.
I digress on the road map. Let me leave that for the political and economic analysts.


 Today’s feature was to really welcome everyone to this amazing country and also wish everyone a happy Africa Day. And in doing so also remind ourselves that we are in a very lovely country. A couple of years ago I found myself seated with some travel writers in Malkerns. They were about to wrap up their mission in the country.

They said they noted that the country was nothing they had read about and it took a personal experience to find out for themselves that it is actually a gem.
One of them even asked if it was possible to resettle here. They also marvelled at the unity and respectful nature of emaSwati.

Great food, amazing culture, a respectful people and a country filled with so much promise. I am Nathi Gule and I am a proud liSwati. Happy Africa Day and happy remaining Africa Month.


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