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Please allow me space in your widely read newspaper to pay tribute to some of our fallen great heroes who fought gallantly to increase the country’s boundaries while at the same time ensuring that the nation was protected from foreign aggression.

They deserve to be appreciated for the sacrifices that they made to make this beautiful land available to us and our children.
Prince Mbilini: He was a celebrated warrior who had a strong following as a leader of his regiment. He defeated a number of communities in the southern border of the country. He later defected to the Zulus where he emerged victorious in the battle of Intombe while fighting alongside the Zulus, during the Anglo-Zulu war. He was King Mbandzeni’s half-brother.

Sandlane Zwane: He was a member of the Tichele Regiment. Later he became indvuna of Ludzidzini. He supported Mawewe Ndwandwe (King Mswati II’s brother-in-law) against Mila Ndwandwe. He also supported Queen Regent Tsandzile Ndwandwe after King Mswati II’s death and played a critical role in the appointment of King Mbandzeni. He dominated the politics of the country from the 1870s to around 1890. The Sandlane Border Post in the western boundary of the country is named after him.

Matsafeni Shongwe: He was sent by King Mswati II to expel the Sotho people who were living in the Hhohho area. He also deposed King Mlaleni of the Matsaba people. The king gave him an enormous area that stretched from Hhohho down to the confluence of the Lomati and Komati Rivers at Tonga in South Africa, as a reward for his bravery.

Matsafeni Mdluli: He was an indvuna of King Mswati II’s army. He, together with Matsafeni Shongwe, fought and conquered the Sothos and other smaller tribes in the Mpumalanga province. King Mswati II rewarded him with land in the same province, however, later, his land was given to Matsafeni Shongwe after he angered King Mbandzeni.

Matsamo Shongwe: He was the son of Matsafeni Shongwe. He was a celebrated warrior who fought wars with the Venda, Pedi and Mabhudu tribes in Mozambique.
Prince Fata: He was given an area at Ntontozi by King Mswati II as a reward for being ingwazi. He is also known for handing over the throne to his elder brother, Prince Ndzabambi, in a show of respect.

Prince Sobhiyose: He was a member of the Inyatsi Regiment. He established the Mbhuleni Royal Kraal along the upper Komati River in Badplaas, South Africa. King Mswati II honoured him with a vast area stretching from Mnyamatsini to the Nkomazi River with areas such as Mpolonjeni, Motshane and Nkhaba falling under his jurisdiction.

He also performed the first fruit celebrations rituals (abevula Incwala) at the old Ludzidzini Royal Kraal. He is known to have strongly supported the appointment of Bhunu as king. He died at a very old age and the Queen Mother Labotsibeni once cautioned that he should never be killed for fear of risking upsetting the ancestors.

Thintitha Dlamini: He was a member of the Ndlavela Regiment and fought the war with the Pedi in 1879. He was known to be violent and rebellious. He was killed by the British when he tried to escape from prison.

I implore government and the nation at large to utilise one of the public holidays to celebrate these warriors and all others whom I could not mention (due to limited space) for the enormous role that they played in fighting for this country and building the Swazi nation.

Linda Dlamini

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