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Almost on a daily basis I buy myself a copy of my favourite newspaper, The Times of Swaziland. This is because I enjoy reading news that is fair and balanced, especially the local news. I am, however, not so happy with the free and indiscriminate use of the title “prince’ or “princess’ by some of the journalists when identifying certain personalities in their stories.

I am wondering if these titles are very important only for certain individuals and not so much for others. I read in the newspaper; Prince Guduza, Prince Kekela, Chief Prince Magudvulela, Chief Machawe ‘Jabhane’ Dlamini, PM Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, Andreas Dlamini (Director of Communications) or Sigcokosiyancinca Dlamini (Eswatini TV CEO), for example.

You will notice that the last four names do not carry the title ‘Prince’. I may be ignorant of the reasons for such inconsistencies as all these men also have ‘royal blood’, however, my suggestion is that such titles should be reserved only for sons and daughters of a king and not descendants of a king, except when that descendant is a recognised chief.

In Eswatini culture, descendants of kings are called ‘banftwabebantfwabenkhosi’, NOT ‘bantfwabenkhosi’.


This is because a prince or princess is held in very high esteem and reverence by his/her community and the nation as a whole. The word ‘Umlangeni’, which denotes ‘royalist’ could be used instead of  ‘Prince’ or, better still, both words omitted outright.

I believe this will remove the ambiguity that journalism has created to the public with reference to Dlamini chiefs for instance, some being recognised as royalty and others supposedly not, and also with regards to some members of the entire royal household that may not be known as such to the writers.


However, if on the other hand the omission of the titles for some members of the various royal houses is intentional then I would be happy to be enlightened on the criteria used by the editorial to identify those that qualify to be addressed as either prince or princess.
As things stand, the publication may be viewed as being contemptuous of certain royal households or royalists. I want to believe that this is a mere oversight though.

Yours Sincerely,
Babe N. Dlamini

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