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LOBAMBA – Liphovela LaMashwama was a notable absentee during the main day of the Umhlanga Reed Dance ceremony.

The former Waterford KaMhlaba College student did not join the thousands of maidens who danced in front of Their Majesties at the Ludzidzini arena yesterday.

Last year, LaMashwama was the centre of attraction as she danced with royalty and had a heavy escort of police officers watching her every move.
It had been anticipated that she would be part of the ceremony even this year but this was not the case.

Mashwama joined the royal family during the same ceremony last year and has been visible in most national events.
Yesterday, she was not present even when Emakhosikati would now and again join the maidens in song and dance.
Some of the King’s Emakhosikati who were present yesterday included Inkhosikati LaNgangaza, Inkhosikati LaMbikiza, Inkhosikati LaNkambule, Inkhosikati LaFogiyane and Inkhosikati LaGija.

Also noted at the event was that unlike in previous years, the guest list did not include a president from another country.
Last year, His Majesty King Mswati III was joined by Zambia President Edgar Lungu.
This time, most countries were represented by their ambassadors who packed the VIP area to witness the country’s national event.
Meanwhile, the Ludzidzini Royal Residence arena is getting too small.

This was witnessed yesterday when over 120 000 Imbali packed the stadium during the main day of dancing at the annual Umhlanga Ceremony.
This led to the girls to take over an hour while getting into the arena and dancing past Their Majesties.

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