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HIS MAJESTY URGES WIDOWS TO REMOVE MOURNING GOWNS

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MBABANE - His Majesty King Mswati III has urged widowed women to remove mourning gowns before the double celebration next week.

Speaking through Acting Ludzidzini Governor Themba Ginindza, the King said the removal of the mourning gowns was in respect of the upcoming celebration of the 55 years of independence, which will be celebrated together with the King’s Birthday. Ginindza stated that the removal of the gowns was effective immediately after the announcement, which was made at 3pm. “The removal of the mourning gowns (tinzilo) does not mean widowed women should do as they please. They should keep mourning in heart until their allotted time for cleansing (kubeka phasi). Widowed women are not expected to move up and down as if the mourning period is over,” Ginindza said.

Practice

Worth noting is that, it is common practice that widowed women are allowed to remove their mourning gowns ahead of the celebration of independence, as Eswatini culture provides that no one should be seen mourning during celebrations. The wearing of the mourning gowns, which normally last for two years, depending on the agreement of the two families, is a means by which women express their grief after the death of their husbands. Apart from the removal of the mourning gowns, some prisoners have their sentences reduced. Umhluma Foundation, which looks after the welfare of widowed women in the country, expressed their gratitude to His Majesty.

Gowns

In an interview yesterday, the foundation’s Executive Director, Lungelo Zulu, said, the removal of the mourning gowns meant that their members would be able to join other emaSwati in the celebration of the 55 years of independence and the King’s Birthday. Zulu said the removal of the mourning gowns meant that their members would not be restricted during the course of the ongoing general elections in the country. “Kulesimemetelo, sibulala emabhodlela eNgwenyameni yelive. Sibonga kakhulu,” Zulu said, loosely translated to mean: “We are grateful to the Ingwenyama following the announcement.”

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