Today, the eyes of the whole world are trained on the monarch of Eswatni, previously known as Swaziland. The country which lies South of Africa is rich in cultural splendour from the dressing, way of life to the dances and music. Unfortunately, it has been riddled by poverty for the longest time.
The king, Mswasti III, has the final say and is in charge of appointing top government officials including the prime minister. The opposition has often accused him of being arrogant and ignorant to the people’s needs. According to statements made by the opposition, public workers had not received wage adjustments for three years, the health sector had collapsed and even tertiary institutions were in dire strain due to the government’s failure to provide textbooks, tuition fees among other things.
While all this is going on, the ruling family enjoys a lot of privileges and lives a very luxurious life. The king who has 15 wives and 35 children and keeps his family in luxury.
The 15 wives of the King of Eswatini are:
- Inkhosikati LaMatsebula (The great wife). She comes from the Matsebula clan and graduated from UNISA with a degree in Psychology. She said this degree helps her keep an open mind as she has to work closely to so many people as the queen and first wife of the land.
- Inkhosikati Sibonelo Mngomezulu. She is the third wife to the king and the first one he choose for himself. She is also the mother to the king’s first daughter who is a musician. The queen is the founder of a charity in South Africa named Lusito charity organization. The organization provides financial assistance to the needy. She is the director of Swazi Royal initiative to combat AIDS.
- Inkhosikati LaMotsa ‘La Madone.’ She is the Goodwill ambassador for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and also a patron for a school in Swaziland named St. Anne’s girls.
- Inkhosikati Carol Dlamini LaNganganza. She uses her position as queen to teach her people on a number of subjects ranging from health, education to beauty. The queen studied law at the university and she is the patron of Swaziland hospice and home, an organization previously headed by princess Diana.
- Inkhosikati Putsoana LaHwala. While some may love the pomp that comes with Royal life, this seems not to have bee he case with Hwala. She was tired of life as the Royal queen and hence, fled the country leaving three of her children behind. She used her South African passport to avoid being detected by the security but she still remains married to the king.
- Delise Magwaza. In 2004, she was right in the middle of a sex scandal with her being a participant. She was accused of having an affair with Lizo Shabangu who was a 23-year-old South African man. Later, she was reported to have married a wealthy business tycoon from South African with whom she has one child.
- Inkhosikati Senteli LaMasango. The king married her in 2000 as his seventh wife when she was still quite young. The Times of Swaziland in an article reported that the king had married an irresponsible teenager who has been expelled from two schools and eventually dropped out. This piece did not sit well with the Royal house and the editor was sued for defamation and forced to resign.
- Inkhosikati Nontsetselo LaMagongo. Known to be a faithful member of the Student Christian Fellowship, she was quite an athlete during her school days. She is said to be the king’s favorite and in a 2004 interview revealed she would never leave her husband even if AIDS was to enter the Royal house.
- Inkhosikati Angela LaGija. This is yet another classic case of one of the king’s wives leaving him. She fled to South Africa and left her daughter behind saying she was tired of years of physical and emotional abuse by the king.
- Inkhosikati Noliqhwa Ayanda LaNtentesa. Married in 2005, she is the patron of the Cheshire Homes Swaziland, a rehabilitation center carrying for those with disability
- Zena Soraya Malhangu. Imagine living in a society where the king has absolute authority and can choose whichever woman he wants, whether they are willing or not. Tis is the case of Soraya who was kidnapped by Royal aides from school and made the king’s wife. When her mother realized what was happening, she sued the Royal house but, well the king proved to be above the law, after all he is the law.
- Inkhosikati Nothando LaDube. In 2010 an alleged affair between her and Swaziland’s justice minister changed he life forever. She was placed under house arrest at the king’s mother house and the said minister was incarcerated. However, in November 2011, he was ordered to leave the Royal household.
- Inkhosikati Phindile Nkambule. This is a woman who at 17 won against a glamorous TV presenter and Miss Swaziland in a 10,000 women race to capture the king’s eye. Marrying her at 17, the king went against his own laws which declared marriageable age to be 18 years old.
- Sindiswa Dlamini. Dlami married the king a year after graduating from St. Francis High School. She was a beauty and loved pageants making her a finalist at Miss Cultural Heritage.
- Siphelele Mashwaa. The last wife of the king married to him four years ago.
The first two wives are selected by the council. As per the Swazi tradition, the king is mandated to choose a virgin wife every year and he continues to do so as long as he is king. The king picks a new bride among virgins who parade in traditional chastity parade held at the Royal palace in Mbabane. Thousands of maidens take part in the ceremony where a number of traditions are conducted. During the ceremony, they dress up in skirts and sash with their bosom exposed and match in front of the royal guests. The king then chooses whoever pleases him.
The king loves a lavish lifestyle and has a number of high end vehicles. He owns two private jets. On his 50th birthday in 2018, he is reported to have bought himself a $13.2 million private jet.
He is also reported to own a $625,000 Rolls Royce, a $500,000 Maybach 62, a BMW X6 and 20 Mercedes Benz S600 Pullman.
A year ago, he came under public fire after buying 120 BMW X3 SUVs, BMW s40 sedans and 19 Rolls Royce cars for use by the Royal family. The luxurious fleets were meant for his wives and children with the Times saying the purchases was around Sh1.7 billion.