Mbabane: Women have always played a big part in society, be it economically, politically or otherwise.
Few or none there of can argue their significance and how they impacted each individual’s life.
When young King Sobhuza II, at just four months old was chosen as the new leader of emaSwati following the untimely death of King Ngwane V, popularly know as King Bhunu, Queen Labotsibeni held regency until Nkhotfotjeni reached a ripe age of 21. History tells us that the then Indlovukazi was an iron lady and at exactly this time last year, he had a five-foot statue unveiled in her honour along Gwamile Street inside the capital city, Mbabane.
Neighbouring South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in Tshwane on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. The Government of South Africa declared August women’s month and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women’s Day.
Their reality is that, when South Africa cough, Eswatini catches the flue. Never mind the novel Coronavirus, be it in politics, economy and even simple things like migration. It is little wonder though as our landlocked country share over 80 per cent its borders with the continent’s economic hub.
The election of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in July 2012 as the first women in Africa to chair the African Union Commission; the appointment of Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa, as the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; and the positioning of other South African women such as Ms Geraldine Frazer-Moleketi, Special Gender Envoy to the African Development Bank; Ms Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences; and Judge Navi Pillay as the High Commissioner for Human Rights and formerly as a judge in the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an indication of the impact that women in decision-making have in winning the trust and confidence of citizens on the continent and internationally.
This being women’s month, Independent News Sports highlight women who have been critical in Eswatini sports development…
Hlobsile Ndlovu (former Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs)
Elected to parliament by her Pigg’s Peak constituency, Ndlovu was later appointed as a minister of the newly established ministry of sports, culture and youth affairs. She saved for two terms before losing the vote in her constituency to current Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza. Last year, she was given a new lease to life in her political career after she was appointed as a member of the Ludzidzini Council, an advisory board of the Queen Mother.
Muriel Hofer (former Eswatini Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association CEO)
The life long EOCGA Chief Executive Officer led the way for her counterparts, running the affairs of an important Olympic movement. She finally vacated her position, by choice as was the explanation from the EOCGA board after saving diligently for many years and was replaced by experienced administrator Sydney Simelane.
Carol Preat (Eswatini Sports and Recreation Council Board member)
From humble beginnings to greatness. Carol is a top cyclist having represented the country in top International events such as the Africa Games 2015 in Congo Brazaville.
Phumlile Ndzinisa (Athlete)
Bar Sibusiso ‘Swazi Bolt’ Matsenjwa, Phumlile is the most successful female athlete in recent years. She was sent to Mauritius by the EOCGA to sharpen her skills and has been a constant feature for Eswatini in International events, from Olympic Games, Commonwealth and All-Africa Games. She was named the best female athlete at the last Sports and Recreation Council Awards ceremony.
Nobuhle Dlamini (Golfer)
Never had a LiSwati dominate this sport like Nobuhle. She is internationally acclaimed, shares the greens with the best in the world. Her success story is something to behold.
Ncamsile Mkhonta (PLE Office Administrator)
By its very nature, football is a male dominated sport but the person behind its smooth running in the country, better still at elite level is a woman. Her job among other things is filing reports, book stadiums and communicate directly with clubs.