By Macford Sibandze | 2021-01-13
AT exactly 12 midnight, in 2019, the dark sky was filled with gigantic fireworks and crickets! Sirens and choruses of ‘Happpppppyyy New Year’ became euphony of sound everywhere and anywhere. UNITED The whole world was united in jubilation as it welcomed the new year that was easy to call, easy to remember and easy to write, 2020! It was ‘prophesied’ as the year of BOOM. It became the opposite: GLOOM. BLOW Yes, COVID-19 dealt us a vicious blow. Again, it was ‘prophesied’ that by the 27th March 2020, the pandemic would be a thing of the past but we all know the obtaining situation! HISTORY The real truth is that the past year will go down in history as the most perilous and deadly. By the end of the ferocious year, about 1.9 million people worldwide had succumbed to death through the pandemic! ESWATINI Eswatini received the heaviest blow ever with the untimely death of Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvula Dlamini through it! There was too much hope that he would beat it just like his counter parts in leadership, in UK, Brazil, and America. But we were not so lucky! The country lost the general of the covid-19 army! CHRISTMAS Instead of celebrating the birth of Christ it mourned the death of his son, Ambrose! We closed 2020 with sore hearts and a sombre mood. Then came 2021 and it became a repetition, call it a worse revision of 2020. SHOOK If 2020 shook the political pillars; with the passing away of the prime minister, then 2021 shook the religious foundation with the demise of Bishop Steven Masilela! What a man! The unique man of God was on another dimension! GREAT MAN As Shakespeare said it in ‘Julius Caesar’, ’There are very few great men.” Yes they are very few, but Bishop Masilela was a great man! Great indeed. ‘START’ I used to know the bishop from far with his genius preaching until some five years ago when our paths crossed. Our children were also classmates at Enjabulweni High School for five years and I used to hear a lot about him. But what brought us together was when, fresh from SA, I came with a concept called ‘START’ to empower the youth. A young man, Petros Sibandze, mentored by Masilela gave me his number and said, ‘call the Bishop he is a nice person.’ The rest as they say is history as the bishop became a founding member of ‘START.’ HOME I got to learn of the Masilelas as a close nit family. The bishop was able to plough the seeds of humility and maturity to the children, BEST They remain grounded though they grew up having the best of everything. At a tender age the young boys are able to live overseas on their own and still manage. May God comfort the humble Make Masilela and give her strength to shine the torch of the great man. CHURCH The church has lost a great warrior in Bishop Masilela as he represented the old school of the mission. He leaves us at a time when the church is in dire straits and needs a strong voice of leadership. PASTORS We are at a time where pastors exhibit horrendous tendencies. The new church is in cynical contractions with the teachings of Christ. And there seems to be a tug of war between the old guard and the new. RESUME Thus Masilela’s rich resume and extensive global travel would have come handy this time around. But now he is gone! Gone too soon! The last time I saw the bishop was in the prime minister’s memorial. As usual, even at that short time of changing pleasantries, wisdom was transferred! The earth has lost and heaven welcomes you warrior! EX-MINISTER DUMSANI NDLANGAMANDLA And there goes ex minister Dumsani Ndlangamandla. This is the man responsible for the cheap communication we enjoy today. I remember his interview a few months when he assumed office, he said as an ICT minister he would make sure that before he leaves office we have MTN’s competitor and it came to pass. SWAZI MOBILE On August 1, 2017, Swazi Mobile officially became the 2nd mobile telecommunication company in the country. The biggest winners were consumers of course. Ndlangamandla also headlined digital migration in the country. MEET To me the dearly departed Ndlangamandla would have been just another minister but circumstances drew us together. Sometime around 2016 I was summoned by Their Majesties and I found myself sitting with three ministers. South Africa Since I spent more time in SA (2014-2017) I didn’t know them. But we quickly got acquainted. I remember very well I was called first to Their Majesties and spent more than an hour. As I left, Ndlangamandla walked me towards the car. (A whole minister) VISION We exchanged numbers and became close as I headlined communications at Swazi Mobile. As ICT minister Ndlangamadla had a vision thus when his term office was over he went back to his former job! FULL-TIME If you were once a minister it is not easy to go back to a full-time job but Ndlangamandla bravely return to his old job as a lecturer. 2021 has robbed us of the young warrior. Rest in power soldier! 2021 The pandemic has been at its gruesome worst in just 13 days of 2021. My heart goes to the Khoza family who lost three members in just over a week through the virus. Sad! JANUARY Since the first of January we have had about 2 000 infections and more than 150 deaths. Too bad! And with the scarcity of medications, inadequate beds and lack of ventilators, we begin the year in misery! So help us God!!!
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