By VUYILE DLAMINI | 2019-03-15
HOME Affairs Principal Secretary Anthony Masilela has confirmed the date of His Majesty King Mswati III’s birthday celebrations, being Friday April 26.
Masilela also revealed the venue for the celebrations, that this year will be held at Buhleni Royal Residence in the Hhohho region.
“As His Majesty’s birthday (April 19) falls on the same day as Good Friday this year, the celebrations will be slated for 26 April, where the nation will equally celebrate as His Majesty turns 51 years,” said Masilela.
“This effectively means that Thursday (April 25) and Friday (April 26) will be public holidays, with the country celebrating both National Flag Day and the 51st Birthday of His Majesty King Mswati III,” Masilela said.
Masilela added that preparations for the day were already underway.
In last year’s double celebrations whereby the King and country turned 50, the guest of honour was Republic of China on Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who joined in the festivities as both countries coincidentally celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations.
Although the name change was not expected by the throngs of Emaswati who attended the main event at Mavuso and others who watched the proceedings from strategically placed viewing points in the three regions, as well as on national television throughout the SADC region, the king has often referred to the country as Eswatini even at UN, AU and SADC level. Making his remarks on the day the King reminded the nation that Swaziland was inherited from the British adding that if the country is to give a true meaning to its independence attained in 1968, then the time had come to give the country a name of its people. “It must be said that this process is long overdue, particularly if you consider how other countries in the region localised their names after independence. Tsine singeMaswati therefore, I have the pleasure to present to you, on this historic day, a new name for the kingdom. Our country will now be called; ‘Kingdom of Eswatini,’ he said, much to applause from the event’s attendants.
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