The coat of arms of the Zulu and Swazi Royal Families with King Sobhuza II (top right), father of the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini (bottom left), who was the wife of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: Jehran D. Naidoo/African News Agency (ANA)
The coat of arms of the Zulu and Swazi Royal Families with King Sobhuza II (top right), father of the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini (bottom left), who was the wife of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: Jehran D. Naidoo/African News Agency (ANA)

Explained: the Zulu connection to the eSwatini monarchy

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Jul 1, 2021

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Durban - With protests turning violent in Africa’s last absolute monarchy, eSwatini, political leaders in South Africa have called on its government to offer their support to the people of the country.

Like most countries around Africa, leaders of monarchies often have ties to one another, much like the ties between South Africa’s Zulu monarch and the Kingdom of eSwatini.

King Mswati III, the current king of eSwatini and the head of the Swazi Royal household, was placed at the head of the table in April 1986 at the age of 18, making him the youngest ruling monarch in the world at the time.

Mswati’s father, King Sobhuza II, served as paramount chief until his death in 1982, leaving King Mswati to rule alongside his mother and one of King Sobhuza’s younger wives, Ntfombi Tfwala.

On February 15, 1953, King Sobhuza’s daughter Princess Mantfombi Dlamini was born to the House of Dlamini.

In 1973, after a traditional upbringing in the ways of the Swazi Royal Family, the princess was betrothed to King Goodwill Zwelithini, who would rule the Zulu Kingdom from 1968 until his death in 2021.

As part of the conditions of their marriage, seeing as the two were authorities in their respective countries, the Swazi palace said that Princess Mantfombi Dlamini was to become the king’s Great Wife.

The title would allow her male heir first place in the line of succession to the Zulu throne. The Zulu monarch agreed and the two married in 1977.

Queen Mantfombi Dlamini ruled until her death in April this year, just a few weeks after the death of her husband, King Zwelithini.

After the death of his parents, Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini, the oldest surviving son of Queen Mantfombi Dlamini and King Goodwill Zwelithini, officially became King of the Zulus on May 7, 2021.

The Swazi Royal family have forged other links with African dynasties in the past, including the marriage of King Sobhuza’s son, Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini, to the daughter of former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini.

African News Agency (ANA)

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