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Home Forums African Royalty SOBHUZA II: THE NGWENYAMA OF SWAZILAND AND HIS 82 YEARS REIGN OF UNITY

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    Tenneh Omar
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      Sobhuza II also known as Nkhotfotjeni Mona was the paramount chief and later Ngwenyama of Swaziland.  He was born on the 22nd of July and when he was only 4 months old, his father died during the first fruit festival known as the Incwala. Soon after, he succeeded his father. However, his grandmother and his uncle led the Swazi nation while he was still a minor.

       

       

      On the 22nd of December, 1921, he was installed as a constitutional ruler of the Swazi nation. He led his country into achieving independence in 1967-1968. In 1967, he formed a political party with his prominent supporters called the Imbokodvo National Movement which won all parliamentary seats in the pre-independence election.

       

       

      On September 6, 1978, Swaziland became independent with Sobhuza II as head of state. He then created and equipped a secret private army. On the 12th of April, 1973, with the support of the army he created, he repealed the constitution and dissolved parliament. He then held absolute power.

       

       

      In 1978, a new constitution was adopted which reflected traditional Swazi culture.

       

       

      Sobhuza II married at least 70 wives and he is reported to have had an estimated 500 children at the time of his death he had over 1,000 grandchildren. His many marriages helped to bind the nation together by tying all important families to his own clan. He was of the Dlamini clan and this clan constituted one-quarter of the population of the Eswatini.

       

      Under his leadership, Swazi was able to maintain good relations with more powerful neighbors. The country developed its natural resources by the expansion of iron and asbestos mining. Tourism also became an important element of the economy during his reign.

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