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D r Barn­abas Sibu­siso Dlamini was born on 15 May 1942 at Endzin­geni in the Hho­hho re­gion of Eswa­tini. The fourth child of Rev­erend John Dlamini and his wife El­iz­a­beth, young Barn­abas was named af­ter Apostle Barn­abas, an early church leader in the Chris­tian faith.

At pri­mary school level Barn­abas at­tended Hhele­hhele Pri­mary School, be­fore the fam­ily moved to Bulembu where his father had been sent by the Church of the Nazarene to start the Have­lock Nazarene School, which was at­tended by young Barn­abas up to the end of Grade Four. At the age of 10, he started as a boarder at Endzin­geni Nazarene Pri­mary School.

In early 1957 at the age of 14, he at­tended Bre­mers­dorp (now Manzini) Nazarene Sec­ondary School be­fore mov­ing on, two years later, to Fran­son Me­mo­rial Bi­ble (now Fran­son Chris­tian High) School where he ex­celled in math­e­mat­ics, physics and chem­istry.

Although a dili­gent scholar at high school, his un­der­grad­u­ate ca­reer at Pius XII Univer­sity Col­lege in Ba­su­toland (now Le­sotho) did not suit Barn­abas and a year later in 1962 he re­turned to Endzin­geni Nazarene Pri­mary School to teach Sci­ence.

But, as an am­bi­tious young man, now de­vel­op­ing a clearer view of his fu­ture ca­reer he ob­tained a po­si­tion in wa­ter chem­istry at Usuthu Pulp Com­pany in Bhunya, later join­ing the Ed­waleni Hy­dro-Elec­tric Project as a Power Sta­tion Op­er­a­tor. De­ter­mined, how­ever, to de­velop his aca­demic qualifications, Barn­abas ap­plied for, and re­ceived, a schol­ar­ship, funded by the United States govern­ment, which took him first to the Univer­sity of Rochestor in the United States of Amer­ica with the in­ten­tion of qual­i­fy­ing for a fu­ture ca­reer in medicine. Mid-course, Barn­abas Dlamini chose a change in di­rec­tion and ap­plied his sci­ence back­ground and skills to a de­gree course in in­dus­trial chem­istry in which he later ob­tained a de­gree from the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin, hav­ing com­pleted the four year course in three years.

On his re­turn to Eswa­tini, he joined Swazi­land Iron Ore Devel­op­ment Com­pany (SIODC) as an as­sis­tant chemist ris­ing through the ranks to be­come Met­al­lur­gi­cal Su­per­in­ten­dent, which in­cluded sub­stan­tial op­er­a­tional man­age­ment re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Aware of the ben­e­fit of an all-round aca­demic and pro­fes­sional skills set and sta­tus,


Barn­abas also stud­ied at night to ob­tain a de­gree in Com­merce, through dis­tance learn­ing with the Univer­sity of South Africa.

Aware of the need to move on in his ca­reer he then signed up for ar­ti­cles with Coop­ers and Ly­brand (now part of Price­wa­ter­house Coop­ers) and gain­ing ex­ten­sive au­dit ex­pe­ri­ence. Then, in 1978, Barn­abas Dlamini was ap­pointed as a Se­na­tor for par­lia­ment by King Sob­huza II and, af­ter serv­ing his five year term, he was awarded a schol­ar­ship to ob­tain Mas­ter in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion (MBA) and Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­coun­tant (CPA) qualifications at New York Univer­sity Busi­ness School in the United States.

On his re­turn to Eswa­tini in 1982, he was ad­mit­ted as a part­ner in Coop­ers and Ly­brand, and then a year later em­barked on what would be a per­ma­nent po­lit­i­cal ca­reer when ap­pointed as a mem­ber of the House of Assem­bly. Ap­point­ment to the po­si­tion of Min­is­ter of Fi­nance fol­lowed in 1984, a po­si­tion he held un­til 1992 when he was re­cruited by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, in due course serv­ing as Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor with re­spon­si­bil­ity for 22 coun­tries in Africa.

In 1996, he was ap­pointed Prime Min­is­ter of the King­dom of Eswa­tini, a po­si­tion he held un­til 2003 af­ter which he served for five years on the Swazi­land Na­tional Coun­cil (now Liqoqo). Called back to the po­si­tion of Prime Min­is­ter in 2008, he served for a fur­ther two terms un­til 2018. Dur­ing his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer Barn­abas Dlamini re­ceived many awards which in­cluded an Honorary Doc­tor­ate in 1992 from the Univer­sity of Swazi­land (now Eswa­tini) and the Royal Order of Eswa­tini First Class in 2016.

He mar­ried Jane Mat­se­bula in 1970, a lady who passed away in De­cem­ber 2012. To­gether they had three chil­dren. In Novem­ber 2017, Dr Barn­abas Dlamini mar­ried Gugu Prim­rose Sime­lane. He is sur­vived by his wife, chil­dren, grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren.

In the last two years of his life he fought can­cer to which, on 28 Septem­ber 2018, he suc­cumbed af­ter a long and coura­geous strug­gle. He will also be re­mem­bered as a de­vout Chris­tian, de­voted fam­ily man and ded­i­cated, hard­work­ing pub­lic ser­vant, loyal through­out his life to King and coun­try.

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