JOY NDWANDWE’S ZONE LEADERSHIP
Swaziland’s independence liberated many neighbours, evident in positive sentiments responding to my facebook post. By South African Swazi families nurtured in Swaziland, affirming this country’s positive contribution to their success. The leadership of King Sobhuza II—remembered with fondness and he is a hero to many South African families who lived in Swaziland. King Sobhuza II is not a hero to the ‘so called’ Swazi democrats who are in exile, and they also expressed their views on my facebook page.
As a nation builder, I provide space for differing views and I respectfully disagree with those who believe democracy can only be defined according to western principles, intriguing and emotive independence debate.
As I have no reservations in firmly expressing how extensive the research I am currently conducting in critical knowledge creation and production towards indigenous governance systems reflecting indigenous dignity. Today, this column shares how independence liberates neighbours the Mozambican experience, the journey of Claudina Da Cenceicao Sao Martinho, now proudly Swazi citizen, popularly known as Dina.
Dina originates from a location in Maputo, with humble beginnings and Swazi connection. Her great-grandfather Khumalo a Swazi from Lomahasha, hence her grandmother LaKhumalo grounded them with African values. She taught them how to sit tight and not expose her body to all and sundry, values she still maintains even today. Dina carried water on her head, grinding mealie meal with ‘ibethal’ hand machine, grinding sorghum and millet on the grinding stone ‘ imbokodvo.’ Gogo Khumalo taught her how to brew traditional beer, umqombotsi, paw and pineapple and serve customers fried fish, as this was their source of income.
This African child slept on the grass mat with other children, some were experiencing bed wetting, but this was part of life.
At school Dina was good in Maths, this skill has helped her as a businesswoman throughout her life. She used to carry ‘Skhokho’ I call Swazi pizza base, the crust from the mealie pot, for school lunch and drink lots of water. Dina learnt ‘kubhadza’ from her experience in building mud huts as part of her childhood memories, as she was raised in a mud hut.
As the eldest of this extended family, Dina had to sacrifice, leaving school at the age of 13 years and started working in a factory. Two years later, she got married at age 15 to Joaguim De Oleveira Sao Martinho who was 23 years, her mother refused they eloped.
She returned to her home as her husband wanted to know her family and also contribute in improving their livelihood. When starting out, she first learnt dress making from a Portuguese lady but this was not her passion. Hair dressing is where she found her passion as another Portuguese lady taught her, before the war.
Moving to Swaziland
When war erupted, this couple moved to Swaziland, and lived with LaSithole married to a Portuguese man in Shiselweni on a cotton farm. They had food and shelter, whilst being protected from the Swaziland police for they were illegal immigrants. Whilst living with LaSithole and family, her husband build a house, thanking this family for their generosity.
Later they moved to Manzini, where they were once arrested for being illegal immigrats. But a Lawyer, Babe Dlamini helped them register as refugees and got jobs, moved into a flat with no furniture but used card boxes as sleeping mats, and the coffee table was a car tyre. Eventually they were able to send food home, meeting her moth-