he is a jewel of a woman and she is worth more than the 18 cat­tle”, th­ese were the words of Prime Min­is­ter Dr Sibu­siso Barn­abas Dlamini dur­ing the lobola cer­e­mony of his fi­ancée Gugulethu Prim­rose Sime­lane at Hluthi.

He was speak­ing out­side of the cer­e­mony while ad­dress­ing the me­dia.

The prime min­is­ter yes­ter­day paid 18 herds of cat­tle to the Sime­lane fam­ily for his fi­ancée in a lav­ish cer­e­mony which at­tracted throngs of peo­ple from the area and from as far as kaN­tunja, Endzin­geni and Mba­bane.

Dlamini de­scribed his soon-to-be­bride as a jewel of a woman worth more than the 18 cat­tle that he paid for lobola.

“As you can all see, woman”, he said.

Sime­lane is a Deputy Prin­ci­pal at Esi­weni Nazarene Pri­mary School.

The Dlamini fam­ily’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive also known as Umyeni, Mpumelelo Vi­lakati an­nounced they de­cided to she is beau­ti­ful pay the 18 cat­tle as per the Sime­lane fam­ily’s re­quest dur­ing the lobola ne­go­ti­a­tions be­cause they were­happy and sat­is­fied about the bride.

“Con­trary to the Swazi cul­ture that um­fati akaced­vwa (never pay the full bride price), the groom’s fam­ily de­cided to bring the en­tire lobola re­quest at once to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion of his fi­ancée,” he said.

Vi­lakati ex­plained that out of the 18 cat­tle, 16 were the ac­tual bride price, with one cat­tle for lugege and one for un­su­lanyem­beti, which are meant for the bride’s mother.

The prime min­is­ter ar­rived for the lobola cer­e­mony yes­ter­day, just af­ter noon fresh from landi ng at t he King Mswati III In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

He was re­turn­ing from Thai­land, Bangkok where he had gone to at­tend the Thai­land’s late King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej’s fu­neral.

The lobola cer­e­mony started on Fri­day night, where the grooms’ fam­ily ar­rived at the Sime­lane’s as per the Swazi cul­ture.

The prime min­is­ter’s fam­ily was wel­comed by Zachariah Sime­lane, an un­cle to the bride ( Babe lom-

ncane). Sime­lane ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the ges­ture made by Dlamini’s of bring­ing their full re­quest of lobola they had re­quested dur­ing ne­go­ti­a­tion talks.

As per the lobola tra­di­tion, the bride was pre­sented with a tra­di­tional dress and doek (sidziya), el­e­gant blan­ket and car­pet in­stead of a grass mat, which she was told she would use as she em­barked her jour­ney as a new wife.

The Dlamini fam­ily also pre­sented gifts of blan­kets to the Sime­lane women. They were each pre­sented with stylish blan­kets and doeks.

The two love birds are ex­pected to of­fi­cially tie the knot next week­end at Mat­sapha Evan­gel­i­cal Church. Umh­lam­biso is ex­pected to fol­low on Novem­ber 11.

The cou­ple joined by Hosea MP Thu­lani Ma­suku and Min­is­ter Si­bongile Ndlela-Sime­lane who were among the many peo­ple present.

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