African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Sobhuza II

The Praises of King Mswati III

I am grateful to Professor Zodwa Motsa for providing us with the following poem, the praises performed after the inauguration of King Mswati III of Eswatini (also known as Swaziland) in 1986.

Mswati the black one amongst the ashen
Warrior stick of horns who settles not in gourd-drums
But enters in the seed-bushels of the buffalos…

Praises of Sobhuza II (second version)

This is a second version of the Praises of Sobhuza II. This version of Sobhuza’s tibongo, sung by Mhlabeleli Dlamini, another member of the royal house, focuses on the later part of Sobhuza’s reign after his position had been secured. It begins with Sobhuza’s dispatch of the regiments in World War 2, and continues with his later political campaigns, culminating in national independence and the triumph of the royalist party in parliament.

The hurrying one of Mahlokohla
Who hurries to Egypt…

Praises of Sobhuza II

Sobhuza II (1899-1982), one of the most remarkable Africans of the last century, was king of Swaziland for 61 years. Educated at the Lovedale Institution in South Africa and an early member of the African National Congress, he was at the same time a passionate traditionalist, pledged as he once put it “to extricate Africa from this idea of one man one vote”…

African Poems