The King of Swaziland Mswati III, better known for his flashy exteriors than for his theoretical qualities as a pioneer, is, by definition, hypersensitive to democracy. The 46-year old ruler has ruled over his little landlocked country on the precarious edge of monetary calamity for a long time
With 13 palaces, riches beyond the wildest dreams of the average Swazi (the king disputes the $200-million frequently cited as his personal fortune), the beloved king is very popular for hosting the traditional reed ceremony where he gets to pick a new wife every year.
He now has 15 wives, adding the latest 19 year old teenager he just got this week.
Who are these women? Let’s find out starting with the newest..
Newest wife..Siphelele Mashwama (19) is King Mswati III’s 15th wife, she is in New york
Ritual wife #1 – Inkhosikati (Queen) LaMatsebula:
After earning her degree, the UNISA graduate said she’d studied psychology because as a queen having to work closely with a great number of people, she needed to acquire the knowledge necessary for keeping an open mind and understanding better the people she meets.
Ritual wife #2: Inkhosikati LaMotsa:
Queen LaMotsa, mother of four and second ritual wife (also selected for the king by the national board), is the Patron of St Annes Girls School in Malkerns, Swaziland. She is also an active public speaker and has been a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador since 1996.
Wife #3: Inkhosikati LaMbikiza, née Sibonelo Mngomezulu: (Born: 1969. Married: 1986)
Queen Inkhosikati LaMbikiza, 3rd wife of King Mswati III and the first one to be personally chosen by the king himself, is the founder of the South-Africa based Lusito Charity Organization, whose aim is to provide financial assistance to the underprivileged. She is also the Director of the Swazi Royal Initiative to Combat AIDS (RICH).
Queen Inkhosikati LaMbikiza is the mother of the king’s eldest daughter, the popular singer/rapper princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini, who’s musical tribute Hail Your Majesty is to be endured here.
Wife #4: Inkhosikati LaNgangaza, née Carol Dlamini:(Married: 1987)
Law graduate Queen LaNgangaza is the patron of Swaziland Hospice at Home (which was once headed by Princess Diana) and Fundzis’ Umtfwana, an organization that pushes education as a top-priority. Through awareness campaigns, Queen LaNgangaza addresses her people about health, beauty, culture, education and the necessity of caring for others, including the elderly and the pariahs of society.
Wife #5: Inkhosikati LaHwala (Born: 1974)
Wife #6: Inkhosikati LaMagwaza, née Delisa Magwaza: (Born: 1974.Married: 1993)
Former patron of Safe Motherhood, art lover Delisa left the king in 2004 at the height of a sex scandal in which she was the principal actress.
She was accused of having an affair with a 23-year-old South African man, Lizo Shabangu. The relationship was allegedly terminated when the Sowetan expressed his desire to elope with Delisa. However, she fashioned an evasion plan of her own and is now reported to be living an abounding life after getting married to a South African business tycoon with whom she has a child.
Wife #7: Inkhosikati LaMasango, née Senteni Masango:(Born: 1981. Married: 2000)
When King Mswati III secretly chose his 7th bride, the Times of Swaziland ruffled the royal feathers when it referred to LaMasango as an irresponsible high-school dropout, noting that she’d been expelled for indiscipline and absenteeism from two different schools. The New York Times subsequently reported that Bheki Makhubu, the Sunday editor of the paper in question, was arrested, charged with defamation and forced to resign. Since then LaMasango has pursued her interest in painting, hosting auctions of her work to fund-raise for charity.
Wife #8: Inkhosikati LaGija, née Angela Dlamini: (Born: 1979. Married: 2002)
The Swaziland soap opera continues with LaGija, the king’s 8th wife and the third to leave the royal compound, which she vacated in May 2012.
LaGija fled to South Africa, leaving her daughter behind. The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) stated that “She left citing many years of emotional and physical abuse by her husband as the reason for her departure”.
Wife #9: Inkhosikati LaMagongo, née Nontsetselo Magongo: (Born: 1985. Married: 2002)
Allegedly one of the king’s favorites, LaMagongo was quite the athlete in high school. She is also well remembered for her exemplary discipline and her involvement in the Student Christian Fellowship (SCM).
In an interview with The Guardian in 2004, she acknowledged that HIV could enter the royal circle, but said she would stay because she trusted God and her husband. “I’m young, he’s old, I can’traise my concerns. If I live in fear the trust won’t be there any more.”
Wife #10: Inkhosikati LaMahlangu, née Zena Soraya Mahlangu:
Queen Mahlangu is famous for having been abducted by royal aides to become the king’s 10th wife.
According to an Amnesty International report (see page 30), the eighteen-year-old High School student Zena Mahlangu “disappeared from her school on 9 October 2002. After frantic inquiries her mother, Lindiwe Dlamini, learnt that her daughter had been taken by two men, Qethuka Sgombeni Dlamini and Tulujani Sikhondze, and was being held at the Royal Palace at Ludzidzini.
Her mother sued the royal court, but Swaziland’s legal system was not to deliver justice in this case. Quelle surprise.
Wife #11: Inkhosikati LaNtentesa, née Noliqhwa Ayanda Ntentesa: Born: 1981. Married: 2005)
Engaged in 2002, Inkhosikati LaNtentesa was married in a traditional function held at Ludzidzini Royal Residence in 2005. She is the patron of Cheshire Homes Swaziland, a rehabilitation center based in Matsapha and an affiliate of Leonard Cheshire International, which already has other disability centers in more than 50 countries worldwide.
Wife #12: Inkhosikati LaDube, née Nothando Dube: (Born: 1987
Mswati III’s 12th wife Inkhosikati LaDube, was placed under house arrest (for life) at the home of the king’s mother in 2010 after an alleged affair with Swaziland’s justice minister Ndumiso Mamba, who was then fired and incarcerated.
If the former Miss Teen Swaziland was only trying to get us to see that polygamous relationships only work when all parties have equal privileges, you’ve got to give her an A for effort! Unfortunately, LaDube was ordered to leave the royal household in November 2011.
Wife #13: Inkhosikati LaNkambule, née Phindile Nkambule:
Inkhosikati LaNkambule who beat a glamorous TV presenter and Miss Swaziland in the 10,000 women race to capture the king’s interest, was chosen at the reed dance ceremony when she was 17. Her nomination was in violation with the rules Mswati himself had instituted, prohibiting Swazi women from getting married before the age of 18, but I guess it’s one rule for the king and another for his subjects.
Wife #14: Sindiswa Dlamini (Born: 1995. Married: 2013)
It was as a bare-breasted teenager wrapped in traditional cloth accessorized with red feathers and a grand necklace that Simila was chosen to be Mswati III’s 14th wife.
A Miss Cultural Heritage finalist, the 18-year-old local beauty pageant participant Sindiswa Dlamini had only just graduated from the religious Mbabane’s St. Francis High School (the year before). The ceremony was held in central Swaziland and with the celebrations the king no doubt succeeded in distracting the electoral observers of the Southern African Development Community.