By Ntombi Mhlongo
His Majesty King Mswati III has said that the number of Lutsango members who showed up for the Buganu Festival at Buhleni Royal Residence has never been seen before.
As His Majesty delivered his speech after hours of singing and dancing, The King couldn’t stop expressing how impressed he was with the attendance.
“Today’s figures have never been seen before in the history of the ceremony. The picture you depicted, you might not have seen but we did. It was like water flowing in the sea,” His Majesty said.
The King commended the many gifts that the Lutsango delivered on the first day of the ceremony. Talking about Buganu, he said it was impressive to note that it was no longer just a tree but something which Lutsango have turned into products that are now in demand worldwide.
“You have become experts, especially with the products you have creatively created such that even tourists come from all over the world to watch. It is a good thing that Lutsango makes byproducts from just a simple tree and makes money. Ideally, a tree is just where you can just relax but technology is teaching us that we can make products and make money, therefore, growing the economy”.
The King noted that because of the massive turnout, perhaps it was time to plan for a much bigger arena to allow for free dancing. His Majesty said as the Lutsango sang and danced, the heavens sang praises.
“It is interesting that at first it was raining and one would have thought the event won’t proceed. It’s been hot and now we are getting fresh air which helps remove bad things so that we become fit”.
His Majesty said it was now clear that Lutsango has the potential to come out in numbers, it was key to align with the theme of making this year a turnaround year and do things differently.
“Those responsible for logistics need to now plan differently when organizing such festivals and consider that there will be many people”.
His Majesty commended what he termed new creative songs which the Lutsango sang and danced to.
As a result, His Majesty said perhaps it was time to compile CDs for Lutsango. The King said starting in 2024, the Lutsango songs should be recorded and those who participate in their compilation and composition be rewarded.
“Composing songs is a super talent and God gives it to certain people. Today you proved that you are here to empower one another by the unearthing talent in singing, dancing, food production and tourism,” His Majesty said.
The King added that come elections, Lutsango will come out in numbers as they did at the ceremony.
“Support each other. It shouldn’t be a problem because there are many of you. The fact that women’s participation has not been impressive in the past means that we must find out why”.
Ending his speech, His Majesty said it felt good to come together on a beautiful day where everyone was in a jolly mood and high spirits.
Meanwhile, Her Majesty the Indlovukazi reiterated His Majesty’s words by applauding the good attendance. Just like His Majesty, she challenged women to come out in their numbers and participate in the national elections.
Her Majesty the Indlovukazi was adamant that this year, women will give males a run for their money.
Meanwhile, police have dismissed unfounded reports that people died during a stampede. Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) Spokesperson Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said reports that some Lutsango members died during a stamped at the Buganu Festival are not true.
She said there were only injuries and the seven injured were rushed to the nearest hospital.