“I know that my mother has set the bar high for me, by being an advocate… I also want to contribute meaningfully to our beautiful country.” – Sikhanyiso Dlamini
Princess Pashu radiates such an aura of brilliance and vibrancy around her that you cannot help but like her. Born on the 1st of September 1987 in Mbabane, HRH Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini is the first child of His Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland and Queen Inkhosikati LaMbikiza.
The young princess had her education in Britain at St. Edmund’s College, Ware in Hertfordshire, before proceeding to Biola University, California to study drama. She holds a Masters in Digital Communication from Sydney University, Australia.
At the age of 10 years, Sikhanyiso became Inkhosatana (Chief Maiden) and head of the Imbali regiment. The word “Imbali” means flower, and it is what the young virgin girls of Swaziland have referred to as. As Inkhosatana, Sikhanyiso leads the flock of virgins who participate in the annual Umhlanga (Reed Dance).
Affectionately called Pashu (Passion fruit), Sikhanyiso is an aspiring actress and has been involved with rap music from the age of seven. She has recorded a couple of rap/hip-hop, R&B and soul songs using the moniker Princess Pashu, and one of her most popular singles was “Hail Your Majesty” which was a tribute to her father.
Sikhanyiso has courted controversy in the past in what some perceive as going against the norms of her society. For instance, in 2001, the King instituted Umchwasho, a traditional rite of chastity to curb the HIV/AIDS problem in the country.
Umchwasho requires that unmarried women must wear a traditional set of tassels and are forbidden from sexual activities. However, while studying abroad, Princess Sikhanyiso was known to abandon the tassels while also wearing miniskirts and jeans which are frowned upon in Swaziland.
Following the sudden suspension of Umchwasho in 2005, Sikhanyiso who was 17 years old at the time, threw a party with loud music and alcohol at the Queen Mother’s residence. The act was considered an abuse and disrespect for the royal residence, and the Principal Princess of Swaziland was beaten with a stick by an official in charge of traditional affairs as punishment.
The following year in an obvious attack against the institution of polygamy in Swaziland, Sikhanyiso was quoted as saying; “Polygamy brings all the advantages in a relationship to men, and this to me is unfair and evil.” This resulted in the royal palace shutting her out and refusing the press to make contact with her.
“…girls create change in the world when they themselves become decision makers.” – Imbali Foundation
In her own way of helping to address the set of problems and challenges that the Girl Child is confronted with in Swaziland, HRH Princess Sikhanyiso launched the Imbali Foundation on April 13, 2013.
With a vision to impart the idea that in diversity, there is beauty and strength, Imbali Foundation has a mission “to foster feelings of self-worth in the Girl Child, raising enlightened, respectful and self-willed women in every region and to nurture and actuate the hopes and dreams of the Girl Child.”
Afro Tourism® salutes the city icon, national role model and Inkhosatana HRH Principal Princess of Swaziland, Sikhanyiso Dlamini!
Did You Know?
Her name Sikhanyiso means lights, and the darling princess of Swaziland just seems to glow everywhere she goes.
HRH Princess Sikhanyiso was born on September 1, 1987 in Mbabane.
- Her grandfather was King Sobhuza II who had over 70 wives, 201 children and about 1,000 grandchildren making up the Royal Swazi House of Dlamini.
- Sikhanyiso featured as herself in a 2007 documentary about her father, titled “Without the King.”
- Her father, King Mswati III is the last absolute monarch in Africa.
- She is known as Principal Princess because she is the first born girl child or daughter of the King and heiress to the throne.
- In late September 2013, Sikhanyiso had a conversation on Twitter lasting about 3 hours with the prescribed Swazi organization, Peoples’ United Democratic Movement. Her Twitter account was deleted afterward.
- Apart from Imbali Foundation, she also runs the Miss Swaziland Tourism beauty pageant, while the Swaziland Deaf Association has solicited her patronage for the Miss Deaf Africa pageant.
- In a list compiled by 36NG.com.ng, Sikhanyiso was ranked number one among the top eight most beautiful daughters of African leaders recently.
- Her mother is Inkhosikati LaMbikiza (Sibonelo Mngometulu), the first wife chosen by the king. According to Swazi tradition, two ritual wives who have special traditional purposes, are first chosen for the king by the elders, before he takes his official queen.
For additional information about HRH Princess Sikhanyiso and Imbali Foundation, please visit: