Inkhosatana Princess Sikhanyiso, former leader of the Imbali YemaSwati regiment has officially retired from her position as the regiment’s leader and from participating at the Annual Reed dance. Her royal highness announced her retirement during the 2015 Annual Reed Dance where she was adorned in a sidvwashi instead of the sichobo that she had always worn.
Born on the 1st of September 1987 to His Majesty King Mswati III and HRH Inkhosikati LaMbikiza, Princess Sikhanyiso is king’s first child. As the Inkhosatana of the royal family she was crowned the leader of the Imbali when she came of age. Her royal highness took to her role like a fish to water as she spearheaded the purity campaign where all the maidens were encouraged to protect their chastity until marriage. The Imbali Foundation was also formed as a means to address the country’s increasing poverty that had resulted in an increasing number of young girls prematurely losing their virginity for various reasons linked to poverty.
Her absence at this year’s Annual Reed Dance was glaringly noticeable as both days ended without her awe inspiring giya dance which has come to form part of the highlights of the entire ceremony with it being the Umhlanga’s crescendo.
The intelligent and strong willed royal has managed to gain a substantial following through her passion for the Swazi tradition. A custodian of our customs in her own right, Princess Sikhanyiso has definitely filled the shoes of the country’s role model for the next generation of Swazi women.
She has completely revolutionized the Umhlanga dances through her love for the arts and this is evident in the new songs that the maidens sing and the creative footwork that goes with it. Needless to say, these moves would have definitely been inspired by Her Royal Highness’s limber moves whenever she takes center field to giya.
Princess Sikhanyiso’s retirement from the Annual Reed Dance ceremony may very well mean that she has started a new chapter in her life. Her exuberance and zeal for the ceremony will be sorely missed however. Please comment below with your view on her decision to retire.
WATCH THE PRINCESS DO HER DANCE AT THE REED DANCE