About the Author(s)

Dalcy Dlamini symbol
Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Maake J. Masango Email symbol
Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Dlamini, D. & Masango, M.J., 2021, ‘The process of mourning for Eswatini widowers: A pastoral concern’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 77(4), a6260. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6260

Original Research

The process of mourning for Eswatini widowers: A pastoral concern

Dalcy Dlamini, Maake J. Masango

Received: 20 July 2020; Accepted: 06 Mar. 2021; Published: 05 July 2021

Copyright: © 2021. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Eswatini custom and church traditions indirectly and directly affect the way widowers handle their mourning period, after the demise of their better halves. Instead of mourning their loss of spouses for their spiritual, emotional, social and financial healing, widowers rush to remarry. This has resulted in dysfunctional marriages, ill health, financial crisis and sometimes death. This article has analysed the impact of the Eswatini custom and church traditions on widowers as emanating from the ‘throne’. The aim of this article therefore is to unpack some of the struggles faced by widowers, which often impacts them on their journey of life as they seek to relive life with another wife. It is in this regard that Nick Pollard’s method of positive deconstruction was used to enter the space of the widowers. Charles Gerkin’s shepherding model was incorporated in order to be able to journey with the troubled souls. The process will in turn heal them as they will be taught about the importance of mourning before remarrying.

Contribution: Widowers in Eswatini are the most vulnerable yet neglected in the kingdom of Eswatini. Patriarchy plays a major role, and in this case, it is men versus men power. Eswatini’s cultural practices and church practices have a major impact on widowers and may even shorten their lifespan.

Keywords: royalty; culture; patriarchy; monarch; widowhood; mourning.


Patriarchy is a phenomenon that affects many nations in Africa, in particular the sub-Saharan Southern Africa. This process can be traced in the political, social or religious sector. It has affected many families and individuals in society, including widowers who remarry after the demise of their spouses in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Patriarchy could be categorised as both public and private. According to Martin (2009) public patriarchy is termed as a system of social structures and practices within society. Martin alludes to the fact that capitalist economic practices were institutionalised in the 16th and 19th centuries and from there women lost their areas of work and their legal rights over property that they had before. With time the patriarchy changed from being private to public (Martin 2009:7).

Private patriarchy according to Walby (1991) is the dominant position of women as subordinates within various cultural institutions and how women traditionally have been exhibited via mass media. However, the article is based on patriarchy suffered by men (widowers) in the hands of other men.

Studies have shown that the bereaved in many African countries mourn their loss and, in many places, they are expected to undergo rituals and many other practices (Afolayan 2011:25). Afolayan observed that the period of mourning is coupled with a series of events, which often have wide-ranging implications for both widows and widowers in Nigeria. This is true with the Eswatini society too.

Transitioning to the next marriage for many widowers in Eswatini has appeared as a free ride in the eyes of observers, who often compare them with widows who endure hardships during the prolonged mourning period (from six months to two years). This may include confinement, evictions, restricted movements, shaving of hair and wearing of mourning gowns (Dlamini 2016:47). However, most people do not know or see what widowers go through because their struggles are often emotional rather than physical. This has its own repercussions as a result of both Eswatini and church custom as discussed in this article.

This research has been conducted in the Manzini region in Eswatini, often referred as the ‘hub’ of Eswatini. Widowers from different denominations were interviewed. It should be observed that it was a struggle for the researcher to interview traditional Eswatini men who have been widowed because the researcher is a female clergy person, in a patriarchal society. Hence, the study may seem biased. The researcher solicited assistance from a male co-researcher as she interviewed some of those who participated in the study.

The researcher’s findings will benefit Eswatini’s neighbouring countries that share a similar context of remarrying of widowers. It is in this regard that the genesis of this article is to define patriarchy.

Facio (2016) in his book, What is Patriarchy? states that:

Patriarchy as a gradual institutionalization of sex-based political relations created, maintained and reinforced by different institutions.

While Walby (1991) in her book Theorizing Patriarchy, says:

[P]atriarchy is ‘the domination of women by men and the domination of men by men’. (p. 60)

The study’s focus is based on men dominating other men.

This article is an empirical research conducted by the author in 2018, where Church male leaders who were widowed were interviewed. Ten widowers who were active Church members were interviewed. The following questions were used to collect data:

  1. How much time were you in mourning before you remarried and why?

  2. How involved were your family members when you remarry?

  3. Is there any role that the change can play in the life of a widower?

  4. Given a chance, what are some of the issues to be addressed in church concerning widowers?

  5. Could you suggest anything on extended family on issues of widowers?

  6. What would be your advice to men on widowhood?

All the participants have experienced the effects of widowhood before remarrying. The interviewees indicated that they spent between two and eight years in mourning before they remarried, which appeared to be contrary to the argument in the study that widowers remarry soon after the demise of their wives. However, most of them were indicating the legal unions but in actual fact had entered relationships much earlier than this as it transpired during the interviews. This seemed to compromise their moral standards as men of the cloth, thus it was always under cover.

Both Eswatini and church culture encouraged them to remarry immediately after losing their wives. For example, it transpired during the interviews that church leadership was doing ‘matchmaking’ (Organisation of a marriage partner by church elders within the denomination). Sometimes the church women send their children to assist the widowers in their homes at awkward hours.

Eswatini culture, on the other hand, selected a sororate when the woman wedded, who would marry her senior sister’s husband when she dies. According to the Project 90 report by the South African Law Commission ‘Where a kinship system favoured sororal polygamy a young girl might automatically follow the path of her older married sister if the latter were to die or prove barren’ (Mahomed 1998:44). This would be sealed once the mourning period elapsed (a period from one month to one year).

Men in Eswatini culture are not encouraged to perform domestic chores such as cooking and taking care of the home. Thus, when men are widowed, Emaswati will quickly look for a substitute to play that role.

Another reason for widowers to rush in remarrying is because of the traditional role that is given to men in Eswatini society.

Men are given political roles in Eswatini society and one basic feature of a traditional political system is that the monarch never rule on their own but always consults with a group of councillors (Khoza 2002:28). These political roles are often occupied by males; therefore, widowers may forfeit the rights to mourn in order to occupy those positions. ‘Being married in Eswatini give men status from their Majesties’ (Direct words from a Custodian of Culture in the Eswatini context.) This is an indication of how patriarchy still operates in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

The qualitative approach was used whilst conducting this study. Gill et al. (2008:2) define qualitative research as verbally administered questionnaires in which a list of predetermined questions is asked, with little or no variation and with no scope for follow up questions to responses that warrant further elaboration.

The research is based on grounded theory, which is used in order to acquire information about widowhood in Eswatini. Grounded theory is defined as the ‘systematic development of theory in social settings and it depends upon inductive approaches, which is appropriate for the study mainly aimed at theory development’ (Khan 2014:224).

The study aimed at discovering and provisionally developing systematic data collected, and analysing the data pertaining to that occurrence. The study suggested a model that could assist widowers and Ministers of the Gospel (MoG) as they journey together on the road to recovery.

It should be observed that a lot has been written by African scholars on patriarchy that was directed to women and widows in particular. Potash (1986), Setsiba (2012), Chukwa (2015) and Dlamini (2016) have argued on the struggles of widows in the hands of their in-laws, whilst others focused on the silent victims and the mourning rites enacted on widows in the different countries in Africa. However, a gap has been created, as many scholars focused on widows as opposed to widowers.

The aim of this article therefore is to unpack some of the struggles faced by widowers, which often impacts them on their journey of life as they seek to relive life with another wife.

It should be observed that oral tradition plays a major role in the country, as stories were shared from one generation to to the next. For example, oral tradition reckons that Eswatini widowers would take some time mourning their deceased wives in yesteryears. They wore a black patch on the arm (approximately from six months to one year) as a sign of being in mourning. During that period the widowers were not expected to execute royal duties, as they were considered unclean. (royal duties include weeding of the king’s fields, participating in traditional ceremonies or attending royal meetings summoned by king or chiefs.) It should be observed that it is a key component to many Eswatini men because it comes with a lot of benefits as unpacked in this article.

Eswatini customs in relation to mourning

The custom of mourning for widowers in Eswatini has been indirectly influenced by both patriarchy and polygamy emanating from the ‘throne’. The ‘throne’ in this article represents the Eswatini monarch. The Eswatini monarch is a polygamist, currently having 15 wives, whilst his father (King Sobhuza XI) had 70 wives according to the Swaziland National Trust Commission. The study shall call the monarch’s practice the ‘Royalised version of Patriarchy’ (RvP).

The monarch, as a national symbol, has been modelling perpetual marriages, which has played a major role in influencing the shorter period of mourning for widowers in Eswatini. Mkhabela (2017) states:

In Swazi customary law man can marry as many wives as he can provide for economically and emotionally. (p. 6)

Dlamini (2016) says:

Polygamy is still practiced and mainly by members of the Royal family, chiefs and the senior Swazi men. (p. 6)

However, this does not mean that all Eswatini men practice polygamy in the country. In this article the author has observed and described the behaviour of the monarch during the demise of one of his wives.

It was reported by the Times of Swaziland (Moahloli 2018) on 07 April 2018 that Inkhosikati LaMasango, who was his seventh wife, had died. In many instances, a deceased person is mourned for a week or two before burial in the country. However, it was not the case with Inkhosikati LaMasango who was buried within a short space of time because of the 50/50 celebration in the country (50 years of the country’s independence and the 50th birthday of the monarch). Biwul (2014:18) argued that different cultures react to the effects of death differently, depending on the status of the deceased to family and society. He argues that many African leaders such as Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela were buried with dignity in their ancestral land. In other words, all burial protocols befitting to their status were granted. However, it was not the case with Inkhosikati LaMasango in Eswatini because of a double celebration.

The monarch was seen in jubilation during the double celebration soon after the ordeal, yet (Dlamini 2016):

It is a norm in Swaziland that once a person dies, there is a period for mourning, which is usually stipulated by the family, and at that time the bereaved will show signs of remorse. This may include shaving of hair, wearing of mourning gowns and a cleansing ceremony. (p. 40)

However, there was no sign of remorse from the monarch, instead, he joined the nation in the celebrations of Independence Day within the same month of the demise of his wife.

Yet it was observed that (Biwul 2014):

[F]ailure to observe and respect this long cherished tradition of burial rites in many African Societies is tantamount not only to hatred for the dead by the family and community, but it particularly means rejection. (p. 22)

It might be argued that his behaviour was influenced by his political role but that had a negative impact on Swazi men because of his ‘role’ in the country. That is why most men emulate his behaviour as it would be with the legislator as the study unfolds. The monarch’s behaviour could be labelled as false pretense in the eyes of the public. It could also be labelled as rejection to the woman he had claimed to love whilst she was still alive. Wearing a mask to avoid pain by the monarch is a direct result of having many shoulders (wives) to cry on as a polygamist. ‘It defeats the purpose of community where “adults” become teachers and mentors to young ones’ (Masango 2017:4).

As a result, many Emaswati men in monogamous relationships, who pay allegiance to him as a leader were misled by his actions. As their wives die, many may want to behave like the monarch. The monarch’s actions lead many to remarry without mourning their spouses.

Yet death’s effects can be ‘electrifying and sometimes emotionally demoralising and psychologically and economically incapacitating’ (Biwul 2014:18).

But their challenge is that they have no shoulder to cry on, yet the incidences are emotionally, spiritually and financially draining to the widowers.

For example, the widowers have to build new houses for the new wives, because culturally they cannot occupy the deceased women’s houses in cultural respect. Caring for both current and new family is emotionally draining if the mourning period had been shortened, whilst the monarch on the other hand enjoys the liberty and comfort with the other wives in their royal homes.

A good example is from a senior legislator who lost his wife and was seen performing his political duties in parliament within a short period of time (two weeks to be precise) after the burial of his wife, showing signs of denial. His action reminded the author about the five stages of grief by Kubler-Ross.

Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief (1969) include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. She argues that denial is usually temporal and the feeling is replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.

Anger comes with a lot of questions that makes it difficult to care for the person because of misplaced feelings of rage and envy, whilst bargaining is often with the ‘higher’ power for extension of life for a reformed lifestyle.

The depression stage is when the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. The individual might spend more time crying and grieving, thus isolating themselves from loved ones.

The acceptance stage is often the last stage where the individual begins to come to terms with their mortality and that of loved ones.

Kubler-Ross argues that these stages do not occur consecutively, but a person might experience at least two. She also observed that there are individuals who struggle with death until the end. This could mean that rushing to remarry before mourning a loved one could bring that individual much closer to the grave too, if she or he misses the mourning period.

Kubler-Ross (1969) states:

Mostly denial is not used extensively as a person may briefly talk about the reality of his/her situation, and suddenly indicate the inability to look at it realistically any longer. (p. 37)

As a sign that the legislator was in denial, he remarried on 15 May 2014, and on 02 November 2016 the Swazi Observer reported that he had divorced. He remarried for the third time on 04 November 2017 and succumbed to death on 28 September 2018.

One may argue that the legislator was not ready to remarry both emotionally and psychologically, but gave in to the monarch’s directives, cultural dictates and human expectations. This clearly demonstrates the power of the RvP.

Potash (1986:253) observed that when the rites that terminate the period of bereavement have been completed, the widow or widower is not yet quite ready to return to the land of the living.

The legislator performed his duties to please their Majesties and remarried twice to secure his political role, neglecting all other facets of life, and that process had a greater negative impact on his health and eventually led to death.

It is also customary for Eswatini men to perform royal duties explained in the next paragraph. Those duties become vehicles that indirectly impact widowers too.

Royal duties

Royal duties in this study refer to responsibilities that Eswatini men perform to show allegiance to the monarch.

Eswatini men are expected to perform royal duties at all times to the monarch or the chiefs on behalf of the man on the ‘throne’ who summons them. Such practice shows allegiance to the throne, therefore failing to respond to the summons amounts to insubordination. For example, they are expected to build the royal kraals in the different homesteads belonging to the monarch and to attend and participate during the annual traditional festivals in the country.

Oral tradition reckons that Eswatini widowers would take some time mourning their deceased wives in yesteryears. They wore a black patch on the arm (approximately from six months to one year) as a sign of being in mourning. That was the same practice by widows and widowers in Ivory Coast. The surviving spouse wore special clothing, fasted during the day, wept each day at sunup and sundown, remained confined to the conjugal compound, abstained from contact or conversation with any but a previously widowed person, and observed other fastidious restrictions (Potash 1986:252).

During that period the widowers in Eswatini were not expected to participate in any of those duties or activities concerning royalty as they were considered unclean. It became problematic to the man on the ‘throne’ (King Sobhuza XI) as widowers could not adhere to the call. Thus, he reduced the time of mourning, claiming he needed them for royal duties. No one was in a position to challenge that, simply because he was a symbol of authority (Ngumlomo longacali manga). Khoza (2002) observed that the monarchy continues to be a ‘vibrant system’ in Eswatini that demonstrates the culture of men dominating other men. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini (2005) Section 5 (1) clearly states:

It is a hereditary role with rights and many privileges conferred on him (Monarch), including immunity from taxation and protection from legal proceedings and the rights over Swazi law and custom. He can exercise those rights, prerogatives and obligations designated to him any time and day. (p. 3)

The Constitution stipulates the monarch’s rights over Swazi law and custom, which is often not written down, but has been transmitted orally from one generation to another. Nhlapho (1992) says:

The Monarch may order certain types of behavior in his capacity as the final authority on Swazi law and custom. He may also delegate these powers over chiefs and other elders. (p. 24)

In many cases the chiefs themselves have residuary ‘law making’ competence under the Swazi Administrative Act. For example, chiefs in one region of the country may say one thing whilst others say another thing; it is therefore not easy to identify what is authoritative in this part of the world. That is why anything said to males in Eswatini by royalty takes precedence even if it impacts them negatively.

Such powers vested on the monarch, chiefs, elders and chief counsellors in the community allow men to dominate other men in the name of culture. This was clearly demonstrated in the reduction of the mourning period for Eswatini widowers. However, widowers often do not argue about the importance of grieving their loved ones, but simply follow suit, which has a great impact on their well-being.

The community often expects them to then remarry once they have been cleansed, a ritual that is performed after a month of mourning in order to remove bad omen. Traditionally, it is performed by the family Lugedla [traditional healer]. In Eswatini culture, a widow or widower is ritually cleansed by taking the bile of a slaughtered animal and mixing it with the blood of a goat or cow. The widow or widower’s whole body is smeared with the bile and blood. She or he is expected to wash with water that is mixed with bile, blood and ashes (Nyawuza 2015:18).

Many widowers have fallen into the trap of remarrying as soon as they have been cleansed for better positions of power and prestige in the community and to maintain their political status. Several of them go through the process of mourning, which allows them to complete the rituals, and thus get ready to remarry, otherwise they cling to the next person.

In Siswati culture a community leader should be married, and the irony is that if he is able to manage his family affairs, he will be able to manage other responsibilities. The next section discusses the culture of initiation, which has a major impact on widowers too.

The culture of initiation (kubutseka) for Eswatini men

Most Eswatini men look up to the monarch for wisdom and knowledge as the country’s icon. Eswatini men undergo the ritual of kubutseka [initiation] as a form of paying allegiance to the monarch. (It should be noticed that this is voluntary.) ‘Kubutseka is an official declaration of loyalty and allegiance to his majesty the king and future kings. The person officially becomes a member of the king’s regiments’ (Sunday Observer 2016).

The author used newspaper articles because oral tradition dominates the traditional customs and practices in Eswatini.

Vilakati and Sibanda (1996) say:

Oral tradition luhlobo lwemibhalo lengakabhalwa phasi kepha yendluliselwa etitukulwaneni ngemlomo. Kuluhlobo lwemibhalo lelikhuluma ngetintfo lebetenteka kadzeni, kungaba yimilandvo natotonkhe tinkhulumo tebuciko letingakabhalwa phasi. (p. 31)

This could be translated as the different traditional information that has not been written down, but has been handed down to different generations orally. ‘This literature has preserved and promote Eswatini culture’ (Pato 2018:124).

It is in this regard that the author quotes verbatim from newspaper articles, as within societies, groups of people develop rules both written and unwritten to form what is known as culture (Curle 2012:iii).

For example, one regiment (Daladi) interviewed in the Sunday Observer (2016) stated that:

Kubutseka is ‘Pledging to serve the King without any questions asked, to honor his word and everything that the king believes in, and standing by him and the Monarchy and what it stands for. It is not just an oath to the King but to future kings … your duty is not to ask questions but when you hear the sound of the trumpet, you know you have been summoned’ said Daladi. (p. 4)

Their dedication to the monarch is so serious that even during the traditional events such as Incwala the (Curle 2012):

[R]oyal kinsmen suspend ordinary activities, sexual intercourse is prohibited, no one may sleep late the following morning and when they get up, they are not allowed to touch each other, to wash the body, to sit on mats, to poke anything into the ground or even to scratch their hair. (p. 109)

Such statements by regiments raise questions to onlookers, who may ask the following:

  1. Is the king’s belief system not negatively impacting the citizens?

  2. Are the subjects going to honour the king’s words and everything he believes?

  3. Are the subjects not going to question such a practice in the name of showing allegiance to the king?

What concerns the researcher mostly is the fact that kubutseka has not spared even MoG who are supposedly ‘torch bearers’ according to Matthew 5:14. They are to carry the light of Christ to the world and be a voice for the voiceless, however many of them are now royal regiments. They are not able to care for the sheep of God but follow the monarch’s rules.

‘Apostle Vusi Maculuve, a founder and leader of God Cares Christian fellowship Church has been initiated (kubutseka)’ (Times of Swaziland 09 May 2018). In his words he revealed how he has lost his prophetic voice to speak on behalf of God. Yet Jesus stated it clear ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon’ (Mt 6:24).

He amalgamated with many existing regiments of which one is called Bokhololo who are MoG too. Umbutfo Maculuve (Times of Swaziland 09 May 2018) states:

Ekubutsekeni bangeluleke batsi kufuneka emandla akho nenhlonipho. [I was advised to be trustworthy and put all my effort as I serve Their Majesties.] (p. 7)

This proves how much influence the monarch has on his subjects serving two masters, the author is reminded of Jesus’ words ‘Give to Caesar what belong to Caesar’ (Mk 12:17) and ‘to God what belongs to Him’. Whatever the monarch pronounces from the throne is taken seriously by his subjects. If such is the case with what he says, how much more are his actions taken seriously?

A custodian of culture, who was interviewed during the study stated the importance of being readily available whenever summoned in the royal house because bangaze labadzala bangakuniki umsebenti, meaning you have to be readily available so that you are granted responsibility by the country’s authorities. This comes with power and influence and therefore many Eswatini men push their way through even if it means forfeiting their mourning rites.

The power vested on the monarch influence Men of the cloth, whose greatest shepherd and model should be Jesus Christ, leaving the flock more vulnerable to cultural dictates, including their mourning rites too. It is the same spirit that has infiltrated many denominations in Eswatini as what has been practiced culturally has been Christianise creating church customs.

Church culture

Time for mourning for Ministers of the Gospel

It transpired during the interviews that MoGs who are widowed are not given time to mourn their spouses by the church. The church expects them to assume their duties whilst still in mourning. Female church members would be encouraged to assist the minister at the rectories and mission house. This becomes a problem to the minister as some of these female helpers designated to assist the minister become ‘hopeful’, to a point of ‘fighting’ each other. To clear the confusion, MoG then rush and remarry. This thought pattern motivates wrong behaviour, thus (Hobbs & Blank 1985):

Acquiring the way of thinking, feeling and behaving of the group to which one belongs. (p. 41)

The culture of ‘matchmaking’

The culture of ‘matchmaking’ is a replica of Eswatini culture and customs. Long ago a bride would be accompanied by a sororate (Inhlanti) who would bear children in case the wife was barren or passed on. When Christianity took precedence in many parts of Eswatini, the practice of sororate was done away with. In some denominations in the country, the MoGs and elders became the ones suggesting marriage partners to the widowers in church. This became a scapegoat for some widowers because they would escape mourning, as the women in church would be readily available for marriage. This becomes (Collins 2007):

A way of relieving tension, escape boredom and temporarily avoiding the pressures of life. (p. 345)

Reality may emerge once the widower remarries, because the new bride has her expectations too, which include a home, children and maintenance. The widower might be earning little or may be a pensioner (who receive approximately E500 monthly) (about $33). New responsibilities are added to the existing family’s responsibilities and this becomes a strain to the widower who might suffer emotionally, economically and psychologically, sometimes to the point of death as we have seen with the legislator cited here. Another culture that has been developed in church is that the MoGs are deprived time to mourn.

This then creates a need for the widowers to be pastorally cared for.


The study revealed the following: The process of mourning for widowers in Eswatini is hindered by both Eswatini and church culture. The man on the throne’s behaviour has a negative impact on many Eswatini men. The culture of ‘matchmaking’ by church elders has caused many widowers in church settings to remarry women who are not compatible, which end up causing stresses for them. Remarrying of widowers becomes very expensive for them as they have to care for two families. It is for this reason that pastoral caregivers are equipped in order to journey with the widowers.

Pastoral care

Many people in need see the minister as a competent, trusted shepherd they ask to walk with him or her through their shadowed valleys … frequently the pastor is the only person they allow to enter their private hell. (Clinebell 1984:47)

Therefore, the MoG should enter their sacred space with reverence. This is in line with Gerkin’s shepherding model, which aims at journeying with the troubled souls. Gerkin’s model focuses on Jesus Christ the good shepherd in the New Testament, who became a pastor, a teacher and an ecclesiastical leader to his disciples.

Jesus as a pastor gave attention to individuals, for example, the Samaritan woman (Jn 4) at the well. The long conversation gave the woman a new perspective of water that led her to a new life in God. Pastoral caregivers attending to individual widowers would give them space to process their pain before remarrying.

Jesus as an educator would teach the crowd (Mt 5) and would later explain the parables to his disciples. Teaching widowers would mean creating a curriculum on grieving and how to transition to the next marriage. This could be through conducting workshops and retreats for the widowers from different denominations as a form of closure, before attempting to remarry.

Jesus as an ecclesiastical leader demonstrated a rule of life that was solely dependent on God through prayer. He did not only teach his disciples to pray, but his life revolved around prayer. Ministers of the Gospel should lead by example in trusting and relying on God for provision instead of focusing on earthly treasures, thus becoming regiments to gain favour from the man on the ‘throne’.

Instead of focusing on pastoral matters, some MoG are focused on how to please their Majesties and how to gain favour on their sight, which then shifts focus on Christ.


The RvP has impacted widowers in Eswatini, as a result many of them remarry before mourning their spouses. This has been a direct result of the way the monarch, as a symbol of authority in the country, conducts himself during the mourning period. The monarch is a polygamist, thus many Eswatini men would want to emulate him, whilst a majority of them are in monogamous relationships, meaning that they have no shoulder to cry on during the mourning period as compared with the monarch, thus their behaviour and action affects them. The church on the other hand negatively impacts widowers as they are expected to assume their duties before mourning. They may even suggest whom they remarry. A pastoral care methodology has been suggested, which is creating a curriculum for the widowers on grieving as a form of closure before they remarry. This could be implemented through workshops or retreats in the different denominations.


  • The study suggests that someone researches the positive impact of polygamy within the Royalty legacy.
  • How can the Eswatini society propagate the Dlamini legacy apart from polygamy?
  • There has to be someone who researches the positive RvP.


The author would like to acknowledge Prof. Maake Masango who has journeyed with her as she worked on this article.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Authors’ contributions

D.D. is the author and M.J.M. is the supervising professor guiding the author in her writing of this research. Both D.D. and M.J.M. have equally contributed to the research and writing of this article.

Ethical considerations

This article followed all ethical standards for research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-profit sectors.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.


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