Christmas Camp 2015!

Greetings, Cabrini Family!

Before the New Year rings in, we’d like to share some pictures from Christmas Camp, 2015. It was an excellent camp this year, as we had many fun activities including staff vs. kids soccer and volleyball games, a Christmas Carnival, and a trip to Tambuti Estates, where we had a fun-filled day playing in their pool! Check out the photos below to get a peek inside our colossally awesome Christmas Camp!

Enjoy a safe and happy New Year!

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A silly group photo at Tambuti Estates! We are so thankful Tambuti Estates allowed us to use their pool for a fantastic swim day!!!

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The kids celebrate their victory against the staff in the Staff vs. Kids soccer game!

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Some staff chilling poolside at Tambuti Estates.

 

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Slip n’ Slide fun with Natalie!

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The North Star, the cow, the rooster, and the sheep from the Nativity Play!

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The cast of The Nativity Play

 

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The boys of summer…

The big girls

The girls of summer….

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Wendy and Phicekile make ice cream cone Christmas Trees!

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Wonder models the latest Christmas fashion.

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Yummm!

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A group shot of all the models for our Christmas Fashion Show!!!

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The hostel girls win the staff vs. kids volleyball game!

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Photobooth fun at our Christmas Carnival!

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Priscilla braves the pool!

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Team photo of our boys soccer team! Guess who won?

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Nosipho and Tengetile smile for the camera before they perform the roles of the angel and the narrator in the Nativity Play .

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Natalie enjoys the kiddie pool with the kiddies.

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Donut eating contest at the Christmas Carnival!

 

Christmas at Cabrini!

Seasons Greetings!

We have been having a great time here in Swaziland celebrating Christmas with the lowveld community. On December 12th, members of the Teen Club, along with their caregivers and guardians, came together to enjoy their annual Christmas party. For those who don’t know, Teen Club Swaziland is part of an international family of support groups, spearheaded by Baylor International Pediatric Aids Initiative.  The clubs are made up of young members of the community who are living with HIV. Rising to the challenge of addressing the psychosocial and medical needs of HIV positive adolescents, the club meets once a month to offer support, to learn valuable lessons given by qualified medical professionals, and to nurture a sense of camaraderie amongst their members. It is also a great way to make sure the teens and their guardians are receiving all the help and guidance they need from Cabrini Ministries. To learn more about this exciting international program, visit BPAI’s website!

We also want to send out a big thank you to RUCHI Wholesalers for donating mielie meal, beans, and sugar for the families to take home and enjoy. Thank you, RUCHI!

Enjoy pictures from our fabulous Teen Club Christmas Party!

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What a treat! A few of the guardians perform a drama about the importance of being tested and adherence to medication. We were blown away by their talent!

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An angel appears! One of our talented Teen Club members performs the role of the angel for the nativity play.

 

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The girls perform traditional Swazi dances for an audience of their peers and caregivers.

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Simo Mamba does a great job as the Christmas Party MC!

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Thobile Matsubula, head facilitator of the Teen Club at Cabrini, opens the ceremonies with a word of thanks to the staff, the club members, and the guardians.

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More dancing by our fabulous Teen Club Stars!

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A word of prayer lead by one of the Teen Club guardians.

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Make way for the boys performing traditional Swazi dances!

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And of course, we must give the makes (mothers) and Go Gos (grandmothers) a chance to show off their dancing skills!

 

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Teen Club members and their guardians all together to celebrate Christmas!

Sweet Seedlings!

Cabrini is so grateful to His Majesty’s Correctional Services for their generous donation of seedlings, worth more than E5000.00!  On November 26th, the Deputy Commander of His Majesty’s Correctional Services and eight of his delegates, arrived to hand over seedlings of onion, cabbage, beetroot, spinach, lettuce, carrots, green pepper, and tomatoes to members of our Teen Club Parent and Caregiver Support Group!  The seedlings donated were able to go to over 40 homesteads! Teen club Parents & Caregivers were super excited about the kind gesture, and the fact that the seedlings were hand-delivered by the officers, themselves. The caregivers also appreciated the agriculture lesson, including advice on planting and surveying the land, facilitated by His Majesty’s Correctional Services.

In his closing speech, the Deputy Commander made mention of the fact that it was their first time to come to Cabrini and they are hoping this is not the last time and look forward to continue supporting Cabrini in her endeavor towards improving the well-being of the needy communities and the OVC’s in the near future. Thank you, Deputy Commander, and we look forward to more visits and support from His Majesty’s Correctional Services! IMG_1945 IMG_1962 IMG_1963 IMG_1964 IMG_1971 IMG_1972 IMG_1975 IMG_1978 IMG_1980 IMG_1982 IMG_1987 IMG_1988

Education Department Success Story: Nonkululeko

Nonkululeko Maseko (3)

Nonkululeko
21years old
Mayovu
Success Story: Cabrini Ministries

Nonkululeko  is a 22 year-old young lady who grew up in Matyovu in the Ngcamphalala community of Lubombo. When she was 13 years old her mother passed away but fortunately for her a Cabrini Sister took heed of her plight and Nonkuleko was welcomed into Cabrini’s hostel in 2002. Unfortunately, while at school Nonkululeko and she was not able to write her form three exams. Despite this setback she did not give up, but instead she persevered and studied diligently during the school holidays. Determined to complete her high school education, she enrolled herself into Sibetsapi High School in Phumlamcashi. This too proved to be a challenge for her because in addition to being made fun of at school she had to walk 30 kilometers to and from school every day. However, with a titanium will-power she pushed on. With Cabrini’s support, she was fortunate enough to have her school fees paid, a plate of food every night, and candles to study with. ‘We made follow-ups on the children we were sponsoring and each time we inquired about Nonkululeko her school would tell us that she’s a well-behaved and hardworking student’ says Simo Mamba, Cabrini’s Director of Education. Having completed Form 5 with impressive marks, Nonkululeko is currently in the first year of a 3-year diploma in Education at Southern Nazaren University. Through Cabrini’s tertiary education fund, Nonkululeko’s university fees are taken care of. Nonkululeko’s determination together with Cabrini Ministry’s willingness to help are undoubtedly a recipe for success!

Fantastic Feast Day!

On the 13th of November, we here at Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland, celebrate our namesake and the foundress of the ministries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. This year our celebration was made even more joyous by the addition of a much needed bout of rainfall! As the entire staff of Cabrini Ministries Swaziland gathered together to honor the life of Mother Cabrini, we reflected on the life of an amazing woman, without whom our work would not be possible.

Frances Cabrini was a remarkable woman who practiced great determination and perseverance in order to live her life spreading God’s love to those most in need. We are grateful to her and all she did in her life to make the world a better place. Siyabonga, Make Cabrini!

As it does every year, we start our Feast Day with a procession to the church carrying the statue of Mother Cabrini…

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Halloween, Feast of Mother Cabrini, Form 5 pictures 129

Halloween, Feast of Mother Cabrini, Form 5 pictures 121

We then attended a beautiful mass lead by Fr. Gaston, who was assisted by a few of our hostel children performing their duties as altar servers.

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Halloween, Feast of Mother Cabrini, Form 5 pictures 135

Some of our hostel girls approaching the altar with offerings for Mother Cabrini.

After the moving mass, the entire staff gathered at the dining hall for some entertainment, speeches, and, of course, a feast!

Our Deputy Executive Director, Ben Kickert, kicked the program off to a great start, bringing up all the new employees that have joined us this year at Cabrini Ministries of Swaziland.

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“Welcome to the family!”

He then continued the recognition party by presenting staff members who have been with us for 5 and 10 years with a special gift and thank you from Cabrini Ministries.

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And of course it would not be called a Cabrini party if we did not get to hear a few songs sung by our glorious choir!

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To send the entertainment portion of the celebration out with a bang, Grade 5 and Grade 6 performed a fantastic retelling of Saint Frances Cabrini’s inspiring life, appropriately titled Mother Cabrini and the Cabrini Way. 

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Here we see Bongiswa Nxumalo perform the role of the priest in the baptism scene of the play.

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When Frances was a young girl, she admired her sister, Rosa, very much and was always copying everything she did!

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Here we see Celemphilo Maziya and Ncobile Gumedze with their prop boats and flowers as they perform the scene where Frances explains to her sister that she is imagining that the little boats are filled with missionaries that she is sending off down the river.

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Here we see Mother Cabrini’s first voyage to New York City!

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“Siyabonga, Mother Cabrini” the children sing for the finale of “Mother Cabrini and the Cabrini Way”

And then…we feasted on a wonderful meal prepared by our very own Cabrini staff.
The Cabrini Staff ate, laughed, and cheered on the rain as it fell down onto our thirsty land.

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Grades 5 and 6.

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Simo Mamba in traditional party attire.

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As always, we are grateful, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, for all that you did for this world. We strive to live on in your spirit of peace and goodwill!

-The Cabrini Staff

 

 

Breaking News: Family Day is a Success!

The kids in Swaziland are back in school and ready to make this term a great one! For their final term of the year, we decided to kick our regular guardians’ meetings up a notch by combining our efforts and making an all-inclusive meeting that we’ve deemed Family Day. At the beginning of each term, Cabrini Family Services, Education, and Childcare departments each host a meeting with the guardians of children who are receiving support from their respective departments – it is an important way to update guardians about new policies, answer any questions they might have, and it gives us, here at Cabrini, a chance to share new ideas and information that might be useful to Cabrini families, as well the greater community.

This term, instead of having three separate meetings, we had just one big meeting that gave our departments a chance to work together to create the most fun and efficient day yet for our guardians!

By 8:00 am, our parents and guardians had already started arriving!

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Guardians check in at registration. Along with fun activities, we also set up a TB Screening tent that guardians were welcome to visit.

After registration, the guardians were invited to partake in a variety of activities our staff had set up. In an effort to reinforce the idea of parental bonding, each activity was facilitated in such a way that encouraged adult AND child participation.

The Family Day team worked hard to promote guardian/child bonding!

The Family Day Team worked hard to promote guardian/child bonding!

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Family Day: a chance to reconnect with your family!

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Always a good time to be had here at Cabrini!

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At Family Day, parents and guardians were able to reconnect and commiserate with each other as well as their children.

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Book Reading Activity: Reading to your children is such an important part of a healthy and productive upbringing.

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Egg and Spoon Race was definitely our most popular activity!

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After the games and a snack, we were ready to begin our meeting! We had announcements made by the different departments and a great lecture on the importance of child/guardian bonding made by the wonderful Gogo Stella.

As part of the entertainment portion of the event, our youngest Cabrini Kids sing songs for their guardians.

As part of the entertainment portion of the event, our youngest Cabrini Kids sing songs for their guardians.

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Check out this great pic of our awesome drama group performing a play about daily life at the Cabrini Hostel!

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And of course, no entertainment portion is complete without a performance by our amazing Cabrini Choir!

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And of course, at the end of the eventful day, we eat!

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All in all, everyone agreed that Family Day was one of the most fun guardians’ meetings we’ve had here at Cabrini Ministries! We are grateful for all the help we received for the big day and look forward to many more! Here’s to a great term!

We will sign this blog post off with the lyrics to the song, “The Cabrini Way”, which was performed on Family Day. We think it clearly sums up our goals for this term, and we hope you enjoy the message too! Have a great one!

“The Cabrini Way”

Do you know the Cabrini Way?

What way?

The Cabrini Way!

What way?

The Cabrini Way!

 

Hmmm… tell me more about that.

Being loving is where it’s at!

What’s that?

Being responsible is where it’s at!

What’s that?

Being healthy is where it’s at!

Oh! Okay!

So THAT is the the Cabrini Way!

 

 

“Be the Best You Can Be: Think Win Win!” August Camp, 2015

It is September 1st and time to reflect on the August Happenings here at Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland. On August 7th, second term ended for primary and high school kids in Swaziland, and it was time for a break!

But of course, no break is complete without a Cabrini Camp! From August 18th-22nd, an awesome pre-teen camp was held here at St. Philips! To make this camp even more special, we were joined by our Transition Club (Cabrini kids who graduated high school last year and are now transitioning to life outside of Cabrini) to help facilitate activities, perform a drama about pregnancy prevention, and to stand as positive role-models for our campers. For their hard work and positive energy, The Cabrini Staff sends out a big THANK YOU to our beautiful Transition Club!

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Some of the Transition Club having fun at the dam!

Cabrini Ministries Transition Club, 2015

Cabrini Ministries Transition Club, 2015

The camp was so awesome, in fact, that the staff here is just now recovering from the exhausting but fun-filled week of games, new friendships, and important life lessons! The theme of the camp was “Be the Best You Can Be: Think Win Win!”, so all of our activities for the camp were geared towards overcoming challenges and keeping your eye on the prize! In conjunction with our creative and challenging games, projects, and lessons prepared by the staff, we were also joined by the wonderful Nicholas Mamba, who did drama and poetry activities with the kids. Thank you, Mr. Mamba! You certainly know how to get a crowd going!

Mr. Nicholas Mamba

Mr. Nicholas Mamba

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Mr. Mamba, leading the kids in a song.

Towards the end of the week Olympafrica, an awesome organization that leads fun and challenging relay games for the kids, joined us. Despite the heat, the games were a lot of fun and were great ways to encourage skills such as teamwork, athleticism, and determination in our campers. And Olympafrica even provided their own mascot! Thank you, Olympafrica!

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Campers enjoying the olympic games.

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OlympAfrica even brought their own mascot to help cheer on the kids!

On the last full day of camp, the staff and campers headed off on an approximately 3k (felt like more of course!) walk to the local dam. Along the way, the staff facilitated challenges to help enforce the theme of the camp: Think Win Win!

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Bahnabahna and our campers walking to the dam.

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Kids prepare to “untangle themselves” for the brain-teasing game, Tangled Arms.

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Another one of our challenges on our hike to the dam: the kids had to lead their partner blind-folded across the river only using their voices as a guide!

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At the dam, the kids were asked to write out our motto, "Think win win" using the treasures they collected along the way.

At the dam, the kids were asked to write out our motto, “Think win win” using the treasures they collected along the way.

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“We made it to the dam!” Our Camp Director Simo leading our campers in a cheer.

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Dam delirium!

All in all, we had a great 5 days of camp here at Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland; and we are ready to make Term 3 even better than the last! We hope you had a good August too, and want to remind you to always, “Be the best you can be: Think win win!”

Cabrini Ministries August Camp, 2015

Cabrini Ministries August Camp, 2015

Meet Mzamo Sikhondze

Mzamo Sikhondze,
Cabrini Ministries
Director of Support Services and Human Resources Manager,

‘We need to understand the root cause of problems and to be tolerant to emotions; we do this by being patient and speaking the truth. That way we grow pure emotional intelligence’

‘We need to understand the root cause of problems and to be tolerant to emotions; we do this by being patient and speaking the truth. That way we grow pure emotional intelligence’

Mzamo Sikhondze was born and raised in the Ngcamphalala chiefdom; where he attended St Philips High School. His dream was always to be a teacher or a policeman, but due to the lack of motivation from his family he let go of his dreams. Dissatisfied with his family’s opinion, he moved to Manzini where he worked as a security guard. However, homesickness got the better of him and in 2006 he found himself working as full time tutor at Cabrini Ministries. This saw the beginning of his inspiring and ambitious journey of personal and professional development.

When he joined Cabrini, Mzamo also worked as a part-time dispenser for the clinic. He was good at his work and very keen towards doing more for the organization. So, he took up a few courses on community education and gender based issues. With that, he could visit homesteads and offer some sound advice on how families could improve their situations. Mzamo then took on a few computer training classes which made him competent enough to work in the office; he became a receptionist for Cabrini. ‘At the time, I acknowledged that I had to further develop myself’. And so, in 2011, with determination Mzamo went on to obtain a diploma in Human Resources Management from the Institute of Development Management in Manzini. ‘I love my job; it’s a challenge having to tell people at times that their employment is terminated’. Mzamo is currently completing a degree in Human Resources from the South Africa based Regant Business School- a testament of his desire to improve himself. At Cabrini Ministries, his strong work ethic ensures that Cabrini’s employees are kept happy, that their work is being done properly and he also ensures that Cabrini is complying with national laws.

During his spare time, Mzamo can be found gardening, playing pool, or socializing with friends. In his eyes, people are anyone’s greatest asset. This view perhaps is demonstrated no better than when Mzamo is at work. He lists his team as one of the greatest motivating factors for him coming to work every day. In addition to this, he knows that his role of looking after the welfare of Cabrini’s employees is ultimately connected to him looking after his community.

Cabrini’s latest service addition, the Family Services Department, serves as Mzamo’s inspiration for service delivery and leadership in the country of Swaziland. ‘Family Services address many injustices in the community and it does what is good for the people, it’s a great fit to the organization’ say Mzamo. His desire for Swaziland is that its leaders do the will of the people, not fulfill their own motives. Working at Cabrini has shifted his mindset and he is grateful for the amount of time Cabrini invests in its people. He hopes that Cabrini will continue to develop its workers and he hopes that one day Cabrini will be led by an African executive.

Meet Mrs. Sauda-Atikpo

B. E. Sauda-Atikpo
Cabrini Ministries
Director Family Services Department

Mrs. Sauda-Atikpo is a very charismatic and passionate member of the Family Services Department at Cabrini Ministries Swaziland. As an African-American, she has always felt the desire to connect with her ancestral heritage and to give back to Africa. Having graduated with a Masters of Science in Social Administration which also doubles as a Masters in Social Work, her passion for Africa led her to Ghana where she assisted social workers to work with Orphans and Vulnerable Children. After a brief visit to Cabrini Ministries in the latter part of 2014, she decided to the join team of change makers here.

As Director of the Family Services Department, her work includes working with the Department of Social Welfare in Swaziland and learning cases from places in the community that need her help and to come up with sustainable solutions that will address some of the challenges community members face. ‘I challenge my staff to think outside of box, more than just providing conventional assistance’ she says. Her goals are to build the foundation of the Family Services Department so that it can increase the quality of help it provides. The Teen Club run by the Family Services Department and supported by the HealthCare Department serves as her inspiration. ‘It’s inspiring to see young people from all over the community come together, learn together and to be feel like they’re part of group lead by teen leaders’. She takes pride in this initiative and credits her team for playing a big role in making sure this initiative and others are a success. In fact, she acknowledges that without her team Family Services would not be where it is today, the Family Services Team serves as her back-bone and her motivation to wake up every day. She expresses her gratitude towards them for not only accepting her as her own but for showing love, care and the continuous desire to grow professionally.

At Cabrini, She has made it a point to educate people that the ills they face in Swaziland are not so far removed from the ills faced by the African-American community and other ethnic minorities in the United States. She is passionate about issues that have to do with social justice and inequality. ‘If I was prime-minister for one day, I would make sure that the National Disabilities Act is pushed, finalized and pursued’ and ‘I would also advocate for female representation in the Umphakatsi (Traditional Council). She is glad that her time at Cabrini has brought her closer to the St Philips community and that as a result she’s been able to identify pressing issues that require national attention.

A family person at heart, she enjoys being with her family and reading with her children. When she’s not working, she can be found watching basketball or baking what have been described as the best ‘vegan cakes’ in all of Swaziland.