Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini of Swaziland (born September 1, 1987) is the eldest daughter of king Mswati III of Swaziland. She is one of his more than 24 children, and her mother is one of Mswati’s 15 wives, Inkhosikati LaMbikiza (Sibonelo Mngometulu).
Princess Sikhanyiso was educated in Britain at a mixed private school; St Edmund’s College, Ware, in Hertfordshire, where she was in Challoner House. She continued to study drama at Biola University in California. In 2012, Princess Sikhanyiso graduated from Sydney University with a of master of digital communication. While in Australia, she resided in Glebe with her palace-appointed aide, Yemma Sholo. She is the first child of Inkhosikati LaMbikiza and has more than 200 blood-related uncles and aunts through her grandfather King Sobhuza II, who had 70 wives and 201 children. She is also one of his 1000 grandchildren in the Royal Swazi House of Dlamini.
She is the first-born daughter of 23 children born to King Mswati III, her mother being King Mswati III’s young love, Inkhosikati LaMbikiza (Sibonelo Mngomezulu). She has 200 aunts and uncles, not including their own spouses.
In 2001, Mswati III instituted the umchwasho – a traditional chastity rite – in Swaziland as a means of combatting the AIDS epidemic. The princess became a focus of controversy as, while she was staying abroad, she was not bound by the strictures of the umchwasho. While studying abroad, Princess Sikhanyiso has developed a reputation for ignoring or rebelling against her native country’s traditions.
Sikhanyiso wears Western-style jeans and miniskirts, something women in Swaziland are banned from doing.
In 2004 Princess Sikhanyiso was involved in a controversy in the Swazi media. Saying she had gone on a trip to the U.S. and Britain, she left an E1 M. ($100,000 USD) bill to the Swazi taxpayer. A press statement was issued from the prime minister’s office to refute these claims.
At the end of the ban in 2005, Princess Sikhanyiso, then 17, celebrated with a party involving loud music and alcohol at the Queen mother’s residence. In punishment for the princess’s disrespect of the royal residence, during which Mswati announced his engagement to a new wife-to-be, an official overseeing traditional affairs beat Princess Sikhanyiso with a stick.
The following year, the Princess criticized the institution of polygamy in Swaziland, saying “Polygamy brings all advantages in a relationship to men, and this to me is unfair and evil”. The Princess was subsequently “gagged” by the Royal Palace and the press was not allowed to contact her. She is an aspiring actress and rapper and is commonly known as “Pashu” In Swaziland.
She was featured in a documentary on the monarchy in Swaziland, the disparity between the royals’ wealth and widespread poverty of their subjects, and Swaziland’s AIDS crisis; under the title “Without the King”.
In late September 2013, she had a three-hour long Twitter conversation with proscribed Swazi organisation, the People’s United Democratic Movement, after which her Twitter account was deleted without explanation.