King Mswati III’s third son has unveiled his girlfriend during the annual Reed Dance ceremony, becoming the first of the king’s children to publicly reveal their partner.Prince Majaha, the first born son of Mswati’s second wife Inkhosikati LaMotsa, became the first out of all the king’s children to publicly declare a love affair.
His girlfriend is Nothando Hlophe, a 30-year-old gospel artist who has made it on both local and South African music charts.
The unveiling was done at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence Stadium where close to 90,000 maidens were dancing on Monday in the presence of the king and thousands of guests, marking the main day of the week-long event where young women celebrated preservation of their virginity.
Culturally, a man displays interest in a maiden by bowing and placing a shield in front of her while she dances with other maidens.
In this particular case, Nothando was dancing along with some princesses when Prince Majaha and other princes went to appreciate the dancing.
Nothando had red feathers of the Royal Bird known as Ligwalagwala plugged in her hair just like the princesses. These feathers are reserved for members of the royal family.
During the appreciation of the dance, Prince Majaha, aged 26, also plucked a feather from Nothando’s hair, which traditionalists have confirmed is a public declaration of love.
The pair then engaged in a short conversation and danced along together while the accompanying princes returned to their seats in the gallery.
Prince Majaha is the King’s third-born son but he holds a senior position in the royal household by virtue of being the first-born child of the second wife, who is considered a wife responsible for certain cultural duties within the royal space.