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Hon. Minister opens 2nd AU Workshop on the review of the Cultural and Creative Industries Action Plan

16 April 2019

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga today officially opened the second workshop for the review of the African Union (AU) Action Plan on Cultural and Creative Industries.

The workshop, which is hosted by Eswatini in conjunction with the AU Cultural Unit, is held at Bethel Court in Matsapha and will run until Thursday, 18 April. Speaking at the opening ceremony earlier today, the Honourable Minister thanked the AU for choosing Eswatini as hosts of the review workshop.

“This review therefore becomes hugely important for our country because it will help us align our efforts with those of the rest of the continent in terms of developing the cultural and creative industries in order to maximise all benefits we can extract from them particularly by offering our people opportunities to living better and fulfilling lives,” Bulunga said.

The Honourable Minister further stressed the importance of the review not just for Eswatini but for the rest of the African continent.

“This review will map out the current status of the creative economy sector in each of the AU members states. This information will enable countries and regions to get updated information on the value chain of the sector and promote intra-African trade in line with the protocol of the African Continental Free Trade Area recently adopted by the AU assembly.

The workshop is attended by some of the brightest minds in the African cultural and creative industries with experts coming from countries including Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Also in attendance during the opening ceremony were the Director of Arts and Culture in the Ministry Phinda Nkosi and Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture (ENCAC) CEO Stanley Dlamini.

Hon. Minister launches E28 000 Hub Hardware sponsorship

11 April 2019

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga yesterday (10 April 2019) officially launched a E28 000 Hub Hardware sponsorship for the Hhohho Regional Football Association (HRFA).

The sponsorship launch took place at Sigwaca house yesterday afternoon with the Honourable Minister represented by Director of Sports in the Ministry Lucky Sihlongonyane. The launch marked the beginning of the third edition of the tournament which is contested for by Under-17 teams.

Making his remarks through the Director of Sports, Honourable Bulunga thanked Hub Hardware for sponsoring the juniors’ tournament yet again.

“I therefore salute and thank the management of Hub Hardware for once again partnering with us in sport to create this hugely important tournament. The fact that you have spent well over E40 000 in just the first two editions of the tournament alone shows your commitment to developing football in our beautiful Kingdom. E43 000 for two editions of juniors’ tournaments is a substantial amount and as we know, not many companies want to be associated with development programmes,” Bulunga said.

The Honourable Minister further congratulated the HRFA for continuously finding sponsors for their various tournaments.

“I also laud the Hhohho Regional Football Association (HRFA) for their vigorous approach in finding sponsors and partners as well as keeping them. Your wonderful efforts are indeed being noticed and they should inspire all other sporting associations to go out there and court partners.
Eswatini sport is on the up and many people want to partner with us. The most important thing is for sport associations to have clear plans and proposals that they will present to these possible sponsors and partners. We therefore congratulate the HRFA for being pioneers in this regard,” he added.

The launch was also attended by Khumbuzile Dlamini from Hub Hardware, Eswatini Football Association (EFA) CEO Frederick Mngomezulu and HRFA Chairman Nigel Shongwe, among others.

Zweli Dlamini crowned Sports Star of the Year

01 April 2019

Zweli Dlamini amassed over 400 000 votes on his way to being crowned Sports Star of the Year at the Eswatini National Sports Awards on Saturday night (30 March 2019).

The second edition of the awards was held at Esibayeni Lodge Esangweni Hall and was graced by the Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga. The awards covered sporting excellence between the period of April 2017 and December 2018.

A total of 17 awards were handed out on the night with Dlamini emerging as the big winner, taking home the coveted prize which was won by Mbabane Swallows captain Tony Tsabedze during the first edition of the awards in 2017. Over 800 000 votes were cast with second placed Thandukukhanya Dlamini attaining 355 606 of those.

Making his remarks on the night, the Honourable Minister said the Awards were important in keeping athletes and officials motivated.

“These awards serve as a motivation for athletes and officials to excel next time. In a country yet to achieve full professionalism in sport, national recognition propels athletes and officials to continuously give their best,” he said.

Bulunga then urged sport associations to maintain fairness and transparency in the nomination process.

“My appeal to the various sporting associations is to maintain consistency and professionalism in nominating their best athletes for particular periods. For these Awards to continue getting the respect and recognition they deserve, it is important that we work together in ensuring that all athletes and officials have equal chances of being nominated. Therefore, I urge our different associations to draw up clear and fair guidelines for the nomination process and these should be transparent and communicated to all athletes so that everyone stays on the same page,” the Honourable Minister added.

On top of handing the Sports Star of the Year Award, the Honourable Minister also presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert ‘Chicks’ Lukhele while Nonhlanhla Seyama and Sibusiso Matsenjwa took home the Outstanding Sportswoman and Outstanding Sportsman awards respectively.

The ceremony was also attended by legendary ex-footballer William ‘Cool Cat’ Shongwe.

Eswatini National Sports Awards List of winners:

Sports Star of the Year: Zweli Dlamini (Boxing)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Chicks Lukhele (Legendary Boxer)

Outstanding National Sport Association: Eswatini National Basketball Association

Outstanding Sports Leader: Maxwell Jele (Tennis)

Outstanding Sportswoman: Nonhlanhla Seyama

Outstanding Sportsman: Sibusiso ‘SwaziBolt’ Matsenjwa

Special Recognition Awards:

1. SMK Sports Academy

2. The Municipal Council of Mbabane

3. Ksekhaya Cycling

4.Shibobo Academy

Outstanding Sports Journalist- Ashmond Nzima (Times of Swaziland)

Outstanding Sports Administrator: Bhekisisa Mkhonta (Football)

Outstanding Sports Coach: Mbuso Vilakati (Volleyball)

Outstanding Sportswoman with a disability- Nomsa Mkhonta

Outstanding Sportsman with a disability- Thobani Zikalala

Outstanding Junior Sportswoman- Michelle Shen (Judo)

Outstanding Junior Sportsman- Melusi Lukhele (Taekwondo)

Hon. Minister opens week-long training for YERF loan recipients’

01 April 2019

The Honourable Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga today officially opened a week-long training for the first recipients of the Youth Enterprise Revolving Fund loans.

The training, which will be conducted by the Small Enterprises Development Company (SEDCO) at their offices in Manzini, follows the selection of the 49 recipients who were announced last month.

Of those 49, only 34 will undergo this week’s training as the other 15 have been found to have been adequately trained by other reputable organisations including the University of Eswatini (UNESWA), SEDCO, Junior Achievement and Enactus.

Making his remarks during the ceremony, the Honourable Minister said the training marked an important milestone in the history of the fund.

“The moment I heard about this event I immediately decided that I could not miss it for anything as it marks a very important milestone in the chapter of the Youth Fund and the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Youth Affairs. The problems that faced our Fund previously have been well documented and today is a big day highlighting our strong commitment to completely burying and avoiding the mistakes of the past. This week’s training is very important as it will capacitate our Young Entrepreneurs to run sustainable businesses,” Bulunga said.

Meanwhile, YERF CEO Bhekizwe Maziya revealed that the beneficiaries would be covered by credit life insurance.

“Hon. Minister, we are happy to report that the Fund has secured Credit Life insurance for the beneficiaries. This insurance will ensure that if a loan recipient passes away while indebted to the Fund, the family will not remain with a burden of the loan nor the Fund remain with a bad debt. The loan balance will be cleared through the insurance,” Maziya said.

01 April 2019 also marks the opening date for the second batch loan applications which will close on 31 May 2019.

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister tours Ministry of Sports offices

29 March 2019

His Excellency the Right Honourable Prime Minister today toured the offices of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs.

Dlamini arrived at the Ministry’s main offices located on the fourth floor of the Eswatini Bank Building in Mbabane just after 8.30am and was welcomed by the Honourable Minister Harries Bulunga and Principal Secretary in the Ministry Prince Mlayeto.

The Prime Minister proceeded to tour the Ministry’s offices led by the Honourable Minister and the P.S. before meeting the entire staff at the Ministry’s Conference room located at the Mbabane House underground level. Addressing the over 40 staff members, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs in the country.

“This is an important Ministry. We thank His Majesty King Mswati III for creating this Ministry. In Africa, statistics show that about 60% of the population is made up of the youth which shows that this Ministry is critical because it focuses on about 60% of our population in Eswatini. We are also a country that is rich in culture and we appreciate having a ministry that will be culture custodians by promoting and preserving it. This Ministry also looks at sport and we know the role that sport plays globally. Sport unites people and harnesses talents. All these three departments under the Ministry are critical,” Dlamini said.

The Prime Minister then heaped praises on the Honourable Minister Bulunga while urging the staff to work together with him to achieve the Ministry’s goals.

“I congratulate you as a Ministry for having a Minister like Mr. Bulunga. He is well known, young and has played a huge role in sport, particularly football. He is a well qualified Minister and even in Cabinet he represents you well. We feel the presence of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs. We hope that you will support him and pray for him as he leads the Ministry. We urge you to work hard and show dedication in your work,” the Premier added.

Making his own remarks afterwards, Bulunga thanked the Prime Minister for visiting the Ministry.

“We appreciate the visit by His Excellency the Right Honourable Prime Minister. We also appreciate the sound words of advice he shared with us and we hope staff will have been motivated by this visit,” Bulunga added.

After meeting the staff, the Prime Minister then privately held discussions with the Ministry’s Head of Departments who were also joined by the four CEO’s of the Ministry’s Public Enterprises namely Stanley Dlamini (ENCAC), Bhekizwe Maziya (Youth Fund), Darius Dlomo (ENSRC) and Makhosami Dlamini (Youth Council).

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