Your Royal Highnesses


Cabinet Ministers

Managing Director of MacMillan and Staff

Regional Administrator

Teachers and students

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


I am honoured to join you all today to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of MacMillan Eswatini, a company that has meaningfully partnered with His Majesty’s Government to deliver quality education since 1979.

I am proud to say I belong to a generation that read some of Macmillan published books in my educational journey and I can hasten to say I enjoyed them.

These books were able to instil the culture of reading on me and my peers and many other Emaswati. As a nation we need to sustain and improve the culture of reading as it does not only improve vocabulary and communication skills but enhances critical and analytical thinking, allowing us to make better choices and develop superior ideas. As the famous British writer Richard Steele once said, “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

Macmillan came into the country at a time when isiZulu was used as the medium of instruction, when the need to incorporate SiSwati in our educational system was a priority. In partnership with Government, Macmillan led a crusade that produced many SiSwati writers through workshops and writers’ competitions. The result was the publishing of books that are now used from entry level to college. Such workshops also provided a platform to sharpen the skills of our writers and unearth a lot of hidden talents thus enhancing the value of education.

Education remains an anchor on which all our development strategies and efforts rest upon. His Majesty’s Government recently launched a Strategic Roadmap that will only succeed with the invaluable input of every LiSwati across all sectors of society, including businesses. It is important that all businesses identify their role and niche in the successful implementation of the Roadmap which aims to cajole inclusive economic growth and stability.

Macmillan for instance has an important role to play through the educational sector.

Without informative and quality books made available to our children and the public, the necessary knowledge required to activate our collective wisdom to renew our economy may be lost.

Publishers such as Macmillan, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the National Curriculum Centre, will need to craft a clear strategy, congruent with the 4th industrial revolution, to ensure that Eswatini produces students who are ready to respond to the demands of a dynamic and ever changing world.

The advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution means companies cannot afford to sit back and simply enjoy past gains and glory. So disruptive are the innovations surfacing with the 4th industrial revolution that companies who fail to jump into the bandwagon with new innovative ideas and enhanced creativity will not survive.  While previous industrial revolutions resulted in major societal transformation, including massive human migration from rural communities into major cities to seek employment in factories, today people can work from home, following major technological advancements through the internet. Similarly, clients can attain services and products from the comfort of their homes.  

This fusion of technologies is blurring the real world with advanced innovations and it is incumbent upon all companies like MacMillan to adopt contemporary business practises throughout the value chain to stay competitive for the next 40 years and more.

I am happy to note that Macmillan has lived up to its billing as a pioneer and stayed ahead through innovation, at a time when the 4th Industrial Revolution brought about disruptions that forced some of the biggest industry giants into closure.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, let me pay special tribute to Macmillan for its sustainable Corporate Social Investment Programmes. While technology provides basic infrastructure without which it is impossible to survive, the best companies of the future will be those that invest in vehicles that solve societal problems.

As Government, we note with gratitude that your social investments have a welcome bias towards education, impacting underprivileged communities. In so doing, you have not only benefited others, but ensured that you can account for the investment made; indeed putting money where your mouth is.

In recent years, Macmillan has added another dimension, expanding into supporting the development of culture in the Kingdom of Eswatini through the Schools Arts and Culture Competition, which entered its fourth year this year. The importance of promoting culture at school level cannot be over emphasized. It is crucial that we instil the pride of cultural identity and heritage to our children from a tender age.

Programme Director, before I conclude, may I pay special tribute to the sadly departed first Managing Director of Macmillan Education Eswatini, Mr Luchi Balarin for his visionary leadership that has sustained the company for 40 years.

He was able to successfully pass the baton to equally capable Directors in Mr Elias Ndwandwe and Mrs Busisiwe Simelane who have steered this ship to calm waters.  

May I also take the opportunity to congratulate employees who have been with this company since its inception, and all others who have gone through these premises. Celebrating the success of a company is also about celebrating the people that make it thrive.

The idiom 'life begins at 40’ may be at times an over-used cliché, but studies have indeed proven that people tend to achieve outstanding things in middle age. Here is to hoping and wishing that MacMillan will soar even higher after reaching this milestone.

Happy Birthday Macmillan and congratulations on your achievements!!!

Thank you. May God bless us all.

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