Country HolidaysSeptember

Somhlolo Day

Celebrating Eswatini's (Swaziland) Independence on Somhlolo Day - Friday, September 6, 2019

The Eswatini Independence Day or the Swaziland Somhlolo Day is celebrated every year on September 6. This national holiday commemorates the day of 1968 when the Kingdom of Eswatini (previously known as Swaziland) under the leadership of King Sobhuza II gained independence from the colonial rule of Great Britain.

About Somhlolo Day in Eswatini

September 6 in Eswatini is called the Somhlolo Day, commemorating Eswatini’s independence achieved from Great Britain in 1968. Previously known as Swaziland, the country remained under British colonial rule for over 66 years and was granted complete independence on 6 September 1968.

Somhlolo Day is one of the most significant holidays of the Eswatini calendar, observed with countrywide celebrations which include dancing, singing, flag raising, and cultural exhibitions.

Swaziland Eswatini Independence Somhlolo Day September 6
September 6 is the Independence Day of Swaziland, commemorating its autonomy achieved in 1968.
Date:Friday, September 6, 2019
Also Called:
Swaziland Independence Day, Eswatini Independence Day, Somhlolo Day, Sobhuza Day
Significance:
the Swaziland Declaration of Independence on September 6, 1968
Celebrations:Cultural Dances, Songs, Feasting, Exhibitions
Years of Independence:51 Years

Eswatini Independence Day in 2019

Eswatini Independence or Somhlolo Day 2019 falls on Friday, September 6. The day celebrates Eswatini’s 51 Years of Independence. Happy Independence Day to the Kingdom of Eswatini!

Independence History

The modern Eswatini was previously known as Swaziland. In the 1800s, the Swazi people came in contact with the Boers, who took control of their lands, to farm and later on they found gold so there was, even more, taking over of the land.

In 1902 after the Second Anglo Boer War, Swaziland came under the control of Great Britain as a protectorate. The country remained a British protectorate for the next 66 years.

The British rule in Swaziland was peaceful, but they were so much attracted towards the “rich-in-mineral and fertile land of the Swaziland” that they ultimately took about 2/3rd of the Swazi people’s land and gave it to its settlers, leaving the Swazi people with a little infertile land to live off.

Having no land for agriculture, farming, and cattle-herding activities – the Swazi people left their homes to raise money as mine-workers and purchase their lands back from the British. Meanwhile, the King Sobhuza II after being unable to regain the land through the court system, raised the tax and used that tax money to buy parts of land back from the British and distributed it among the Swazi people.

Soon there were demands of ‘independent Swaziland’ which kept on increasing with each passing year. Limited self-government was granted in 1963.

In 1964 elections, all the seats were won by nationalist-supporting candidates who favored an independent Swaziland – giving a clear sign to the colonial masters that Swaziland wants independence. However, it was four years later when Great Britain let Swaziland go its way.

Swaziland gained its independence on September 2, 1968. M.George Thompson, the commonwealth secretariat, handed over the instruments of independence to the 69-year-old King Sobhuza II who made the Swaziland Declaration of Independence in front of an audience of 400,000 Swazi people. Swaziland was now a completely independent country, with King Sobhuza II as the Head of State.

Eswatini Independence History Timeline
1800s
Boers arrive in Swaziland and take control of the lands
1894
Great Britain and the Boer Republic of Transvaal jointly rule Swaziland
1902
Great Britain takes control of Swaziland after the Second Anglo Boer War
1907
Swaziland becomes a British High Commission territory
1921King Sobhuza II comes to the throne
1964
King Sobhuza’s political party (INM) wins the elections
1968
Swaziland gains independence from British colonial rule

Celebrations & Activities

Eswatini celebrates its independence on September 6 as Somhlolo Day. There is a wide range of celebrations held throughout the country, with the grandest of celebrations held in the capital city of Lobamba. The most common celebratory activities and traditions are cultural dance shows, concerts, family get-togethers, feasting on traditional dishes, and exhibitions.

Interesting Facts

  • September 6 is the Independence Day of Swaziland, commemorating its autonomy achieved in 1968.
  • Swaziland was the last British territory in Africa to obtain independence.
  • When King Sobhuza II was declaring independence of Swaziland, more than King’s hundred wives and 400,000 Swazi people were present at the ceremony.
  • Swaziland Independence ended 66 years of British rule and with it almost the whole history of Britain in Afirca.

Happy Wishes Lines

  • Happy Independence Day to the alluring country of Swaziland as they celebrate their 51st year of independence from Britain!
  • Happy 51st Independence Day to our Kingdom of eSwatini Brothers and Sisters.
  • Happy Independence Day to our beautiful Kingdom of Eswatini. May God strengthen and prosper us and our posterity!
  • Happy Independence Day eSwatini, wishing you strength to strive for positive peace in the Kingdom.
  • May Swaziland preserve its independence in prosperity and peace.
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