Khonelia Zwane – Swaziland

Khonelia Zwane – Swaziland

Date: June 7, 2012
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A Bucopho in the Ngwempisi Inkhundla, Khonelia Zwane is in her second term in office. While there are now three women in her inkhundla previously she was the only one and there were times when she needed support.

Bucopho Khonelia Zwane is a mentor and role model to her community – both men and women, but she highlights the importance of learning from others those things that she might not know. This approach is one that sees relationship-building as mutually beneficial and as another avenue for learning.

During her first term in office, she came across an interesting project in another inkhundla and she decided that she was going to try and bring it to Ngwempisi. “I travelled to the Mahlangatsha Inkundla to get help and get information and learn.” She recalls how she contacted one of the woman councillors who had shared the project with her. “I called her and went to see her, even though I did not know her. She encouraged me to come and at the end, I even ended up sleeping at her house.”

While she is not afraid to ask for help, she also provides a lot of support for the councillors in her Inkundhla. She says that there are many new councillors, and most of them come to her to ask for help or to ask for guidance regarding the work. “We work really well together and are very supportive of each other. As someone who has been in Council before, they see me as someone who knows more about Council business than them. Because of my first term experience, they see me as ‘inkabi endala esaziyo” (as the one who knows more than they do).”

She believes that it is very important for women to support one another and that learning from others is a very important factor that enables them to participate effectively.


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