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Robert Dlamini, Swazi Pioneer

Robert Dlamini, Swazi Pioneer

Sobhuza I, a beloved king of Swaziland in the early 1800s, once dreamed of a white people with “hair like cattle tails, carrying a book and money pieces”. He advised his people never to harm the missionaries and to accept the book (the Bible), but to refuse the corrupting money. In 1979, a descendant of Sobhuza I, Robert Dlamini, was the first Swazi to accept another witness of Jesus Christ—the Book of Mormon.

It was a big change for Brother Dlamini to leave his country to study mining management in Cardiff, Wales. But a bigger change than that lay ahead. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wales in 1979 and returned home an elder—the only Latter-day Saint in Swaziland.

In 1990, Brother Dlamini was surprised to meet a fellow Latter-day Saint and learn that a branch of the LDS Church in the capital city of Mbabane had been holding meetings since 1988. He eagerly began attending Church and soon baptized his wife and daughter.

In February 1990, Elder Neal A. Maxwell dedicated Swaziland for the preaching of the gospel, and one year later there were more than 100 members led by three Swazi branch presidents: Jerome Shongwe, William Malaza, and Eric Malinga.