Phinda Magagula, a Swazi student based in Taiwan, has decided to be a cultural champion  in Taiwan and is exciting his colleagues with local dances and songs of incwala.

As a champion of cultural diversity, Nanhua University in Taiwan allows for cultural diversity for its cohort of students drawn from various parts of the world. The University prides itself on providing itself a platform that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of its students. 

One such event was a presentation by local student, Magagula, who shared his passion for Swazi culture, including the traditional Incwala ceremony. The Incwala ceremony is a national prayer that takes place in eSwatini around the end of the year. It involves a series of dances and rituals that are steeped in history and tradition.

It is an important event for the Swazi people as it marks the end of the end of year and is seen as a way of asking God´s blessings and guidance for the upcoming year.

During his presentation at Nanhua University, Magagula shared the significance of the Incwala ceremony and its importance to the Swazi people. He also demonstrated some of the dance moves associated with Incwala, something that was met with enthusiasm and excitement from the Taiwanese students.

Taiwan based Swazi student Phinda Magagula. He organised a cultural event at his university 

It was really exciting and funnier to take the initiative though some foreign students were struggling with some moves in the initial stages of the dance but they eventually mastered the dance moves. Even professors were so intrigued and hence joined the dance and ensured it is captured,” stated Magagula in an interview with The Bridge.

The presentation was made possible by the efforts of Magagula's classmates, who collaborated to ensure the event was a success. Students told The Bridge that they are all lovers of culture and customs hence the presentation was fun and an opportunity for them to learn and share their knowledge with their host nation.

Taiwanese students on the other hand were particularly excited with the opportunity to learn about the Incwala ceremony. Some of the foreign students expressed interest in attending the ceremony in the near future.

The presentation was also an opportunity for Magagula to highlight the importance of preserving ancient traditions and customs. He emphasized that the Incwala ceremony is a way for the Swazi people to connect with their heritage and their spiritual beliefs and that it is important for future generations to pay regard and honour to these customs.

Some of the Swazi students in Taiwan that attended the event at Nanhua University.

I am for the idea that this event be kept in the school's archives as it is an ancient tradition to the Swazi people to connect with God. It’s our prayer as a nation before the Western way of worship came. We need to ensure that the learned generation pays regard and honour to the customs of our forefathers,” he added.

Overall, the presentation was a resounding success, and the students and professors alike were intrigued by our Incwala ceremony and the rich cultural heritage of the country.

The country has good bilateral relations with Taiwan and provides studying and job opportunities for Swazis.