BRANDS BRING COLOUR AT MARULA CEREMONY
Minister of Tourism Moses Vilakati touring Emaganu Products

BRANDS BRING COLOUR AT MARULA CEREMONY

Buhleni – Eswatini Tourism Authority seemed to go all out to display its international branding experience on home turf as its stand, coowned with the Eswatini Trust Commission, stood heads and shoulders above other exhibitors and sponsors at the Buhleni Marula ceremony last weekend. Of course, MTN Eswatini and Eswatini Mobile seemed to slug it out for honours in their own league, literally painting the small town yellow and red respectively. There were many other brands that held their own at the event. This year’s event was both a day to have fund as well as allow companies to network and do business. ETA and ENTC engineered a state-of-the-art stand that came complete with a
VIP lounge where guests luxuriated. The ETA and ENTC’s stands not only sheltered some of the tourists when heavy rains poured, but also attracted crowds from the get-go. ETA and ENTC creatively converted two marquees which were initially meant for Buganu-tasting and selling of traditional food to a multipurpose luxury lounge that hosted, first and foremost, tourists who were eager to learn about the Buganu ceremony and Eswatini culture in general. The
mini-village also incorporated a miniature Swati home which served as a practical and functional aid to teach
the tourists and visitors about the Swati way of life. Malolotja Lodge Supervisor Nonhlanhla Fakudze, whose responsibility was serving food to the esteemed visitors said the marquee was popular with both locals and visitors. “We served exclusively Swati cuisine at very affordable prices, ranging from E5 to E35. Our own people were eager to have a taste of the food. I guess it had a lot to do with the fact that such meals are rarely served in Swati homes nowadays. We served food ranging from emantongomane, tindlubu, umngcushu, emasi, sinkhwa semmbila, and umbidvo,” Fakudze said. ETA Marketing Manager Bongani Dlamini said the marquees also came in handy as television interviews were conducted in them, presenting a convenient yet elegant environment for quality production. Interviews were done with tourists, top officials and some members of the public whose comments were
deemed newsworthy. Tourists were allowed to view as well as relax in the Swati huts. “Our designated area
was rich with knowledge and culture. Dlamni said their main objective was to allow tourists to learn as much
about the Swati way of life as was possible, and not be limited to the Marula ceremony. He said the tourists
were also taught how Buganu is brewed by expert brewers as well as how the popular Buganu juice is made. Lidwala Lodge Manager Phumelele Mamba brought about 15 volunteer tourists to the festival, hailed from Canada, Germany,
Holland Norway and New Zealand. Other exhibitors were Sincephetelo MVA and Philani Maswati. MVA provided creatively made tindziwo, fit for the occasion, while Philani Maswati sold bottled Buganu, which seemed to appeal to an upmarket – as it is served in a variety of sizes – right up to 5 litres for the buyer who desires to take it home.

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