SWAZILAND National Association of Teachers (SNAT) President Sibongile Mazibuko called upon newly ordained Anglican Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and speak for the disadvantaged.
Speaking after the ordination and enthronement of the bishop at Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre on Saturday, Mazibuko said they were pleased that one of theirs (women) had assumed such a big task and they were looking forward to her leading the chuch in good faith and speaking for the disadvantaged.
“As members of the civic society, we call upon Bishop Wamukoya to be the eyes for the blind, ears for the deaf and mouth for the dumb,” she said.
Mazibuko called upon the bishop to put more effort while leading the church as her capabilities were seen while she was serving as Municipal Council of Manzini CEO. When called by the programe director to greet the bishop, she had not been given a chance to express herself as there were no impromptu speeches allowed at that time.
The only words speakers were told to say when greeting the bishop were, “Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, on behalf of (name of organisation) I greet you and pray that the Almighty God will bless your ministry abundantly”. However, Mazibuko made her feelings known when interviewed immediately after the service. Present during the ceremony were prominent figures that included High Court Judges Qinisile Mabuza and Mumcy Dlamini, Mbabane Municipal Council CEO Gideon Mhlongo, Reverend Johannes Mazibuko and many others.
The event was attended by Anglicans both from within the country and those from South Africa.
SNAT’s Sibongile very popular among Anglicans
SIBONGILE Mazibuko, the SNAT President, seems to be the woman of the moment as she got a round of applause when she was called to the altar to greet the bishop.
She had not even started talking when the fully packed Anglicans inside the main hall of Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre stated ululating and giving her a round of applause while some lifted their hands up in jubilation.
Even after she had briefly greeted the bishop, the same was accorded to her by the jubiliant Christians while some shouted her name.
First female African bishop ordained
History was made when Wamukoya was officially concecrated as the first female Anglican Bishop within the African continent.
The ordination and enthronement was attended by more than 1 000 people at the Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre’s main hall.
The bishop was officially pronounced the Anglican Diocese of Swaziland bishop by Reverend Dr Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town and the Metropolitan Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
Presenting bishops during the event were the Right Reverend Rubi Phillip from Natal and the Right Reverend Dr Daniel Kgomosotho from Mpumalanga.
Wamukoya is the fifth Swazi Anglican bishop in the diocese as she takes over from retired the bishop Meshack Mabuza.
BRIEFLY ABOUT THE BISHOP
n Ellinah Wamukoya was born Simelane
n She is married to Henry Okworo Wamukoya
n Has been serving as a reverend in the church before her elction as bishop
n She is former Manzini Municipal Council CEO
n The first female Anglican bishop in Africa
n She is the fifth Swazi Anglican bishop
Wamukoya, hubby share ‘holy kiss’
As if it was their wedding day, newly ordained Anglican Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya and her husband engaged in a ‘holy kiss’ after she had been officially declared Bishop for the Diocese of Swaziland.
It was after the programme director had announced that even during a wedding, pastors announce that ‘you may now kiss the bride’ that the bishop’s Kenyan husband Henry Okwaro Wamukoya went for the bishop’s lips and kissed her.
A round of applause and ululations followed this from the more than 1 000 Anglicans who had packed the main hall at Mavuso Trade Centre on Saturday.
The visibly overjoyed husband and other family members had been called to the altar to take pictures with the bishop.
She is the first female bishop in the African continent within the Anglican family after being elected following the retirement of Meshack Mabuza in December last year.
The event was well organised and attended by prominent figures who congratulated the bishop on her new task.
Government snubs Bishop’s ordination
GOVERNMENT representatives were conspicuously absent during the ordination of Bishop Wamukoya despite that they had received a formal invitation.
The programme director called for the government representative more than twice but no one showed up and other speakers were then called to the podium.
Also not present were representatives from royalty, regional administrator and the Manzini Municipal Council.
According to one of the organisers of the event, all the speakers had been formally invited to the historic event but failed to make it.
There were, however, no immediate apologies for their no show but other well-wishers were later given a chance to greet the bishop.