Educated at Franson Christian Memorial School and the National School at Matsapa. In 1938 he went to the Umphumulo Teachers’ Training Institute at Natal, South Africa, and qualified in 1940.
His first job was headmaster of Bethel Mission School. After a series of posts, taking him to be principal of the National High School at Lobamba and chairman of the Swaziland Teachers’ Association, he abandoned teaching in 1947 and took up farming. In 1949 he became a rural development officer and was subsequently appointed a member of the Central Rural Development Board set up by the King.
On the death of his father in 1950 Prince Makhosini succeeded to the chieftainship of Enkungwini and an increasing number of national duties. At times the King required him to act as Secretary to the Swazi nation. In July 1952 he headed a delegation to Lesotho (then Basutoland) to study soil conser vation and treasury procedures. In 1959 the King nominated him to a committee set up on mineral rights. Later that year he was given 12 months’ leave of absence for a scholarship to study public administration at Torquay, England, and co-operative societies at Copenhagen, Denmark.
As the spearhead of the committee Prince Makhosini pushed the production of constitutional recommendations from August 1965 until a report was ready in March 1966. After negotiations with the British government a new constitution incorporating most of their proposals was promulgated in March 1967. Under new elections held in April 1967 the Prince won Mbuluzi constituency and his party took all 24 seats in Parliament. His first action after becoming Prime Minister on April 25, 1967, was to demand independence which the British government agreed to grant on September 6, 1968.
The Prince began his premiership with the shrewd observation that with South Africa as a big neighbour Swaziland was in “no position to enter the lists of international power politics in the spirit of a medieval crusade”. Yet he was emphatic in setting an example of racial harmony to the rest of southern
Africa and slowly steered the country towards more commitment to the causes of fellow Africans.
He was hailed for his courageous stand at the conference of the Organisation of African Unity at Addis Ababa in September 1970. There he issued a rallying call for all OAU members to help everyone in the African continent on the road to self-determination. He said. “No African country should remain neutral.”
Some of his party’s appeal was swept away in the torrential rains during the election campaign in May 1972. He issued warnings against complacency after the Imbokodvo lost three seats and opened the door for the first opposition in Parliament since independence headed by Dr Ambrose Zwane and his National Libcratory Congress Party.
Founder-chairman of the Imbokodvo (Grindstone) National Movement in 1964 with the right balanced attitude for leading the country to independence on September 6, 1968.
In November 1963, convinced that the pace of political advance in Swaziland should be increased, he led a delegation to London with constitutional proposals to the British government. Though it brought constitutional changes, they were not enough for the Prince. In 1964 the movement known as the King's Party was founded with Prince Makhosini as leader. His Imbokodvo won 10 of the 12 national roll seats in the Legislative Council at the September 1964 elections and soon afterwards persuaded the British government to establish a committee to prepare proposals for self-government.
A man of royal blood-nephew of King Sobhuza II with varied experience as schoolmaster, farmer and rural development officer. Above all a realist, aware of the geographical and economic limitations of his landlocked country with South Africa as an almost all-embracing neighbour.
A rounded figure-physically and mentally-with immense charm and natural dignity typified by his arrival for his first Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference at Marlborough House, London, in January 1969, wearing, with great aplomb, a bowler hat.
Widely travelled in Africa and Europe, Prince Makhosini has won widespread respect for his rational policy aimed at combining what he calls "a maximum of acumen with a minimum of heroics". His phrasemaking talents have been sharpened in recent years in establishing a more clearly defined position for his country, much less sycophantic to South Africa, much more sympathetic to the aspirations of African nationalist movements.