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The Kingdom of Eswatini

Swazi Rally is back with a bang!

Emaswati and international visitors are preparing for the ride of their lives as Swazi Rally celebrates 30 years of existence in the Kingdom of Eswatini on the 01st – 02nd September 2023. The annual affair draws together fun lovers from all over Africa to enjoy a weekend of biking action and the Rally promises to be a real show stopper this year.

Swazi Rally is an annual motor biking event which draws crowds of bikers from all over the continent. The rally was founded in 1993 with the vision of creating a seamless event for the biking community of Southern Africa.  It is one of the oldest and biggest rallies in Eswatini and has made quite a name for itself. The event which was first held at the Somhlolo National Stadium with just a few hundred bikers, has grown tremendously over years attracting bikers and non-bikers alike. Each year over 10,000 bikers make the much anticipated pilgrimage to Eswatini to engage in a community built on brotherhood and a longstanding history of giving back.

“The biking community in Eswatini has no boundaries, we do not come from one religion, race or orientation,” stated Nhlanhla Maphanga, a biker and part of the Swazi Rally Team. He shared how the diversity and inclusiveness of Eswatini’s biking scene made it special.

“It astonishes people,” he further shared, referring to how foreigners were often intrigued by how the rally brought together people from diverse backgrounds. Maphanga shared how it was common to see diverse groups sitting together and enjoying the rally without segregation. It is this spirit of unity that makes Maphanga look forward to another year of having fun with both new and old friends at the 2023 edition of Swazi Rally.

Fellow biker and Pastor, Bongani Simelane echoed Maphanga’s sentiments. He shared how Swazi Rally, and the biking community in Eswatini as a whole, is a space for all. Simelane, who began attending Swazi Rally in the mid 90’s shared how his mission as a Pastor was to combat negative stereotypes concerning bikers. He works to show people that bikers in their vast diversity are human like everyone else and that anyone, regardless of their religious affiliation can attend and have a good time.

“As a Christian it is about having your personal boundaries and enjoying clean fun,” Simelane stated. He said that it is in attending events like the rally that one gains good memories which make life more exciting.

Swazi Rally Giving Back

The sense of community enjoyed between bikers is also extended to the greater society. Many may know the rally for being a big party. However, those in the know understand that it is more than that. The Rally has been a major supporter of women and youth development in agriculture through the Woman Farmer Foundation.  On top of this, the national event contributes over E100,000.00 to communities in need.

This year the biking community and Emaswati as a whole can look forward to a rally experience like never before. To celebrate 30 years of existence, the rally looks to take its philanthropic efforts to the next level by going beyond the 3-day event. The organizers announced that they will be positively spreading the impact of the rally over the year by creating a greater focus on giving back to society. Swazi Rally will be running campaigns, and youth empowerment initiatives. This year, Swazi Rally looks to bring their philanthropic efforts to the fore. Organizers will reveal the different initiatives with time so all must keep their eyes and ears open.

Simelane shared how to be a biker you need to have a big heart. This is what sustains the sense of community and brotherhood. “The rally, alongside the biking community, has always been involved in community service, it is part of the biking culture,” stated the Spokesperson, Mpumalanga Zwane. “This year we are looking to go bigger and be a lot more intentional about the work we do in the community. The year-long program will really benefit Emaswati and we look forward to bringing something new as we celebrate turning 30.”

The Swazi Rally organizers are also spreading the spirit of giving back through their social media pages. The public is called to keep their eyes on the Swazi Rally Facebook page where they are running competitions for fun lovers to win a few prizes.  Members of the public stand a chance of nabbing a few goodies to enjoy at the rally. Up for grabs is a drink voucher and 2 free tickets to the rally. By simply guessing who this year’s headliner is, the lucky winners could nab the freebies to enjoy during the event.

“2023 is for giving back,” states Zwane. “30 years is not a small achievement. We appreciate the support, our sponsors, friends and the public have shown us over the years. Giving back is our thank you for the sustained support that has contributed to our ability to come back every year to host such a great event.”

The public can buy their early bird tickets here. They can also contact to rent tents should they want to camp onsite.