King of Swaziland

Mbandzeni (also known as Dlamini IV, Umbandine, Umbandeen; 1855–1889) was the King of Swaziland from 1875 until 1889. He was the son of Mswati II and Nandzi Nkambule. His mother, the wife of King Mswati, died when he was very young.

Dlamini IV
King of Swaziland
PredecessorLudvonga II
SuccessorNgwane V
RegentQueen Tsandzile Ndwandwe
(aged 33–34)
SpouseLabotsibeni Mdluli
IssueNgwane V
HouseHouse of Dlamini
FatherMswati II
MotherNandzi Nkambule

Mbandzeni became king because his half brother Ludvonga II died before he could become the king. Ludvonga's death resulted in his mother Inkhosikati Lamgangeni adopting Mbandzeni, who was motherless, as her son. That made him king and her the queen mother of Swaziland.

His royal capital was at Mbekelweni. During his kingship, Mbandzeni granted many mining, farming, trading and administrative concessions to white settlers from Britain and the Transvaal. These concessions granted with the help of Offy Sherpstone eventually led to the conventions of 1884 and 1894. Those reduced the overall borders of Swaziland and later made Swaziland a protectorate of the South African Republic. During a period of concessions preceded by famine around 1877 some of the tindvunas (governors) from within Swaziland like Mshiza Maseko and Ntengu kaGama Mbokane were given permission by King Mbandzeni to relocate to farms towards the Komati River. Mshiza Maseko later settled in a place called eLuvalweni, where he was later buried.

Mbandzeni, still in command of a large Swazi army of more than 15000 men aided the British in defeating Sekhukhune in 1879 and preventing Zulu incursion into the Transvaal during the same year. As a result, he guaranteed his country's independence and international recognition despite the Scramble for Africa which was taking place at the time.

Mbandzeni died after an illness in 1889 and is quoted to have said in his deathbed "the Swazi kingship dies with me". He was buried at the royal cemetery at Mbilaneni alongside his father and grandfather Sobhuza I. Mbandzeni was succeeded by his young son Mahlokohla and his wife Queen Labotsibeni Mdluli after a 5-year regency of Queen Tibati Nkambule.

Today a number of buildings and roads in Swaziland are named after Mbandzeni. Among these are the Mbandzeni house in Mbabane and the Mbandzeni Highway to Siteki.