RIP Senator Mike Temple

Mike’s passing has greatly affected the whole MTN Bushfire Festival family.

Mike was fiercely proud of being Swazi, and was an ambassador of our rich culture. He helped to initiate the MTN title sponsorship of the Bushfire Festival, in 2012, and remained a vital part of the team, serving as Chairman of the Bushfire Festival Committee until his untimely death last Friday.

As Chairman of the Bushfire committee, Mike had the opportunity to profoundly affect arts development in eSwatini. His interest in supporting the arts went far beyond his chairmanship; Mike played a mentorship and managerial role to many Swazi artists, including helping to put Bholoja on the map. Mike’s main support for Swazi artists was practical; he concentrated on helping them on the business side, to enable them to make a living from their talent.

This selfless side of Mike was a hallmark characteristic. He was available to everybody, and always ready to give of his energy, time and expertise. He had a wide variety of interests but was inspired by the arts because it was a vehicle that allowed us to celebrate our cultural landscape; to support our stories as Swazis. It allowed us to celebrate who and where we are.

At the Bushfire Festival, Mike managed the Golden Lounge. A staunch traditionalist, he understood protocol and to many he was the face of the festival. He was always one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave – he had amazing dedication.

His avid support for Malandela’s and House on Fire’s activities—and his support for the Thorne family—is deeply appreciated. Mike will be greatly missed by us all. He was a mentor to us, as well as a patron of the arts.

He leaves a big vacuum in people’s lives because he was something to everybody. He always had a kind word or a greeting, no matter who he was speaking to. We offer our heart-felt condolences to his family.

The whole Bushfire team feel his loss and we are determined to take his dream forward and fulfill his vision.

Hamba Kahle Mike, Hamba Kahle Makhanyakudze! we celebrate you!