Saturday 14th March 2020 was the day on which the first case of corona virus was confirmed in Eswatini. In the afternoon of that Saturday the whole staff of Business Eswatini was recalled to work. The first placards ever to be printed and distributed country-wide were printed on that very Saturday and distributed by BE staff to locations such as Msunduza, Matsapha, Mahhala and KaKhoza throughout the night of Saturday. By the following week, we had reached every part of the country with the assistance of our members.
Indisputably, Business Eswatini were the first responders to the virus and to this day we have not lifted our foot off the paddle in terms of providing the necessary assistance to those who need it. It has been a privilege to serve our members and the nation under the premium banner of BE and, being classified as an essential service provider, we never got to shut down the office to work from home.
This week marks a year’s anniversary of the virus since it arrived on our shores. As we look back, we are thankful for having survived the scourge. Amazingly, despite the many meetings we hold here at Business Eswatini we have not recorded even one case of infection. And for that we are most grateful indeed. Some think it is because we are, and have been, obsessed with observing the prevention protocols; and others claim it is because we have enjoyed grace. Both statements are not incorrect as far as we are concerned.
It is for this reason that this coming Friday, 19th March, starting from 9.30am we shall hit the Pause Button for an hour to light up candle in remembrance of those that have succumbed to the pandemic. We also ask you to join us at the same time to light up a candle in your business premises to remember your employees who may have also succumbed to the pandemic. Please pause on Friday if only for 5 minutes to light up your candles, then please send us your pictures so that we can make a collage of memorabilia out of them at BE. As you participate in this program, let us all do so with the attitude of gratitude for the lives that have been spared including yours and mine.
However, let us not be unmindful that a third wave has been mooted which will demand extreme vigilance on our part.
We are pleased to announce that the Honourable Minister of Health will join us in person here at Emafini to commemorate the morning with the business sector. The Business Women of Eswatini will avail of the opportunity to recognize the minister’s fortitude during these tumultuous months of the pandemic. The minister will also light up a candle in remembrance of the medical personnel and front-liners that have succumbed to the virus. This event will be broadcast live on digital platforms from which we encourage you to join us live. Join us using our link @ https://www.facebook.com/businesseswatini/
Again, we humbly appeal to the whole private sector across the land: from Hhhohho down to Shiselweni; and from Manzini to Lubombo; to pause in silence for 5 minutes on Friday 9.30 am.