Ellinah Wamukoya

Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya (born 1951) is a Swazi Anglican bishop. Since 2012, she has served as the diocesan bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Eswatini. She is the first woman to be elected as a bishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and of the whole African continent. In 2016, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.[1]

Ellinah Wamukoya
Bishop of Eswatini
ChurchAnglican Church of Southern Africa
DioceseDiocese of Eswatini
Elected18 July 2012
Consecration17 November 2012
by Thabo Makgoba
Personal details
Born1951 (age 68–69)

Early lifeEdit

Wamukoya studied at the universities of Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. She was the chaplain of the University of Eswatini and of St. Michael's High School, in Manzini, as well as Town Clerk and CEO of the City Council of Manzini when she was elected.[2]

Becoming a bishopEdit

Wamukoya was not initially a candidate to succeed Meshack Mabuza as Anglican Bishop of Swaziland, but after seven rounds of inconclusive elections she was elected by a 2/3 majority of the members of the Elective Assembly on 18 July 2012.[3] She was consecrated on 17 November 2012 by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, who called it a "a great occasion".[4] No official representative of Swazi king Mswati III attended the ceremony.[5] The ceremony had been led by David Dinkebogile, who said that Wamukoya was a bishop, "not a black woman, not an African, not a Swazi woman" and "She was to be pastor to all, to men and women, to black and white, to Swazis and all others in her diocese".[4]

She later admitted that being the first female bishop in the Anglican church bore a great weight of responsibility and it was her responsibility to prove that women were suited to the role, adding "I know that the whole world is looking up to me to see if I will deliver."[6] She visited Ireland in 2015, preaching at the St Macartin's Cathedral, Enniskillen on 25 January.[7]


  1. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2016: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Africa elects 1st Anglican woman bishop". Anglican Ink. 19 July 2012. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Swaziland: First Female Anglican Bishop for Africa Elected in a "Spirit-Filled" Atmosphere". All Africa. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Ellinah Wamukoya becomes Africa's first Anglican woman bishop". BBC News. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  5. ^ Zulu, Phathizwe-Chief (November 20, 2012). "Female Anglican bishop a first in Africa". Associated Press. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  6. ^ Unwin, Mike (7 December 2012). "Swaziland: Africa's nutshell nation". The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Bishop Of Swaziland To Visit Enniskillen". Churches in Ireland. 19 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
Meshack Mabuza
Bishop of Swaziland
2012 -