After Swaziland became independent in 1968, King Sobza II abolished the constitution and took over the executive, legislative and judicial powers; the status of the local people was very low, and it is still the most authoritarian, darkest, and most closed country in the world. one. The picture below right shows the anti-monarchy protests in Swaziland.
Swaziland is a small landlocked country located in southeastern Africa. Although it has a land area of only 17,300 square kilometers and a population of only 1.39 million, it has verdant peaks, vertical and horizontal ravines, undulating valleys and rushing waterfalls. The scenery is very beautiful, not as primitive and barren as people think of Africa.
In history, after a long and bumpy years, Swaziland broke free from the control of the British Empire and became an independent country. But so far, it still prohibits political parties from participating in elections, and is one of the few countries in the world that still implements an absolute monarchy.
At the same time, Swaziland is also a world-famous “short-lived country”, with the shortest life expectancy in the world, at only 35 years old, and the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Even so, polygamy still prevails in this country, with the king taking the lead in marrying hundreds of wives, propagating thousands of offspring, and convening 100,000 girls for naked selection of concubines every year. His many strange behaviors shocked the world and met fierce resistance from the local people.
The small land born in hardship is authoritarian and closed, poor and short-lived
Swaziland is located on the eastern slope of the Drakensberg Mountains on the southeastern edge of the South African Plateau. It is surrounded by South Africa on its north, west and south sides. Only part of the country borders Mozambique on the east. The distance between north and south is no more than 200 kilometers, and the distance between east and west is no more than 130 kilometers. It is one of the smallest countries in Africa.
Swaziland is not only closely connected with South Africa geographically, but its modern history is also entangled in the historical process of South Africa. It is the product of the struggle between blacks, whites and British colonists.
Like South Africa, the oldest indigenous people in Swaziland are the Khoisan people. This race is very primitive in terms of physical characteristics and language. The average height is about 1.4 meters, with inner canthal eye folds, and it is clearly recognizable among blacks. By the 15th century, the Bantu people, which originated in northern Africa, entered South Africa on a large scale, and gradually became the main black ethnic group in South Africa after the Dutch colonists carried out the brutal massacre of the Khoisan. In the mid-18th century, the leader of a tribe of the Bantu tribe, Ngwani III, led the tribe into what is now Swaziland and established the capital in Lobamba.
Since then, Swaziland has opened its kingdom era. The third-generation monarch Sobza I used force to conquer and merge with tenderness, allowing the neighboring black tribes with a long history to annex; under the fourth-generation monarch Mswati II, Swaziland completed the national internal affairs. Integration also established a complete monarchy system, and the name of the Kingdom of Swaziland was born. In this way, at the beginning of the 19th century, Swaziland became a force that cannot be ignored on the map of southern Africa.
However, no matter how strong the local power is, it cannot completely resist the strong ships and guns of the European aggressors. Taking advantage of the Dutch infighting with France in Europe, Britain took the opportunity to invade the Dutch colony in South Africa. At the beginning of the 20th century, the British included Swaziland under their “protection” and ruled for more than 60 years. It was not until 1968 that Swaziland declared independence. After five years of independence, King Sobza II blatantly abolished the constitution, banned all political parties, monopolized the executive, legislative and judicial powers, and implemented an autocratic monarchy. After the death of Sobza II, although the current King Mswati III promulgated a new constitution in 2006, granting citizens some human rights, freedom of speech and association, and promised to protect judicial independence, but it did not touch on the lifting of party ban and the king’s Absolute power possessed by judicial, administrative, and parliamentary affairs. To this day, Swaziland is still the most authoritarian, darkest, and most closed country on the African continent.
Despite being close to South Africa, Swaziland, like many sub-Saharan African countries, is still poor and backward. This country doesn’t even have a real city, and Mbabane, the most prosperous capital, is nothing but a rural town. The vast majority of people here live on farming, and the few industrial and mining companies are also the private property of Taiwanese companies or the king.
Swaziland is a small country with a small population, and its presence in the world is too low, but it ranks first in the world with two indicators: First, the average life expectancy of the people is less than 35 years (in 2008, it was only 31 years old). It is indeed the shortest-lived country in the world. There is no one; the other is the HIV infection rate as high as 43%, which is also the highest in the world. “Poverty” and “short-lived” are the most prominent labels in the country. Only 10% of the people in the country can lead a self-sufficient life, while 63% live below the poverty line, and about 80% do not have three meals a day. ——This is not their living habits, but because they are poor and unable to eat, they have to cut one or even two meals. The entire country is dominated by agricultural production, but the cultivated area is only 14.3%. Such an economic structure is doomed to the country’s economic trend. The underdevelopment of the economy directly affects the standard of living, medical and health care, and naturally determines the average life expectancy of the people.
The people are polygamous, and the king’s belle 3,000 “reed festival” 100,000 girls naked choose concubines
Poverty is often accompanied by backwardness.
In Swaziland, there are still many legacy of primitive tribal life. The status of women here is not high, polygamy prevails, and there is also the custom of swapping wives. In fact, there is basically no marriage system here, and there is no word “divorce” in the language of this country, but men can divorce their wives, drive their wives back to their natal families, and return to the cow that was used as a betrothal gift before marrying another one.
Both the former and current kings of Swaziland are powerful practitioners of polygamy. The former King Sobza II, his life is legendary: in 61 years of his reign, he married more than 120 concubines, and even rain and dew, gave birth to more than 1,000 children and grandchildren. The current King Mswati III is the 67th son of Sobza II. Compared with his father, he has 15 wives and 35 children. This “innocent” king chooses a young and beautiful princess at the concubine selection ceremony every year, but his most recent concubine concubine date back to 2017. It is said that there is no concubine concubine in recent years because there is no fancy girl. .
When it comes to choosing a concubine, we have to mention the “Reed Festival”. This was originally a traditional festival in Swaziland and can be called a fossil-level cultural heritage in Africa. The Reed Festival originated from the Girls’ Adult’s Day. It is a traditional event to promote girls’ femininity, show their pure bodies, celebrate girls’ adulthood and express chastity. Therefore, all girls participating in this festival must be unmarried virgins. Regardless of their usual clothes, they only wore colorful short skirts during the festival, with their upper bodies naked and unobstructed. During the festival, thousands of graceful girls sang and danced with reeds that symbolize chastity and carnival. In the eyes of the girls, what is displayed at the Reed Festival is not only their own youthful charm, but also the unique national culture of Swaziland.
The four small pictures on the left page are the daily life silhouettes of local residents in Swaziland; the picture on the upper right is the Swaziland girls at the Reed Festival, holding long bundles of reeds, they are full of happy smiles.
The main purpose of the Reed Festival in the past was to educate the girls on the importance of labor and to provide enough reeds for the queen dowager to repair the palace, but since 1999, King Mswati III directly turned this festival into his own concubine selection ceremony. Every year he chooses a girl he likes to be the princess.
The Reed Festival lasts for eight days. Each year, Swaziland’s “great wizard” selects the “Auspicious Days” according to the solar calendar (usually at the end of August and early September), and then reports to the king to announce the date to the outside world.
On the first day, girls from 380 tribes across the country (called Imbali in the local language, meaning flower) went to the imperial village to register under the leadership of their chiefs. In the following days, the “flowers” were grouped according to different ages, and under the leadership of the royal princess, they trek to the river bank to harvest reeds. Everyone has to chop off 20 reeds and take them back to the royal village. This is their ticket to participate in the celebration.
By the afternoon of the sixth day, the “flowers” could not wait to dress themselves up, comb a unique hairstyle, tidy up colorful dance skirts, and hold reeds to head to the royal village radiantly. While waiting to enter the palace, they began to dance, and their feet would step on the ground forcefully in accordance with the rhythm, raising the dust, and the reeds in their hands would dance with them. According to local customs, if the reed breaks in the wind, it means that the woman is not a chaste body, so the girls will take extra care of the long reed in their hands.
The seventh day is a national public holiday and the climax of the entire festival. The girls were naked to the top, only decorated with various tassels on their necks, and their lower bodies were dressed in short skirts with colored balls. They also wore clicking ankle bracelets on their ankles. Under the leadership of the princesses with red feathers on their heads, Entered in the form of a phalanx, stomping, singing, and swinging in untiring pace. King Mswati III will visit the event in person and take his subordinates to and from the phalanx to find his next princess. The girl who was fortunate enough to be in the eyes of the king stepped up to the sky, and began to live in the villa and palace, and then the luxury life of the BMW and the car.
On the last day of the ball, the king will order 25 cows to be slaughtered, and the girls will go home after eating the beef satisfactorily, and the annual Reed Festival will come to an end.
“The rich abbot lives in the poor temple” counts the absurdities of the strange king
The annual Reed Festival often uses “thousands of bare-chested girls” and “a place where every man dreams” as gimmicks, attracting tourists from all over the world. The reed festival, which mobilizes teachers and mobilizes the crowd, is expensive and has also been criticized by the outside world.
In fact, although almost 60% of the residents are still in abject poverty, Mswati III has overwhelmed the Spanish and Japanese royal families, ranking 15th on the Forbes list of the world’s richest monarchs with a net worth of US$2 billion. In 2020, Swaziland’s GDP is 3.962 billion U.S. dollars. From a per capita perspective of 3,415 U.S. dollars, it can be ranked in the forefront of southern Africa; but half of the country’s wealth is owned by the king as private property. The gap is staggering, a typical “poor temple and rich abbot”. According to reports, Mswati III also allocates 61 million US dollars to the royal family every year, and even took money from the National Bank, which forced the bank to go bankrupt.
King Mswati III relied on his absolute power to not only gather wives and concubines in groups, but also to amass money arbitrarily, his personal possessions were amazing, his life style was arrogant and luxurious, and his travels inside and outside were also full of style.
This king is rich and invincible. He is extremely extravagant. Not only does he marry 15 wives and concubines, he is also very greedy for pleasure. Although the country is poor, it does not prevent him from buying 19 Rolls Royce, 120 BMW cars, and two private jets. In addition, he built 13 palaces for himself and his wives at a cost of 20 million U.S. dollars.
Although Mswati III spent money on himself and his concubines, the harem was not stable. First, the fifth princess Margova Sain had an affair with a 23-year-old man and was beaten into the cold palace; then the sixth princess Hevala quietly ran away and successfully fled Swaziland before publicly condemning the king’s abuse of herself. Mswati III was given a big “slap”; then, the 12th princess, who was married through the selection ceremony, derailed the Minister of Justice after falling out of favor…The concubine fled, derailed, and even staged the king’s use of tricks to catch rape. The drama, so the royal family is extremely bloody!
As the absolute monarch of the kingdom, Mswati III was not only rich, but also self-willed. He can appoint parliamentarians himself, select the prime minister, cabinet members, and veto any decision he doesn’t like, but these are just basic operations under the monarchy. The incredible decrees he issued were truly jaw-dropping.
Due to the domestic AIDS epidemic, Mswati III ordered a permanent imprint on the buttocks of the infected person. Before having sex, the other party can check if there is a stamp on the other party’s buttocks to reduce the probability of transmitting the virus through sexual behavior. ; It has also ordered the country to ban sexual activity for five years, but for this black country with extremely open sexual concepts, this is impossible. This “anti-humanity” measure has instead caused promiscuity, prostitution, abortion and even infanticide. Waiting for the prevalence of behavior can only be abolished in the end. He also ordered underage women to remain chaste and fined a cow for the offender. However, he turned around and married a 17-year-old girl as a concubine. He was completely free from the law. In order to quell public anger, he was sentenced to a fine. Bull, but this is really not worth mentioning to the king who has huge wealth. Even when speaking on the radio, Swati III made strange remarks from time to time. He once said: “The reason for so many diseases in the world is because women wear pants.” Therefore, Swaziland once had a law: Women cannot wear pants, otherwise they will be taken off and torn in the street.
This is Swaziland. Under the baptism of modern civilization, it still stubbornly maintains a primitive, backward, poor, and closed strange country.