ESWATINI: Curiosities

africanlanders

December 29, 2021

– Do you know that present-day Eswatini was formerly known as Swaziland?

In April 2018 Swaziland changed its name to Eswatini, although today many people still know this country as Swaziland. The reason for the change is mainly linguistic and finally, also for the colonial past.

The British called it Swaziland, the land of the Swazis. Now, in 2018 (50 years after independence), King Mswati III has decided that the name is Eswatini, which also means the land of the Swazis but in the local language.

Eswatini (or also known before as Swaziland)

– Do you know that Eswatini is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere?

With an area of ​​just over 17,000 square kilometers and a population of about 1 million, Eswatini is considered the smallest country in the southern hemisphere.

The smallest country in the world is Vatican City, followed by Monaco and Nauru.  Eswatini is in 45th position, just behind East Timor.

Eswatini.

– Do you know that a system of absolute monarchy is still in place in Eswatini?

Currently, there are only 7 absolute monarchies left in the world, and one of them is Eswatini (the rest are Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Vatican City). This monarchy is one of the oldest in history, as Eswatini is one of the only African countries that maintained, after its independence from the colonizers, the same regime it had before.

The king in Eswatini practices polygamy. It is not known for sure how many women and children he has, but every year a festival is held called Umhlanga where virgin women of the country dance for the king so that he chooses them as his wife. If you want to know more about the history of this country, you can click here.

Umhlanga Festival (photo taken from www.peacecorps.gov)

– Do you know that Eswatini is the country with the highest HIV rate in the world?

Eswatini is the country with the largest number of HIV-infected people in the world.  According to data from 2017, it is estimated that 25% of the population is infected with this virus.

Inside of a swazi house.

– Do you know that Eswatini is one of the most homogeneous countries in Africa?

Unlike most African countries where we find different tribal groups in the same territory, in Eswatini 90% of the population is Swazi.

They speak the same language that has some curious features like some months of the year they call them from the animal that gives birth in that month of the year. For example, November is called impala because it is when most of these animals are born.

Swazi village.

– Do you know that the reign of Sobhuza II is considered the longest reign in the history of the world?

Sobhuza II, was the king who declared the independence of the country in 1968. This king is considered the one who has reigned for more years in all the world history. Do you know how many years? 82 years and 254 days!

He was proclaimed king in 1899 just four months after his father Ngwane V suffered a sudden death. Her mother and uncle held the regency of the country until 1921, when Sobhuza came of age. He ruled the country on an absolutist basis during independence until his death in 1982. He was succeeded by his son Mswati III.

King Sobhuza II during the country’s declaration of independence in 1968.

Categories: ESWATINI
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