Babs AjayiThursday, September 1, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada



Virgins parade for King Mswati

t has become an annual show of shame, a disgraceful carnival that parades young girls and virgins for an obsessed monarch to have his pick. King Mswati of Swaziland recently plucked a new bride "from among thousands of dancing girls dressed in little more than beads and traditional skirts" reported the highly reputable Toronto Star in its August 30, 2005 edition. Over fifty thousand bare-breasted virgins are said to have "vied to become King Mswati III's 13th wife in an event which critics say ill benefits a nation with the world's highest HIV/AIDS rate". Here is the king with an assembly line that churns out maidens, a special breed of virgins. All hail the king, long live chief erotica. Is it not obvious that the irresponsible king is the major sponsor and champion of AIDS and HIV? The sponsor and patron of the killer disease that is gradually and steadily depleting his nation's population, King Mswati prefers to keep his country well behind the times, held bound by the lust and sexual orgy of a monarch who is adding no value in the right directions, a monarch sold to the benefits and lust of the flesh.

King Mswati III issued a decree as it were in September 2001 forbidding men from sleeping with teenage girls for the next five years, his own response to the aids epidemic in his country. He is yet to abide by his own decree. I guess King Mswati III is the law and being the king cannot be help to adhere to simple laws of the land. He is moving from one teenage virgin to another and deflowering unfortunate girls, ruining their lives in the process, all in the name of an old tradition that provides sexual indulgence, epicurean greed and fed the lust of a low life monarch. This is unacceptable and crude. This must stop and the world must kick against this annual madness that is taking place in Swaziland.

King Mswati III rules his people by decrees and all political parties have been banned in this poor nation South of the Sahara. Poverty is a mainstay and life expectancy is a mere 33 years for women and 32 years for men. AIDS is a huge albatross hindering everything from social to the economic life of the nation. More than 40% of the Swazi population is believed infected with HIV while many Swazis live in "Chronic poverty and food shortages are widespread", according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). With a population of 1.1 million and heavy reliance on sugar, minerals and wood pulp exports, the national economy is in its worst situation.

When King Sobhuza died in 1982, a regent, Queen Dzeliwe was appointed to act until the then Prince Makhosetive reaches 21, an age considered mature enough and required before he could be considered mature enough to take the throne. But Prince Makhosetive and Queen Ntombi, Prince Makhosetive have other ideas. To facilitate the enthronement of her son, Queen Ntombi colluded with others in the palace and deposed Queen Regent Dzeliwe in 1983. Three years after and at 18 years old, Prince Makhosetive was crowned. He took the title of King Mswati III. One of the first acts of betrayal perpetuated by the new king was to dissolve the Supreme Council of State (SCS), the Liqoqo. The legislative structure of the state was skewed in favour of the royal family and their sidekicks but a call for restructuring the legislature was rejected. The Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) have been on strike again and again pressing for reforms and demanding accountability, demanding that the state be separated from the palace and insisting that a people-oriented constitutional review be embarked upon. In 2001, the nation's Constitutional Review Commission enhanced King Mswati's powers. The Commission went on to extend the ban on all political parties in Swaziland.

Despite reported human rights and constitutional violations, political agitations and strikes going on in Swaziland, the West has not done anything to press for democracy and to demand the Swazi government uphold the basic rights and liberties of citizens. United States President, George Bush has done little and does not appear interested in Swaziland and the pain and hardship of its people. Swaziland has no crude oil like Iraq, no nuke like North Korea and is of no strategic location/position like Pakistan, so Mr. Bush is not interested. In fact, no one is interested in Swaziland, not even the African Union of which President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria is Chairman. That is a continent where no nation tells the other the home truth. In February 2004, the sidekick and stooge, the Prime Minister of Swaziland declared a humanitarian crisis due to poor rain fall in nearly three years. But King Mswati III kept his assembly line busy, collecting more virgins and proposing to build new royal residences for his ever-increasing wives. He even took delivery of a $45 million jet despite the vote of parliament against such outrageous purchase. The parliament insisted the order be cancelled. Just last March, the High Court of Swaziland proclaimed that all banned political parties are "non existent" under the law thereby preventing them from having any say in the nation's draft constitution, and yet within months the King signed a new Swazi constitution. The new constitution unfortunately maintains the ban on political parties.

In spite of the endemic AIDS/HIV situation in Swaziland, King Mswati III has continued his annual parade of shame in search of virgins and more wives. He has been busy feeding his manhood and nurturing his desires while death has gradually moved in and is steadily taking charge. With brutish hands and at alarming rate, death has claimed thousands of young and infant lives in this kingdom without royal chivalry and honour. This week King Mswati III took another wife, his 13th wife actually! To date, he has taken teenagers who should be in school. The king took La Masango, a 17 year-old schoolgirl as his eighth wife in 1999 during the same reed dance. King Mswati III's ninth wife, 18-year old Nontsetselelo Magongo was forced to leave school in 2001 amid protests from Human Rights and anti-child abuse organizations in Swaziland and overseas. In fact Nontsetselelo's marriage came barely a week after the king married another wife, LaGija. The maidens of the land are like herds awaiting the annual parade of a king with insatiable needs; they live to make his majesty happy and will probably help him beat his father's record of more than 50 wives and almost 300 children. Making mince meat of such a royal feat set by King Sobhuza II in today's modern world should make us all culpable in this shameless exploits of this throwback to ancient and uncouth times.