The Hush Post | 8:00 pm | One-minute read |
African nation Swaziland (now Kingdom of Eswatini) is making headlines all over. Some websites had reported that the King of Swaziland had ordered that males in his country should have a minimum of two wives from June 19. People having less than two wives would be jailed, the reports cited his order. However, the monarchy in Swaziland has rubbished the reports.
What is more interesting is the fact that Swaziland is a country where polygamy is prevalent, and the King himself has 14 wives. The traditional way the wives are chosen is also strange and has attracted world-wide criticism.
Swaziland is one of the remaining few absolute monarchies in the world. King Mswati-III has been accused of living a lavish lifestyle even as 63 per cent of the nation’s population is living in poverty.
King Mswati-III currently has 14 wives with whom he has around 25 children. One of his wives was found dead at her private palace last year. Media reports claim 37-year-old Senteni Masango had allegedly committed suicide.
A Reed Dance ceremony, Umhlanga, is organized in Swaziland every year. Around 40,000 virgin girls take part in this ceremony and parade topless in front of the King. Swaziland traditions give the King right to chose anyone of the parading girls and marry her.
Some girls have even opposed the tradition occasionally. They allege that the authorities fined their families heavily for not letting them take part in the ceremony.
Swaziland is a small, landlocked monarchy in southern Africa. It has a population of 13 lakh. It shares its northeastern border with Mozambique and stretches down to South Africa.
In April 2018, King Mswati-III changed the official name from Kingdom of Swaziland to Kingdom of Eswatini.