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Little Known Kingdom Of Eswatini, Africa’s Last Absolute Monarchy

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Eswatini, officially the Kingdom of Eswatini and formerly known in English as Swaziland, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique to its northeast and South Africa to its north, west, and south.

The capital cities are Mbabane and Lobamba. This kingdom seats on a territorial size with Area: 17,364 km² with a Population: 1.136 million. Their currency is known as: Swazi lilangeni. For example 1000 Swazi lilangeni= U$61.16.

Mswati III aged 52, (full names Makhosetive Dlamini ) is the king of Eswatini and head of the Swazi Royal Family. He was born in Manzini in the Protectorate of Swaziland to King Sobhuza II and one of his younger wives, Ntfombi Tfwala.

Artifacts indicating human activity dating back to the early Stone Age have been found in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Prehistoric rock art paintings date from c. 25,000 B.C. and continuing up to the 19th century can be found in various places around the country.

The area that is now eSwatini has been inhabited for millennia, and human-like remains possibly dating back as far as 100,000 years have been discovered around the Lebombo Mountains in eastern eSwatini.

However, today’s Swazis trace their ancestors to much more recent arrivals. By around AD 500, various Nguni groups had made their way to the region as part of the great Bantu migrations.

One of these groups settled in the area around present-day Maputo (Mozambique), eventually founding the Dlamini dynasty. In the mid-18th century, in response to increasing pressure from other clans in the area, the Dlamini king, Ngwane III, led his people southwest to the Pongola River, in present-day southern eSwatini and northern KwaZulu-Natal.

This became the first Swazi heartland. Ngwane’s successor, Sobhuza I, established a base in the Ezulwini Valley, which still remains the centre of Swazi royalty and ritual.

Next came King Mswazi (or Mswati), after whom the Swazi take their name. Despite pressure from the neighbouring Zulu, Mswazi succeeded in unifying the whole kingdom. From the mid-19th century, eSwatini attracted increasing numbers of European farmers in search of land for cattle, as well as hunters, traders and missionaries.

Over the next decades, the Swazis saw their territory whittled away as the British and Boers jostled for power in the area. In 1902, following the Second Anglo-Boer War, the Boers withdrew and the British took control of eSwatini as a protectorate.

Struggle for Independence Swazi history in the early 20th century centred on the ongoing struggle for independence.

reed dance

Under the leadership of King Sobhuza II (guided by the capable hands of his mother, Lomawa Ndwandwewho, who acted as regent while Sobhuza was a child), the Swazis succeeded in regaining much of their original territory. This was done in part by direct purchase and in part by British government decree.

This was a major development, as Swazi kings are considered to hold the kingdom in trust for their subjects, and land ownership is thus more than just a political and economic issue.

Independence was finally achieved – the culmination of a long and remarkably nonviolent path – on 6 September 1968, 66 years after the establishment of the British protectorate.

The first Swazi constitution was largely a British creation, and in 1973 the king suspended it on the grounds that it did not accord with Swazi culture.

Four years later parliament reconvened under a new constitution vesting all power in the king. Sobhuza II died in 1982, at that time the world’s longest-reigning monarch.

In 1986 the young Mswati III ascended the throne, where he continues today to represent and maintain the traditional Swazi way of life and to assert his pre-eminence as absolute monarch.

Culture and Customs

The Kingdom of Eswatini is also renowned for its wealth of culture. With ceremonies and festivities (like the famous “reed dance” and the Marula Festival) taking place all year long.

In eSwatini, it’s customary for women to not eat the head or feet of a cow. It is believed that if a woman eats the brains of a cow, she will become intelligent; if she eats the tongue, she will talk back to her husband; and if she eats the feet, she will run away. For the same reason, Swazis say that you should never buy your wife a pair of shoes.

Dance is key to the Swazis’ cultural identity, and every single member of the community is expected to participate during cultural celebrations. Every year, 10,000 young women perform for the Queen Mother at the Umhlanga (Reed Dance Festival), while the men get their turn before the king at the Incwala, which takes place during the summer solstice. Not surprisingly, the dancers were the most important part of the 50:50 celebrations.

eSwatini’s kings are polygamous. Mswati III has 15 wives and his father, Sobhuza II (the longest reigning monarch in history) had 70. That makes for a huge number of princes and princesses. You can generally spot a member of the royal family in a crowd because they are entitled to wear red feathers in their hair.

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Culture

Cameroon’s Bamoun kingdom Gets New Ruler

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African history is endless that ones curiosity may never be satisfied. Taarifa takes you into Cameroon’s Bamoun kingdom- one of Africa’s oldest kingdoms with rich history.

This Sunday, October 10, 2021, a new king for the Bamoun kingdom was enthroned at a colourful traditional ceremony.

At the age of 29, Nabil Mbombo Njoya sat on a throne wearing a unique traditional and royal outfit reserved only for the king in this territory.

The Bamoun, a powerful kingdom of western Cameroon boasts of a population of 2 million people.

The latest United Nations data indicates that Cameroon hosts a total of Cameroon is 27,386,702 inhabitants.

Nabil Mbombo Njoya succeeds his late father, Sultan Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya who Designated Nabil in his will. Nabil is the first son born after his fathers enthronement.

Very close to his father, he was brought up in the Bamoun tradition, educated at the American school in Yaoundé before studying in the United States and at the National School of Administration and the Judiciary of Cameroon.

He was appointed after an initiation conclave led by the notables of the kingdom and becomes at 29 years old, the twentieth in the line of Bamoun kings.

His Royal Highness Nabil  will occupy the Royal Palace of Foumban of the Bamoun dynasty which dates back from the 14th century in history.

The Palace was renovated and completed in 1917 after which the belongings of previous Sultans were arranged and kept for tourist attraction.

Foumban city is one of Cameroon’s major attractions and an important centre of traditional African art. Some of the major important things found in the palace include a multitude of royal gowns, arms, musical instruments, statues, jewellery, masks and colourful bead-covered thrones carved in the shapes of the men who sat on them and seat of power for the Bamoun people.

There is also the Musée des Arts et des Traditions Bamoun which is not far from the Palace. This extensive collection has exhibits on Bamoun history and art, including cooking implements, musical instruments, pipes, statues, masks, gongs and an ornately carved xylophone.

A graduate of Enam in 2018, Nabil Njoya was, some time before his induction, head of the legal division in the services of the governor of the southern region.

Having become a traditional chief, the new sultan is now forced to abandon all civil engagement. Nabil Njoya should therefore abandon his office in Ebolowa, in the south, to settle permanently in those he now holds in the sultanate of Foumban.

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Culture

Russia Hosts Royal Wedding After 100 Years

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A descendant of Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II has wed in a lavish ceremony on Friday, marking the country’s first royal wedding since the Bolshevik revolution overthrew the monarchy a century ago.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov tied the knot with his Italian fiancée Rebecca Virginia Bettarini at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg in front of dozens of royal guests, the local Fontanka.ru news website reported.

Romanov said that the couple chose the former imperial capital for their nuptials because it was the first place in Russia where the family returned following the Soviet collapse.

“It is very, very close to our family,” he told Fontanka.ru, adding that St. Petersburg is “the history of Russia” and “the history of the House of Romanov.”

The lavish Russian Orthodox ceremony featured Fabergé wedding rings, Sicilian wine and food provided by catering magnate Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is better known by his nickname “Putin’s chef,” Fontanka.ru reported.

Bettarini, 39, walked the aisle in a white satin gown by designer Reem Acra, who has dressed celebrities like Beyoncé, Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Melania Trump, and a tiara designed by Chaumet, the official jeweller to Empress Joséphine and Napoléon, according to Fontanka.ru.

Among the 1,500 guests were some 50 royals from European countries including Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain and Naples, Fontanka.ru reported.

The guest list also reportedly included Sarah Fabergé and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The wedding ceremony lasted approximately two hours, with only a third of the guests invited for reception at the Russian Ethnographic Museum, symbolically founded by Nicholas II.

George Romanov, 40, is a descendant of Nicholas II, who was executed by Bolsheviks along with his family in July 1918 in the city of Yekaterinburg.

He was born in Madrid to Grand Duchess Maria Romanova and the Prussian Prince Franz Wilhelm of Hohenzollern. He spent most of his life living in Spain and France before visiting Russia for the first time in 1992 with his grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, a trip he said was “filled with emotion.”

His mother is the granddaughter of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, a first cousin of Nicholas II who fled Russia during the revolution and declared himself emperor from exile.

He has worked in the European Parliament and the European Commission and has served as an advisor to the director of Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel. Today, he works on charity projects from the couple’s residence in central Moscow.

He met Bettarini in Brussels during his time at the European Parliament. A daughter of the Italian Ambassador to Belgium, Bettarini has worked as a writer and lobbyist and now works as the director of the Russian Imperial Foundation. In the Russian imperial tradition, Bettarini converted to the Russian Orthodox faith last year and took the name Victoria Romanovna.

“A new chapter of our life book together is starting. As a writer I hope that the journey ahead will be full of love, suspense and adventure as the first part of our life book was,” Bettarini wrote on Instagram after they went public with their engagement.

Romanov told The Insider earlier this year that he hoped the wedding would show “the nice side of Russia, the beauty, the culture and the history.”

“And to also help tourism get back to its levels if we’re allowed to travel,” he said.

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Culture

Campaign Seeks To Add Congolese Rumba Among UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Congolese Rumba has wide appreciation across the African continent and other parts of the world. There is a campign seeking to conserve it under UNESCO’s world heritage site.

The promotional campaign in favour of the inscription of the Congolese rumba on the representative list of the cultural heritage of humanity of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO ) was launched on August 17 in Kinshasa.

For the Congolese Minister (DRC) of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Catherine Katungu Furaha, the inscription of the rumba will be an occasion to rejoice for the population of the two Congolese shores.

“Today is an opportunity to tell the Congolese population that there is reason to rejoice in the fact that the only thing that we have of very value is this dance of value, this dance of dignity which will be brought to the knowledge and appropriation of the world, ”said Catherine Katungu Furaha.

She advised the Congolese to appropriate and promote the virtues of Congolese rumba:

“First we have to start making this our own, not settling for what we import elsewhere when we have value with us, at home. We need to support this, we need to be informed about what Rumba is and what it brings to us. ”

For her, “the Rumba will bring us recognition, will strengthen our diplomacy, but also somewhere an opportunity to say that with dance, we can turn this cultural industry into a production.”

Catherine Katungu Furaha requested the media to increase the number of programs that promote and popularize this music which constitutes the identity of a whole people in order to provide the public treasury:

“We need to bring money into our public treasury because without putting money into our public treasury, music will continue to be seen as the last line item.”

The UNESCO Representative in the DRC, Jean Pierre Ilbudo, welcomed this “happy” initiative and reaffirms all support for the inclusion of Congolese rumba, after Brazilian Zumba, on the representative list of the cultural heritage of humanity of the ‘UNESCO.

The executive board of UNESCO will in fact meet next October to examine the candidacy for the inscription of Congolese rumba.

Between November and December, it will be the jury’s turn to decide on this candidacy which mobilises the governments, experts, practitioners and technicians of Congolese rumba from the two Congos.

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