Saturday, October 15, 2011
Swaziland - King Mswati III
His Majesty King Mswati III
Kingdom of Switzerland.
Sent by Swaziland Tourism Authority. Thank you very much.
This is from Wikipedia : Mswati III (born Makhosetive Dlamini on April 19, 1968) is the King of Swaziland and head of the Swazi Royal Family. In 1986, he succeeded his father Sobhuza II as ruler of the southern African kingdom. He is generally considered to be one of the last absolute monarchs in the world, as he has the authority to appoint the country's Prime Minister, members of the cabinet, and the judiciary. However, he is bound to a certain degree by Swazi traditions and he does not have the authority to choose his heir.
Mswati III is known for his taste for luxury and his practice of polygamy (although at least two wives are appointed by the state), and has been criticized abroad for pursuing his personal interests at the expense of his country, one of the poorest in the world. In 2001 he attempted to curb the AIDS epidemic by invoking an ancient chastity rite, the umchwasho, that banned women under the age of 18 from sex. Within Swaziland, Mswati is a respected and largely popular figure. However, his policies and opulent lifestyle have also triggered domestic protests and international criticism.
He is one of many sons of king Sobhuza II (who had 70 wives, 210 children and at the time of his death left over 1000 grandchildren) and the only child of Ntombi Tfwala, also known as Inkhosikati LaTfwala, one of the king's younger wives. He was born at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital, four months before Swaziland attained independence from Britain. When he and his mother were discharged from the hospital they went to live at one of king Sobhuza's residences of Etjeni near Masundwini Palace. His birth name was Makhosetive (King of Nations).
As a young prince, Makhosetive attended Masundwini Primary School and Lozitha Palace School. He sat for the Swaziland Primary Certificate examination in December 1982 at Phondo Royal Residence and got a First Class with merit in Mathematics and English. He developed a great interest in the royal guard, becoming the first young cadet to join the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF).
When king Sobhuza II died in 1982, the Great Council of State (the Liqoqo) selected the 14-year-old prince Makhosetive to be the next king. For the next four years two wives of the late king Sobhuza II, Queen Dzeliwe Shongwe (1982–1983) and Queen Ntombi Tfwala (1983–1986), served as regent while he continued his education in England, attending Sherborne School, before he was called back to take over.