Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy marks its Independence Day also known as Somhlolo Day today. Somholo Day also known as Sobhuza Day is the National Day of eSwatini and commemorates the day that Swaziland gained independence from Britain in 1968. It is observed on September 6, If Somhlolo Day falls on a weekend, then the following Monday becomes a holiday.
Ruled for the past three decades by King Mswati III, it became a British protectorate in 1963 and stayed that way until it secured its independence in 1968.
King Mswati III of Swaziland renamed Eswatini, as we know it today, “the Kingdom of eSwatini” in 2018 during the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence.
The monarch had stated that the change of name was necessitated by the confusion between Swaziland and Switzerland.”
In a congratulatory message on its 53rd anniversary, Spokesperson of the US State Department, Ned Price called for a celebration, reflection on shared values, and a recommitment to a future that holds promise and opportunity for all Emaswati.
While condemning the unrest that has shaken Eswatini in recent times, he urged all parties to demonstrate clear and equitable commitment to human rights, fundamental freedoms, rule of law, and accountability.
Price also encouraged all stakeholders to commit to a peaceful and respectful dialogue that includes representatives of government, women’s and youth movements, political parties, trade unions, and other civil society organizations.
The culture of Swazi people involves music, food, religion, architecture, and kinship, among many other things.
With a population of 1.1 million, Eswatini has an unemployment rate of nearly 24%, a poverty rate of 52% and GDP growth of -3.3%.
The Kingdom of eSwatini has experienced its worst bout of political violence in its postcolonial history. Unprecedented state violence against protesters has made royal rule increasingly unpopular in eSwatini.
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