Some Interesting Things to Know About About Eswatini

20 Facts About Eswatini (News Central TV)

Every September 6, the Kingdom of Eswatini celebrates its year of independence from British rule. Though a small country in terms of size, the second smallest in mainland Africa, it is a dynamic nation with a unique and fascinating civilisation and history.

Eswatini is a completely landlocked country, surrounded by South Africa on all sides except for the east, which is bordered by Mozambique.

Many still refer to the country as Swaziland, it is important to note that it officially became the Kingdom of Eswatini in 2018, when King Mswati III renamed the nation on its 50th independence anniversary.

The country’s natives, however, have always called their homeland Eswatini. The legal name change was just to get the rest of the world on board. Below are some facts about Eswatini:

1. Eswatini is Africa’s last absolute monarchy and one of the few remaining in the world. This form of government gives a monarch supreme authority, unimpeded by written laws, legislature or customs.

2. In 2018, King Mswati III renamed the country from Swaziland to ‘the Kingdom of Eswatini’. The monarch announced the official change in a stadium during celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence from British rule.

King Mswati III

3. Sibebe Rock in Eswatini is the world’s second largest monolith (single piece of rock) behind Australia’s Uluru.

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4. It is possible to observe the famous big five game animals of lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo in Eswatini.

5. Furthermore, the Southern African nation is home to 132 species of mammal, 500 species of bird, 111 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 3,500 indigenous species of plants.

6. King Mswati III currently has 15 wives. His predecessor had 125. He can select a new spouse at the annual reed dance, a cultural event celebrating chastity and virginity.

The Sibebe Rock in Eswatini

7. The Umhlanga – or reed dance – festival is held annually in the country. The festival involves tens of thousands of women from across the country. In recent years, it has drawn criticism for its treatment of women and is beginning to focus more on preserving cultural heritage.

8. Eswatini is one of the few countries in the world where both black and white rhinos can be found. Under Swazi law, game rangers in the country can shoot and kill poachers caught in the act.

9. Eswatini is a landlocked country: a country surrounded by land with no access to the sea. There are currently 45 such countries and five partially recognised states.

10. The Bushfire Festival happens every year: This festival brings people to Eswatini from around the world. It celebrates music, theatre, art, poetry, and so much more. The theme of the festival is “unity”, and visitors, including children, get to see how working together can make great things happen.

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11. King Sobhuza II, who reigned from 1899 to 1982 and spent 82 years and 253 days on the throne, is the longest reigning monarch in world history.

12. Eswatini has unique flavours: Last time I was here, I had some delicious meals in Eswatini. Eswatini grows a lot of sugar cane, corn, rice, citrus fruits, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts, and pumpkins. It also has many cotton farms. A common dish here is called emasi, or porridge, and is usually made with sorghum or corn with rice and potatoes. Stews are common here, made from the tastiest stuff like spinach, pumpkin, or even beans.

13. The Makhonjwa Mountains, located in South Africa and Eswatini, are formed of rocks dating as far back as 3.6 billion years. They are thought to be one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.

14. The Ngwenya Mine in the country is considered to be the world’s oldest mine. Its iron ore deposits constitute one of the oldest geological formations in the world.

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15. Eswatini has two capital cities. Mbabane is the administrative capital while Lobamba is the national capital, the seat of King Mswati III and where the houses of parliament and other national institutions are situated.

King Somhlolo of eSwatini was one of Africa’s greatest kings who was also a great prophet

16. Eswatini has a low life expectancy rate averaging 55.1 years for men, 59.3 years for women and 57.2 years for the total population. It is ranked 215 out of 223 countries and territories.

17. The Eswatini flag consists of horizontal stripes of blue, yellow and crimson with a Swazi shield, two spears and a ‘fighting stick’ with feather tassels in the centre. The crimson stands for the battles of the past, yellow for mineral wealth and blue for peace. The ox hide combat shield is from the traditional Swazi Emasotsha Regiment.

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