Swaziland Culture

Swaziland Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Swaziland

According to TOPB2BWEBSITES.COM, Swaziland is a country located in Africa. Swaziland has only two newspapers, The Times of Swaziland (edition: about 18,000 copies) and Swaziland Observer (about 11,000 copies).

Radio and TV are essentially state-owned. The Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Service (founded in 1966) broadcasts radio in a channel in English and Siswati, while the Swaziland Television Authority (founded in 1978) broadcasts in a channel in English. In Swaziland there is also commercial radio and a Christian channel. There are 162 radio and 119 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the oldest cultural attractions in Swaziland are rock paintings, probably done by members of the indigenous people san and khoikhoi.

Swazi culture is similar to that of other Bantu people: dances and songs are usually associated with religious ceremonies that go far back in history.

Mass Media

Swaziland’s mass media is subject to restrictions and reprisals on the part of the authorities. From time to time, the authorities attack repugnant journalists or make the publication of inconvenient newspapers more difficult. Criticism against the king and the royal house rarely occurs, and the journalists impose self-censorship.

The country’s two major newspapers are the formally independent The Times of Swaziland and Swazi Observer, published by the state. The Swazi News is published once a week and is owned by The Times of Swaziland. All newspapers are in English. A couple of monthly magazines are also published in the country.

Radio and television broadcasts are handled by two state-owned companies: Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Service (SBIS), which broadcasts radio in English and Siswazi channels, and Swaziland Television Authority, which broadcasts TV in English in one channel. In addition, there is the Christian, privately owned channel Trans World Radio.

South African newspapers are sold around Swaziland, and the Swazis also have access to South African radio and TV. These are often critical of the Swazi regime.



Trade unions are dissolved

The government dissolves all trade unions in the country, including the largest Tucoswa country organization.


New free trade agreement

Swaziland and 25 other countries have agreed on a new free trade agreement, Tripartite Free Trade Area, which covers most of Africa, from Egypt in the north to South Africa in the south. However, before the agreement can come into force, negotiations are required and the agreement is approved by the parliaments of the countries.

Journalists are sentenced to prison

The editor and the chronicler who was arrested in March 2014 are sentenced to two years in prison for court proceedings.


Swaziland is excluded from trade cooperation

The United States excludes Swaziland from the trade cooperation Agoa (African Growth Opportunity Act) which gives some 40 sub-Saharan countries favorable conditions in the US market. The counterpart is that the countries must live up to certain democratic requirements. Swaziland is not considered to have fulfilled expectations due to the government’s hard handling of demonstrations and harassment of unions. For those working in the country’s textile industry, the development is disappointing. The terms of trade under Agoa have led to an expansion of the textile industry and many new jobs.


The King’s budget is raised

King Mswati III increases the court’s budget by 10 percent to $ 61 million.

Opposition members prosecuted

The arrested Pudemo members are prosecuted for supporting a terrorist group and for shouting slogans and wearing T-shirts with advertising for Pudemo. They are then released free of bail pending trial. At the same time, Pudemo leader Mario Masuki and the secretary general of Pudemo’s youth union are arrested. They are accused of criticizing the king and his government at a first May meeting in Mbabane.


Unrest in trial

During the trial of the editor and the chronicler who has been in detention since March (see March 2014), a handgun between police and protesters outside the court arises and several members of Pudemo are arrested.


Newspaper employees are arrested

The editor of the country’s largest newspaper The Nation is arrested, along with a lawyer who usually contributes as a chronicler in the newspaper. The two are charged with court-martial, after they questioned in the newspaper why a vehicle inspector was detained for a week without prosecution being brought. The inspector had stopped a government vehicle and noted that the driver was missing the necessary documents.

Criticized airport opens

The King opens a new airport outside Mbabane. The idea is for the airport to open the country to tourists and foreign businessmen. However, it will be a long time before any planes can take off and land at the airport. First, a permit is required to operate air traffic. The project has been criticized for devouring excessive sums in the poor country.


Protests against the royal government

During a vigil in connection with the funeral of a democracy activist, around 2,000 participants protest against King Mswati III’s rule. This is done by the participants dressing in a certain way, displaying banners with regime-critical messages and dancing toyi toyi, a dance used during the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

Swaziland Culture

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