Saturday, April 23, 2011


For long, Africa has been the continent that could have been. Abundance of natural resources was always neutered by the presence of monarchy and corruption which have successfully exploited the world’s largest continent and left it hungry, poor and most importantly: Angry! Libya, Tunisia, Syria and Egypt now certainly testify a continent that could be.

Before you jump into the conclusion that this post is my take on these revolutions, let me introduce you to “King Mswati III”. You may go: “Who the heck is this guy?” He is the absolute (one of the last of his kind) monarch of Swaziland. Some of you may wonder: “Is that a country by any chance?” Sure it is!! Finally if you have lost your patience and wondering what I am getting at, I am trying to point you to the next “Muammar Gaddafi”. And Mswati III sure is one of them!

Mswati III who has ruled Swaziland for 25 years received the throne from his father who apparently ruled for 60 years (Well…that’s some job security!) He practices polygamy (maybe he thinks that it is in vogue!) and at least two of his wives were appointed by the state (wow... State seems to keep itself quite busy). He is a connoisseur and luxury monger in the true sense as he spends lavishly on yachts and bling while 40 percent of his population is unemployed and a quarter lives with HIV or AIDS. Can’t blame the poor guy completely. He has so many wives to take care of!

Mswati III exercises absolute power on one of the world’s poorest nations and what are his policies focused on: “Strengthening and perpetuating the traditional order”. In 2004, he reportedly spent about $5 million to build palaces for each of his 11 wives! While he was busy juggling his wives and buying expensive cars, Swaziland quietly surpassed Botswana as the country with the highest AIDS prevalence rate. Political parties have been banned for 40 years now (helps to be an “absolute” monarch after all) and he has a history of crushing any opposition before it gains any significance.

All this sounds like a great recipe for: You guessed it right - REVOLUTION. Africa has no shortage of forests and the African revolution is sure spreading like wild fire. Next stop might be Swaziland! Public unrest in Swaziland is at its all-time high. Students are at their wits’ end about the lack of freedom in their homeland. Perfect stimulus for a country for which happiness is long due. Mswati III better watch out, it may be difficult to count your wives but your days are numbered!

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