Who Are The Swazi People?

Africa is occupied by a large number of people who have different ethnic backgrounds and who originate from different language groups.

The Swazi are a Bantu group of people of the larger Nguni-language speaking people. The Swazi occupy the southern parts of Africa and specifically a kingdom called Eswatini.

According to history, the Swazi people are believed to be from the line of people who speak the Nguni language. These people who originally lived in the North East part of Africa moved on to South East Africa around the fifteenth century. These people first settled in the southern parts of Mozambique before later on resolving to move to where they live today. When they were relocating to the place they are today they met the San people already in the place. Although some of the Swazi people are believed to be from the clans speaking the Nguni language others are said to be from the Sotho Clan.

Where Do The Swazi People Live?

A greater number of the Swazi people occupy the grassland region of Swaziland, Mpumalanga in South Africa and also Mozambique.

 Due to the prevalent rural-to-urban migration, some of the Swazi people have moved to the urban areas mostly in South Africa like Johannesburg. This has been occasioned by the search for greener pastures by many people.

What Nationality Are The Swazi People?

The nationality of the Swazi people can be said to be Swazi or Swati nationality.

Since a large number of the Swazi people live in Swaziland, their nationality is then Swazi. Swaziland is a very small country and probably one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is also landlocked which means it is not surrounded by any water body. Swaziland is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique.

How Many Swazi People Are There?

The total population of the Swazi people is estimated to be 1.16 million people.

Although there are other people in Swaziland like the Europeans and the Zulus, the Swazi people make up the largest percentage of the population. From the time the kingdom was born in the 18th Century the kingdom has been growing all along. This is due to the strong leadership of the country which has enabled the kingdom to grow steadily.

What Is Unique About The Swazi People?

Every community has its aspects which make it stand out from the rest of the communities. These aspects are important since they enhance the patriotism of the members of the community and also they cherish their culture more. This is the same for the Swazi people. Read on to get to know more about the Swazi people in terms of their governance and also their way of life.

Politics & System Of Governance

Governance is very important to any community or country as it depicts how the people’s lives are going to be led.

The governance of the Swazi people is an absolute monarchy. Absolute monarchy is whereby all power is rested on the king of the people and he is not accorded any limitations whatsoever on the decisions he makes. This means that the king’s decisions are final and no constitutional laws can thereof hinder him from making his personal decisions. However, there before the mode of governance was a constitutional monarchy whereby the leader was controlled by the constitution. With the entry of King Sobhuza II into power in 1973, he changed everything and introduced absolute monarchy.

Swaziland as a state is headed by a king and the position is hereditary. The King currently heading is King Mswati III who was crowned after the demise of his father King Sobhuza II in 1982. The King rules in collaboration with his mother who is seen as a spiritual figure in the country. There are two houses in the country namely the senate and the House of Assembly. The Senate has a total of 30 members who are elected by the people while others are picked by the king on guidance by the advisory council. The House of Assembly has a membership of 65 people of which 55 are the ones given elective posts by the people from the constituencies of the land while the remaining 10 are picked by the king who is guided to do so by the council.  The people are given the democratic right of selecting their leaders by voting after every five years. The country also recognises some special people who did not get the chance to be elected to leadership positions due to reasons like disability, race or even their gender. Such people are given appointive posts by the king. 

Something unique about this country is that there are no political parties which are allowed to be formed. The formation of any political party was canceled with the introduction of the new constitution in 1978. However, this does not necessarily mean that the freedom of association in this country is hindered.

Swazi Way Of Life

Culture is an important aspect of any community as it guides the people on how they are going to carry themselves. Marriage in Swaziland can either be polygamous or even monogamous. Many people practise monogamous marriage since polygamous marriage is seen to be very expensive due to the high bride prices which are demanded by the family of the bride. Marriage between people of the same paternal clan is highly avoided although the king is not given any restriction. After marriage, the wife retains the name of her father but the children will automatically take the name of their father.

The Swazi people have festivals such as the Incwala and Umhlanga which are very important in the preservation of their culture. The Incwala festival is a king’s ritual ceremony in the first harvest. It is specially prepared for the king. Where the king is not there, maybe he has passed away, this festival is not held as it would be seen as a grave offense to do so. 

The Umhlanga festival is only done by the virgin girls whereby they take reeds to the queen, dance for her and thank her for the great work she does.

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