Monday, May 21, 2012

The Queen of Swaziland! Fashion Icon? International Joke? A Symbol of Poverty and Disease?

The Queen of Swaziland
From a Guest Contributor in London: 

Inkhosikati LaMbikiza is married to King Mswati III and is the First Lady and Queen of Swaziland. She recently toured Britain and the cameras have been following her ever since. 

The King and Queen of Swaziland
She certainly brightened up Buckingham Palace when she met the Queen of England and later attended a number of 'State' functions on behalf of her country. She will be touring Europe during the next several weeks.

Unfortunately her country is a nation of extreme poverty and disease like no other on the planet.

Swaziland is bordered on the North, South and West by South Africa and on the East by Mozambique on the continent of Africa. 

Swaziland has a population of 1.2 million (2010) with agriculture as it's primary resource. 

Christian missionaries have done a good job converting the citizenry to Christianity in recent years and have brought schools and some education to Swaziland. More than 85% of the native population claim Christianity as their religion. 

At the same time more than 83% of the population is infected with a strain of HIV that's resistant to current drugs.  This disease combined with TB bring lifespans of less than 32 years to Swaziland residents.  The lowest in the lifespan expectancy in the world.

The Queen of Swaziland Pictured Seated in the Middle of Photo
What we observed during the King and Queen's visit was what seemed to be a deliberate media mocking, especially of the Queen. We also noted an ignoring, if not disrespect by other government officials while she was here. Still, The Queen maintained her dignity in the face of becoming a media-fueled international joke to some.

The Queen of Swaziland
In fact, The Queen of Swaziland is a visible International Symbol of Poverty and Disease the world could do something about. Instead of sending money to corrupt governments, such as Afghanistan, would not the "civilized" world countries be wise in assisting a peaceful, beautiful country in dire need?

J.

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